All posts for the month December, 2015

Book Review : Reforming Institutions

Published December 26, 2015 by vishalvkale

The current book under review deals with, among other things, change, and deals with the process of change in a running institution or organisation. That said, it is not meant for people who are on the lookout for a how-to book full of instructions, or even ideas. It has none of the first, and only a few of the second. The book also deals quite extensively with democracy, national institutions and development. If you are looking for a book that proscribes or preaches how these should change, and what form the change should take – look elsewhere.
Image result for redesigning the aeroplane while flying reforming institutions review 
If, on the other hand, you are asking yourself questions on how should I change; or if you are tasked with implementation of change strategies in your organisation or job and are open to new ideas, methods and challenges – then go for this book. If you are among those who are past wondering what is wrong with my India, or my company, or my job, or myself – and are beginning to question : how, what, why, where, when – to move forward and in what direction, if you are looking actively for answers on how to develop my own effort and thoughts rather than instructions – read this book.
The book is titled “Redesigning The Aeroplane While Flying : Reforming Institutions”, and is authored by Arun Maira, a professional with 25 years with the Tata Group, followed by long stints in Arthur D Little and was the chairman of The Boston Consulting Group. The icing on the cake is that Mr Maira was also a member of the Planning Commission  under Dr Manmohan Singh
The book is a treasure in more ways than one; but most of all, it is a work sheer class precisely because of what it doesn’t do- preach, instruct on what to do. Instead, you are treated to a deep and though-provoking insightful book that sets your mind racing, that analyses the background situation with commendable attention to detail and a superb finesse, leaving no stone unturned, challenging quite a few pre-conceived notions and and giving a complete picture in your mind of the challenges facing India.
It starts with an obvious premise – that institutions are under challenge; but, right from the first page – it takes a course of its own, stating, with examples, that this is almost a global phenomenon. The book uses India as an example throughout, although it is chock-full of other examples from across the Business and the Political landscape from across the globe.
The book looks at the 4 forces that are coming together in the new world : Free Markets & Capitalism, Equal rights for all Human Beings, The Environment, Information. These 4 can be readily seen to be coming together across the globe, to create what all of us ca notice : a confluence of 4 different but powerful winds that are redefining the way we live in the modern world. These 4 forces are putting pressure on the institutions of Demoracy, Capitalism, and Government – as we can see in the Climate change debate, or the CSR pressure on Corporates, Questions on the extent of regulation of markets etc that we have seen arising.
An aside :  the book also raises an interesting fact – that the first attempts at changing the Planning Commission and how it functions started under Dr Manmohan Singh, who apparently set in motion a study or two on how could India  make the planning process more relevant to the new challenges it is facing, and how to make it more effective. This, alongwith other data I have come across in other sources is leading me to an interesting possibility : we have all ignored the successes and reforms initiated by the UPA…
It has looked at the options before the Planning Commission, as  well as the road the nation can take, quoting no less than three extensive and deep studies undertaken across several years. The book asks the precise same questions here that we have been hearing and reading about in India : namely, Inclusion, Governance – Local or Centralised, Big Projects or Community Based Solutions and Enterprises. Then studies conducted both internally as well as by WEF / NCAER, involved a huge range of people from all walks of life
This, then is the scenario, the backdrop – Capitalism / Free Markets + Environment + Free Flow Of Information + Human Rights or Equality of all humans – creating a high-pressure challenge for Democracy, Government and Capitalism. In this backdrop, it can be readily seen by the rising discontent among the people that trust in these systemic institutions is either falling or is low. Questions are being of Organisations, Governments, Nations and Leaders alike.
The question arises : how does one change the institutions without causing a breakdown or anarchy? Or rather – how does one change a running organisation or department without compromising on the overall performance and outputs? This is a standard challenge that most middle and up managers are confronted with; and people can readily relate to the difficulties in driving a running and performing people towards a desired goal. You first have to decide that goal, ensure buy-in, and then craft a path towards that objective
Other books – predictably, management books – have dealt with this; the difference here is that this isn’t a management book. And this isn’t prescriptive, doesn’t give theories and instructions, a ready-to-cook recipe, if you will. It just analyses the situation in considerable detail – genesis of institution / scorecards and their pitfalls / options etc, analyses and presents all options in front of the reader, leading to thought-provoking questions and insights. This lack of a prescriptive approach is the ace of the book.
The basics are of course common and hardcore fundamentals of either organisation design and management  – or of basic Governance. For example, Direction and Goals with Aligned Aspirations, Organisation with Permeable Boundaries allowing free flow of ideas and information, Processes with Minimum Critical Rules and Resources that are Flexible / Should a Democracy be consensual or majoritarian; Supremacy of individual rights versus Rights of the community; Transations or Trust – as well as introducing the concept of Gross National Happiness versus GNP.
The difference is in how it comes together : driving the reader towards the conclusions slowly, by inference rather than by data and instructions. It delves deep into the processes and ways of operation – analysing how to take decisions, what decision to take in what situation {within the overall context of national growth}; it looks at the pitfalls of conventional economics versus behavioural economics – and more. It does all  of this in a non-prescriptive manner.
This is a deep and highly conceptual book that resides in the realm of core concepts behind a properly functioning and delivering Organisation – which is why it holds relevance for anyone in a function, organisation or job that involves changing ways, means and methods of operation. This is a deeply fundamental book that will reinforce the basics and fundamentals of practicing managers as well as bureaucrats, giving new ideas and paths to carry out your tasks.
While the overarching theme is deep and basic concepts in the backdrop of localisation and hardcore basics, it does manage to ask some very pertinent questions and think about some pretty damned hard choices. And, at the end of the book, it leaves you a fundamental and basic path and clarity, of how to proceed  and how to chart a way forward, at least on the individual level.

