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.  

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