6thPC: Update on the Rank Pay showdown

At the beginning of this month, the three Chiefs met with Expenditure Secretary Sushama Nath to discuss the four core demands of the armed forces. Nath later briefed Pranab Mukherjee on this meeting.

Anyway, during the meeting between Nath and the three chiefs, the definition of Rank Pay came up. She indicated that there had been a Cabinet decision in 2000 which stated that Rank Pay did not form part of Basic Pay. In response, the Chiefs told her that if such a decision had indeed been taken, then the affected party, i.e. the services, were neither consulted nor made a party to the decision. And that even if such a decision had been taken, the Services Instructions issued by the MoD were not amended, adding that amendment of Service Instructions was a mandatory requirement, since it involved restructuring of the pay of service officers.

The contents of the GoI letter of 2000 (which Nath was referring to) with regard to Rank Pay were scrutinised during the meeting. It emerged that the contents of the letter were “entirely in consonance” with what the Chiefs were saying. The 2000 letter says “Rank Pay will be taken into account for determining their entitlements to such of those financial benefits, concessions, etc, including retirement benefits as are directly related to the basic pay or their pay scales.”

Will be reporting more about this meeting on my channel shortly. Timings will be posted ahead.

53 thoughts on “6thPC: Update on the Rank Pay showdown”

  1. Shiv, I am absolutely convinced that if there is any hope to keep this issue alive in the minds of true citizens of this country, it has to be YOU and only YOU.
    Armed forces will never forget the focus you have given to this issue as a responsible journo. Indeed a yeoman service to the nation! Shiv, PLEASE keep it going and etch yourself FOREVER in the glorious history of this country.

  2. It goes to show the attitude of the bureaucrats. The GoM do not apparently want to directly cross swords with them…obviously because the elections are around the corner and they have nothing to lose in person.A good feeling emerges that the Army chief has a good political adviser in the form of a schoolmate…hopefully they are in consultation to find an amicable way around the bureaucracy !!

  3. This is all bunkum..as if the MoD does not know it. Rank pay was Carved out of the Basic Pay as differentiating factor of rank to be added to to the basic pay… There CAT judgements on the subject affirming Rank Pay to be part of Basic Pay..

    The basic problem of IAS is that if rank Pay is part of the Basic Pay then Director is equivalllant to Lt Col..a thing not palatable to the trecherious status grabber Babus..for that even if they have to screw 17000 Lt Cols and equivallants of the Services, so be it…

    Thank God, the euphoria of the GoM is cooled down and the Services seem to have taken a meduim / long term persepective on demands rather than except things in hurry..

    The bureacracy and the Party also has taken path of Politicisation of the forces, through massive political campaign being conducted via Bombay ATS and paid Media where people from Army and IAF have been found and search for the Neval guy is on…People have been declared guilty by ATS-Media combine and Armed forces maligned..

    Perhaps this is part of Cryons Contract… and IPS contribution to Political Propaganda…as also Services bashing…

    Services, therefore,need not expect any thing from the GoM which otherwise would not have needed this much time to decide on issues….

    This is well known “death by the committee” tactics…

  4. Not quite sure I understand. The expenditure secretary claimed that a letter issued by the GoI stated that Rank Pay is not a part of basic pay. When scrutinised, this letter stated exactly the opposite?

    Incidentally, why are the Chiefs going to the expenditure secretary for relief? Not only is she one of the perpetrators of this perfidy, but she is junior in rank and protocol to them, and as such this petitioners sojourn is inappropriate, in the extreme, isnt it?

    What are the ministers saying about this bamboozle?

  5. excellent expose Mr Shiv; please go ahead. When certain blogs on the issue indulge in self-simulated discussions with misleading titbits, playing havoc with the genuine expectations of the Services, your update is indeed heart warming. Now we can understand the delay in announcement. Please continue with such authentic updates and drive away the chattings of certain self-seeking individual forums. Looking forward to hear more from you

  6. Mr Shiv Aroor,

    Excellent expose, I must say. This clearly tells us the reason for the delay. For a change, u r the one we can repose our faith in. Please do come out with more updates on the subject, till the issue is settled finally. Really bewildered with so many misleading comments, insider information and self-generated discussions by certain self-seeking forums, out to make a quick-buck on our despondency.
    god bless, continue with ur work

  7. Thank God, here is someone with a reliable and true update. Thanks a lot, Mr Shiv.. Expose their masks and tear them off, you are our only hope

  8. pichhele 50 saal se fauz ek chhoti si baat nahin samaajh paa rahi ki HAAQ manga nahin chheen liya jata hai. maangne wale ko bhikhari kehte hain. aaur ye dene wale par hai ki wo kuchh de ya na de. aaur jo fauz apne hi desh mein bhikhari hai wo desh ki raksha kya karegi