On the more important national level, this book does a commendable task of making us face the choices that we are confronted with as a nation in terms of our institutions, making us face as well as analyse the choices and various paths that confront us as a people : suggesting what should we be focussing on : Inclusive Democracy, Inclusive Economy – while at the same time being unabashedly capitalist. It does not give solutions – that part is for us, as a people, to craft…  after all, being a democracy – it is for us to choose. 

Insaaniyat Kahaan Hai?

Published December 15, 2015 by vishalvkale

The title says “Insaaniyat Kahaan Hai?” That is my question to all of my readers. Insaaniyat kahaan gum ho gayi hai? Where is our feeling of humanity, of oneness, of compassion, and of love-  all those lovely feelings humans are supposed to have – heavy emphasis on the word supposed? For, even a cursory glance at contemporary society would prove beyond any shade of doubt that not one of these is in common prevalence…
This is a society that can watch a Nirbhay {May God Bless Her Soul and Grant Her Moksha}  lie naked and bleeding on a road in a cold winter morning; this is a society that can watch a wounded man writhe in agony on the road, or can watch a man bleed to death – and yet do nothing.These are just examples;  does no remorse ever touch such people? Doesn’t their conscience prick them, and say anything? How is it that we as a society have become so insensitive?
This is a society which can rise and raise a hue and cry when a question is raised on a political leader – any leader with a following, to be frank; the level of the noise rises with an increase in popularity. This is a society that can cry themselves hoarse, throw insults and worse on the slightest criticism of a political leader, or party, or perceived national image {intolerance, anyone?} – and yet remain totally silent on such callous and insensitive displays of so-called “human” behaviour as we have seen in the above examples!
Where is our indignation when such things happen?  Where is the high-decibel shock, condemnation and disgust that was in evidence earlier – when such {and many other} displays of apathy and insensitivity occur? Where is our collective conscience? Why the profound silence, and why the noise when someone – whether famous or not – criticizes the Government, any party {note – ANY party}, our culture, our nation, our heritage? Or is it the contention that such finer feelings are reserved only for such idea, notions and feelings rather than clear human tragedies?
A couple of days ago, a similar such {similar, not comparable – please!} incident occurred in New Delhi, which might also have resulted in the sad death of a baby {matter sub-judice, we don’t know}. A clearly legally correct action on people occupying Railway Land; they had no right to that land. I don’t think that is in question here. But the manner this was done – destroying settlements in mid-winter – has shocked me to the core of my being. What is going on?
This was done without any alternative arrangement – and that is the true horrifying shocker in this entire sad tragedy. Other questions – like was it too hurried {the death of the Baby – why it happened etc} are there; but they are more to do with administrative and legal matters; and we cannot comment without more information. The Honourable High Court is now looking into this matter; and its initial scathing observation and questions on The Government is telling, but we cannot and should not comment till more information is available.
The reason was : A Passenger Terminal, among other things. A passenger terminal is more important than providing for those poor people who have nowhere to go? Couldn’t someone have found a way to do both? Where was the need for such horrifying and mind-numbingly shocking action on a hand-to-mouth people, who have no hopes and nowhere to turn to? Is this the excellent implementation culture we have been hearing about? I am stunned at this action, and could not sleep all night, as I recalled that incident, my mind was numb with disbelief, A Passenger Terminal!!!!! Couldnt it wait? Couldnt someone have first made alternate arrangement – this is mid-winter, man! Shocking!
And now where all those indignant noises that we heard against Aamir, or against those who were saying we are intolerant? If we believe that raising a voice against a perceived or real event can be effective – then why the silence now? Where are all those people who were raising a voice that India is Tolerant? Where are those people who were saying India is Intolerant? Where are all those people who talk of GDP growth, amenities and facilities? Where are all those people who chat about inclusive growth? No, Nothing, Nada, Zilch, Cipher, Zero, Silence. Absolute, Complete and Total Silence.  
Or are such niceties reserved only for important things, like Culture, Tolerance, GDP Growth, Amenities, Facilities? What happens when you see such sad examples as above? Every odd day, we hear a news of bystanders doing nothing as accident victims bleed – everyday examples of apathy. Why the silence  – the total silence – on every social media of note on such issues? Why we ignore such mind-numbing cruelty? For this is cruelty – letting someone die, and doing nothing.
This is also poor implementation – not making arrangements. But  I forget – good implementation is only for your swank malls, large factories, lovely roads, big ports, isn’t it? You put pressure on the Government for these; high time you also put pressure on the Government for the other aspect – good implementation in terms of displaced people in projects, good and hassle free implementation of accident victims treatment, and lessening the fear of the people.
But no, that isn’t important, is it? Your GDP, Factories etc are far more important, right? I am not talking of the Government – I am talking to you, the people of India. Frankly, this pusillanimous display of lack of plain humanity in the people is only convincing some among us that this Government is A Suit-Boot-Ki-Sarkar. I would like to remind everyone here that this Indian behaviour has been in evidence, this apathy has been present regardless of the which political party is in power!

I can only ask : Insaaniyat Kahaan Hai? Where is our feeling of being Human? Aapas me gam baante, Jo ham phir na rahe aise  sitam… Kahane ko insaan hai… Insaaniyat kahaan hai??????? 

Book Review : Chhatrapati Shivaji

Published December 13, 2015 by vishalvkale

Chhattrapati Shivaji stands as one of the most celebrated medieval heroes in Modern India; it is a name that touches a chord in almost every Indian, and is a powerful force to reckon with even today, three centuries after his death. He is present everywhere you can see; he is one of the few to withstand the onslaught of naming everything in sight after the Nehru family. A Chhatrapati square her, a Shivaji Terminus there – many cities have honoured themselves with some landmark, statue, street or square in his name. Such is his current followership, and so powerful is his presence.

This makes reviewing any book related on this personality a big responsibility, a tough task  – and not one to be taken with insincerity, or with bias,  or attitude. I had always thought of The Chhatrapati as a tall personality, a commanding and great Indian; but had never given a thought to the pull, the deep connect and the powerful influence this genius had on me; as I read the current book, as I turned its pages – I learnt something of myself, and of my deep respect and devotion for this great man and Indian leader.


The current book is my first Hindi language book, titled “MAHAAPARAAKRAMI VEER MARAATHAA CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI”, and is published by Tulsi Sahitya Publications. It is a book based on the great Chhatrapati, the one and only – and how he become a household name; it is a book that tells his life story in detail, and with love and affection. The prose is surprisingly easy to read and assimilate, given that I am not used to reading Devanagri; and this comes as a definite surprise. This book has opened up a treasure trove  of possibilities for me and my reading…

The book traces the entire life history of Shivaji from his birth till his dehaavsaan in 1680 at a young 53 years of age in a fluent and fast paced narrative of just 192 pages, touching the highlights – and yet missing nothing of note that I could gauge. This makes for a fast and entertaining reading, and highly absorbing content; which means a great reading experience overall. Most important points of his relatively short but eventful life are touched upon, although I did feel that a few points could have been gone into in greater detail. That said, there is more than enough to give a complete picture of this great man, this gift to our India.


This book gives you a relatively deep insight into how Shivaji became such a powerful name, and of how he achieved his following; into exactly how he started and then expanded his empire, leaving you awestruck at his sheer chutzpah and courage, as well as his determination. The way he expanded his empire town by town, fort by fort; the way he built up his army and his strength; the way he dealt with his enemies has been well covered.

The most famous events of his life find detailed mention, giving you a ringside seat at those momentous events of his life; events like Afzal Khan, His escape from Aurangzeb etc which are a part of folklore, and songs. Most importantly, you learn the full story here – which answers all questions, and comes across as highly believable and logically accurate; which is a powerful point. Not only that, you learn a lot of the man that Shivaji was – practical, down-to-earth, astute, sharp as we all know and love. But beyond all of this, you understand the genius of Shivaji in this short book, and are humbled by his humility, his immense sense of practicality and his innate sense of instinct.

You get to understand Shivaji – and you get to understand his sacrifices, his ability to accept defeat with quiet surrender; his placing of his people above his own pride; his innate sense of fairness and more. The way Shivaji, at numerous times, faced defeat, accepted it, and clawed back with sheer determination and awe-inspiring courage make for invigorating reading, in addition to leaving both a role model as well as an inspiration for all us. The way he managed conflicting demands, having his way at times, sacrificing his interest at others, leave a deep impression. Truly, this man was a one-of-a-kind, and a true leader if there was one.

We only know of Shivaji in India; some Marathi people know of the role of his mother Jijabai through folklore, songs and films {Rajmata Jijau starring Milind Gunaji, as an example; or the iconic song by Vaishali Mhade – Maay Maajhi Bolate Taapte Havaa; Maay Marathis Aaz Arth Ye Nawaa}; the current book takes you deep into the role of Rajmata Jijau and his Grandfather Kondev as well as other formative influences in a deeply engaging first few chapters that give a deep insight into why and how he went on to become what he did. All in all, this is a complete life history of the genius we know as Chhatrapati Shivaji

As the icing on the cake, the book is a veritable treasure trove on the normal life in the 1600s; unlike other books, which focus on the big man or personality, this book gives indications of [mainly] the political as well as [in minor indications] normal life in those tumultuous days. You get a deep insight into the ways and means of operation of the Mughal Dynasty, Adilshahi and the overall political landscape of North, West and South India, of the political interconnections, interplays and the methods of operation of the kings and emperors of those times.

This book gives a peek at the base of power in those days, of the almost feudal loyalties and interconnections – and is a definitive proof of the myth of Muslim Rule, and of how Sanaatanis [aka Hindus – Hinduism is a British Term; the real name of our religion is Sanaatan Dharm] cooperation extended to even evil acts of violence against their own kith and kin – [read this book of the treachery of Indian against Indian and of Sanaatani against Sanaatani] – ; of how there were people from all religions on each side of the force – whether Shivaji or Mughals or Adilshahi. This is a deep plus for Shivaji – who was focussed on eradication of Adilshahi and Mughal overlordship over Aryavart, as we all know fully well. Despite this, it is noteworthy that he made no religious discrimination.


This is one time I wish I weren’t such a fair and clear book reviewer; this is once I want to write a fully biased book review, and rate the book 5 stars. Just this once, I want to state this is a perfect book with no misses and no minuses; that there is no flaw or miss in the entire narrative. I wish, I wish, I wish… but, if wishes were horses then beggars would ride. So, with a heavy heart, and deep regrets let me launch into what the book has missed.

First, at many places the brevity and short concise narrative leaves you wanting more, like the rule of Shivaji and his policies in his Kingdom; his economic trade and other policies. There is very little on this; at least not enough for me. But then, this is a short life-history, and not a deep analysis. But there are other misses – his interactions with the British and the Europeans, his maritime adventures and his attempts to build a maritime fleet of ships and protection to merchants find only a short mention here.

Second, the complete and total absence of any bibliography, reference material, source credits, original sources used and referenced, endnotes etc is a very, very serious shortcoming. At more than a few places, letters & correspondence has been quoted or referenced; events mentioned in surprising detail etc- leaving you wondering at the source of this material. Given that at times even dialogues between players have been quoted; you are left wondering at the authenticity; it is only when the logic prevails and the precise nature of dates and details get into the narrative that you begin to give credit to at least the correspondence. Some sort of end-notes, or bibliography would have helped in establishing credibility faster.

Third is the mention – the clear and emphatic mention of Shivaji as an Avataari purush, a missive of God sent to rescue Aryavart through the means of a direct dialogue between Jijabai and Maa Bhawaani. This was apparently overheard by some people – again the original source or citation of the original source would make it a far more powerful claim! As it stands, it sounds hard to believe – even for me, a devoted bhakt of Shivaji and his greatness.


In conclusion, I rate it 4 stars; I am docking it one star for lack of citations and the one hard-to-believe claim. Further, this book, as I stated, has exposed me to Hindi writing for the first time – opening a new world for me. It uses a clear anti-Mughal theme, but the angle of anti-Mughal falls flat in the narrative when a Sanaatani noble sets about wrecking Sanaatani people and their cities and villages in order to hunt for Shivaji. This is not something that is common knowledge. What anti-Mughal? Throughout history, it has been the same; it is the Jaichand we should blame! This exposes it for what is was : politics, and nothing else.

Sad part is, Shivaji had it right; at that point, had all the non-Mughal kings united against them, we would once again have had a strong central power in place; the way he used even Adilshahi in that sense was noteworthy. Had that happened, the British and the Europeans would not have found it so easy, as they would then have faced not a declining Mughal force and fragmented nation, but a strong central force in the form of a Maratha power. With a strong Sikh presence, what would have happened is anyone’s guess; but the British would not have found it so easy. We are to blame; and the treachery of people among us; the problem is that these traitors were in large numbers…

Movie Review : Katyaar Kaalzaat Ghusali {Marathi}

Published December 9, 2015 by vishalvkale

कट्यार काळजात घुसली…  One of a kind! That about sums up the review of this absolutely unique movie in a nutshell. This is a movie made in the land of Music, a land where every type of music has a following and a practice; a land where music is central to movies, functions, gatherings, theatre – almost everywhere you look. A land with a long tradition of excellent musical compositions and performers. And getting the kind of response that it has managed to garner from such a discerning audience is indeed a massive plus for the team of the movie कट्यार काळजात घुसली.
कट्यार काळजात घुसली…  A movie that is unlike any I have seen in my life. Aisi movie dekhne ke baad ek hi shabd aayaa hai zabaan par : beautiful!  As the last strains of the last climax  song died away, the audience sat stunned into silence…  And,  when the lights came on,  and the screen read : Digdarshak Subodh Bhave – quite a good number of people stood up for a standing ovation… It was an AMAZING experience.  If this movie is in your city,  don’t listen to it’s music on tv,  or on your music system.  Music lovers watch this one in a hall!  Boss,  aaj maan gaye Subodh Bhave ko,  what a movie and what a performance!
The plot is based on the play of the same name, which is a rather famous play in Marathi theatre. That itself poses huge challenges; adapting such a famous stage play is, at the best of times, a very hard task. Kudos to the entire team of this movie for taking up the challenge; and double kudos for actually executing it to near-perfection. It is said that perfection is impossible for a Human; that said, this movie comes the closest to perfection that I have seen.
The plot revolves around 3 characters – Panditji, the royal singer; Khansahab – a singer of a rival Gharana who was helped by Panditji; and Sadashiv – the protégé of Panditji. The background is a music competition of Indian Music which is sponsored by the King, with an aim to developing Indian Music – with the prize being the coveted Royal Singer’s chair – and a specially crafted Katyaar  – the official holder of this katyaar is entitled to a state pardon of one murder with this Katyaar. This forms the backdrop.
The story unfolds with Panditji {Introducing Shankar Mahadevan} defeating Khansahab {Sachin Pilgaonkar} for 14 straight years, until a twist of fate leads to a victory for the now-burning-with-desire-and-revenge Khansahab. Panditji subsequently leaves the city, without informing anyone. There the matter rests, until Sadashiv {Subod Bhave} arrives on the scene with an objective to restart his musical education from Panditji… from this point the movie takes off, with a determined Sadashiv wanting to avenge Panditji  – at first through violent means; and subsequently through music.
The problem is that, his defeats to Panditji notwithstanding, Khansahab is a highly talented and accomplished Ustad, a maestro; and our hero Sadashiv  a newcomer. He is helped by both Panditji;s daughter  Uma {Mrunmayee Deshpande} and Khansahab’s daughter {Amruta Khanvilkar} – and by the court poet, Banke Bihari {Pushkar Shrotri}, as they try to together develop Sadashiv’s obvious natural talent into an accomplished voice. The rest of the story revolves around his efforts to improve, going upto the climactic musical conflict with Khansahab…
This is a musical – and is a veritable treasure trove of absolutely fantastic musical compositions that will transport you to a world of classical, semi-classical as well as contemporary music in an effortlessly put-together ensemble of skilled performances. In a two-and-a-half hour movie, you are treated to nearly 57 minutes of superb music, making for a fantastic and unforgettable experience of pure joy, and sheer musical magic composed or recreated by Shankar  Ehsaan Loy
Of particular note is the opening bhajan – Soor Niraagas Ho, Ganpati, Soor Niraagas Ho… this sets the tone for the entire movie, as you are immediately transported  into a world of sheer magic placd in tones right from the opening of the movie. This is superbly complemented by a range of other songs of almost every Rasa and emotion, like the engaging and superbly fast-paced racy raga Dil Ki Tapish Aaj Hai Aaftab – which is followed immediately by the classic Ghei  Chhand  Makarand.  Two contrasting numbers in two diametrically different styles that stun you into silence and a different world of pure and sheer pleasure!

Sur Niraagas Ho | Official Song | Katyar Kaljat Ghusali | Shankar Mahadevan

Dil Ki Tapish | Official Song Video | Katyar Kaljat Ghusali

Ghei Chhand Makarand Jugalbandi | Official Song Video | Katyar Kaljat Ghusali

But the one song that stays – a flawless admixture of wonderful music, and unbelievable near magical direction, photography and special effects is the one of a kind Man Mandira Tejaane, a song which  leaves a mind-blowing impact on each of your senses – your memory, your eyes, and your ears as you literally struggle to choose what to savour – the fabulous camerawork and effects – or the unbelievable rendition that is emanating from the dolby surround speakers, making for a fabulous experience that is close on a lifetime experience of beauty and sheer magic!

Man Mandira – Shivam Mahadevan | Katyar Kaljat Ghusli | Shankar Mahadevan & Sachin Pilgaonkar

The performances are flawless – and every actor has made a deep impression in her or her role; that said, the performance of Sachin Pilgaonkar as Khansahab stands out; but, good as it was, in my opinion Sachin was overshadowed by yet another power-packed performance by the redoubtable Subodh Bhave, who we saw in Lokmanya Ek Yugpurush as well. Subodh has, yet again, returned a truly class performance, as he dominates each scene he is present in.

All in all, this is a movie that is a must watch if you love music, and are fluent or at least conversant in the Marathi Language. Ideally, watch this one in a theatre – this movie is not one where you can understand the full impact and power in a TV set or on a mobile. The magic of the movie, the songs, the resplendent picturisation of the same as well as the story and its attendant music is one which has to be imbibed, absorbed and inhaled in a proper theatre. I rate is 5 stars out of 5, and as one of the finest movies I have ever seen in any language, alongside my other top favourites…

Credits and source :

We The People… And The Armed Forces

Published December 6, 2015 by vishalvkale

I normally prefer to pen my own articles, with original content. I further regard Whatsapp forwards with a very leery eye, and consider them worthless. But, just this once, I am breaking both my self-made rules.The below article was received by my from a retired soldier, someone I know well; and struck me to the core of my being. After reading it, my only feeling was of immense shame at the way we treat our soldiers.

I have not tried to verify the facts as stated in this article; I am not competent enough to get into the intricacies of Defence Pay Systems and Procedures; I know nothing of those matters. I do know this – I, for one, would have absolutely no problems if Defence Personnel were paid much more. Further, as regards the statements of comparison with Civilian cadres-  I repeat- I am not competent to analyse. But, to me, it seems logical the there should be parity at the very least, or greater pay given the soldiers face bullets and risk to life. But again, these are intricate matters, and my knowledge is highly limited. The point of this article is solely driving home the attitude of we, the people…  
Naked n harsh truth …   read on patiently …..
7th cpc has written much in its report but very {edited} n  conveniently  did not mention that in US and UK, soldiers get their pensions at the rate of 75% of their salary. Also when the US & European nations deploy their soldiers in war like situation or disaster relief operations  they do not pay income tax.
I wish 7th cpc had realized that in our country in kargil war, officers and JCOs paid the income tax, same is the case for J&K and NE insurgency. Here income tax is also charged from the last salary of a martyr, which is nothing short of national shame. I wish these facts should have been included. Instead the 7th cpc doles out three extra increments to IAS IPS n IFS.  A soldier gets 31500/– for serving in Siachen but a central cadre officer gets 50000/ to 70000/- for serving in so called difficult area such as Shillong, Imphal and Guwahati @ 30% of their salary (Inspite of the acknowledgement made by 7th cpc that most difficult area to serve with no parallel is Siachen).
During Uttrakhand Disaster relief operations, three DCs were literally not available during the critical days of disaster. Same was the case with SDMs and tehsildars.  The SDM who was deputed to go to Kedarnath emerged only after five days of relief operations in vogue. DC prefered to park himself inside the Joshimath Camp so that public can’t reach him.  When DC was forced to at least go and see the condition on ground, the gentleman did not get down from the helicopter fearing that he might not be allowed by public to board the helicopter. DC uttarkashi did not feel safe to visit and see the conditions of pilgrims at Gangotri and Harsil. The pilgrims kept asking “where is the administration, if the army has to do everything why is government spending national wealth on them”. That is the condition of our so called elite.
It is sad that the  public of India does not even know why a soldier defy the logic and conventions? Why does he risk his life? In-spite of the fact that there is no written rule where a soldier is supposed to die while performing his duty, yet he does so. It is ethos, tradition and character of soldiers that prompt them to do so. Second factor is  because he knows he is not a government servant, he is an elite and serves the nation. He also knows that he is the last bastion and pillar on which the nation is dependent upon. Every other department has failed and can fail, but nation can still recover. But if the soldiers fails, the nation will fail. No other government agency can redeem it. It is elitism that separates soldiers from the rest.
Unfortunately over a period of time the elitism has been killed and soldier is repeatedly told he is a government servant that too semi skilled.
Whereas soldering is most complex, technical and skilful job which is unparalleled.  It is an old saying that the day a soldier starts behaving like a government servant it is the beginning of erosion of foundation of a nation. 
To quote the examples of US/ UK  and other countries – When the body of a martyr is brought back to US,  the captain of the aircraft makes an announcement prior to take off  “we are privileged to fly back martyr  xxxx on his last journey back home”. On arrival of the body of the martyr on US soil and his native place, water canon salute is given. Entire crew  lines up on tarmac to pay last respect. The CEO or the highest authority of the air port receives the body along with the Guard. All passenger stand in line till body is moved out. But alas here …. when the body of Maj varadarajan was being flown from Srinagar to Chennai, the Captain was requested by an officer accompanying the body to announce that Maj Vardarajan is on board on his last journey back home. The captain of the aircraft refused to announce that  saying it will send a kind of bad feeling and omen to people flying and thus he will not do so.
The body of martyr soldiers are taken out from the cargo gate which is indeed an insult. And we continue to accept it without highlighting it.
It is only Mr Chandrashekher MP Rajya Sabha from Bangalore who is fighting a lone battle on this front
We need to introspect and make the nation aware. Profession of soldiering is not a routine government job. It is different.
We all have  heard in the news today that Doctors did not turn up in Chennai, the government staff did not turn up for discharging their duties…… But soldiers did their best whole day. Is it that there lives are not precious? 
Plz  think and share to create an awakening in the nation.
Plz  think and share to create an awakening in the nation.
The captain of the aircraft refused to announce that  saying it will send a kind of bad feeling and omen to people flying and thus he will not do so.
The body of martyr soldiers are taken out from the cargo gate which is indeed an insult. And we continue to accept it without highlighting it.
I, sir, am shocked, disgusted and plain stumped… I feel disgusted and want to puke. Is this true? If the above incident is true, I am deeply pained; Major Varadarajan – or any of the other martyrs – don’t deserve this. This is callousness in the extreme. We are alive and safe today precisely because of brave people like him. And we cant even do the smallest gesture of respect?
Or is it the opinion of people here that sharing stories of bravery on Whatsapp, liking on Facebook, crying ourselves hoarse on social media is sufficient? Not by a long shot, it isn’t.