  9. Dear Shiv
    this news was in the knowledge domain by 05 Nov.
    why dont u update whether meeting of veteran with GOM as reported to be scheduled on 11 Nov BY YOU HAPPEENED OR NOT
    jUST SACKING OF FRESH TEAINEEby Jet Airways invoked so much of TV attention that decision was revoked within 48 hrs
    But inspite of passing of about two months NOTHING FOR POOR ARMED FORCE PERSONNEL

  10. Lt Col R S Dasila(Retd)

    GoI letter 2000 or cabinet decision about rank pay never heard of. Since, it is now claried in the meeting that rank pay forms part of basic or in other words all allowances and benefits applicable with basic pay are also applicable to rank pay. Hope, Expdr Secy Sushma Nath brings correct input before the GoM.

    Isn’t it an intentional conspiracy by a responsible Govt functionary to let down Armed Forces who is supposedly to be neutral and unbiased while dealing with such an important assignment? May God give her wisdom to bring correct facts and figure before GoM.

    Its questionable as why GoM not taking inputs from horses mouth so that they can decide the matter without wasting time. All inputs needed are readily available in printed rule books published by previous Govts after each CPC. Hope wisdom prevails now and justice done to affected party which I am hopeful.
    Good luck to all.

  11. Oh then why Ms Nath is being vindictive to Armed Forces. May the cabinet and God take the correct decision. Awaiting your further report and soon.

  12. What is with this lady, Sushma Nath?
    IAS-74 (Madhya Pradesh). Incidently the Def secy is also from MP Cadre!

    She really has dug a hole for herself and she does need a very deep one.

    How could she be so cavaliar? There has to be somebody behind this.

    It has been rumoured in Military Engineer Services (MES) circles, that the civilian cadre officers had made a massive contribution to somebody at the centre of decision making. Some of the leaders of this MES civilian association were also from Madhya Pradesh.

    Must follow up on this, Shiv.

  13. Dear Shiv,

    Thank you for the update……..Also surprising is to note that all the para mil guys and MNS nurses who were writing comments contrary to the same have now vanished. Waiting for the time of your report……
    Thanks once again for the good job being done by you.

  14. pl update
    one rumour says all four poits have been accepted by GOM
    source reliable says has seen file
    pl CHECK Authenticity

  15. SHIV,
    I request you to take up thru ur channel/interviews, whether any action /investigation is ordered to look into the fact that how and why such discrepancies/lapses are taking place vis-a-vis py commssn -gp of secys recs/ rec by Sushma Nath?

  16. Dear Shiv,
    As per ur last report, U had mentioned that U had put the question to the PM about the pay issues of the armed forces and he referred to the committee set up by him. Is the committee going to be like several other committtees of the govt or they have a time limit. Plse remind them that justice delayed is = justice denied! I agree that the IN is just doing it’s job in the hi seas and thus deserves no great mention but if the armed forces are the only ones in whom the citizens believe to carry out their job doesn’t the pm think he has to address their issues promptly ? Or may be Tabar should also start referring things to a Committee and wait till the cows come home!
    Am a regular visitor on ur site. Keep up the good work and will appreciate some strong questions to the people who matter.

  17. What fools to think we are soldiers.
    Because this PM and Madame see us as their gladiators.
    When we fight, they take a cue from the public in applauding us.
    When are brothers die (lucky bastards) the high and mighty of this country, are always surprised but marvel at our brothers’ incredible stupidity.
    They are needlessly but mortally afraid that their gladiators may break the chains to confront their guily.
    They don’t mind throwing scraps and freebies in our cages but don’t even begin to believe you can ask for parity in life as in death.
    At least the three, above all gentlemen gladiators, must know we are soldiers!
    Or is it our turn to be surprised at incredible stupidity?!
    I may surprise myself with such abject cynicism but does this country deserve its Forces? We certainly don’t deserve this humiliation.

  18. SHIV Its a joke but couldnt make me laugh a letter of 2000 being put into action in 2008 where was MOD people ie EXPENDITURE SECY all these years. If her contention is right who is responsible for over payments i e EXPENDITURE which have been made to def forces in all these 8 years and now when thier (HER) nefarious act has been caught she should not resign but be sent to some post on the glacier for six months for isolation training THOUGH WITH ALLOWANCES.

  19. Dear Shiv
    it is high time your channel does a screaming story giving all stails calling sushma nath n def spokesperson in studio and asking GOM A deadline
    let me tell u frustration in creeping in services withth is delay and GOM is doing a great harm to morale of forces with this delay and with no tranparency on isue

  20. Shiv I dont have enough words to thank you ,you are doing great service to us & TRUTH ,may God bless you & it is not only from me but thousands of us who are just wanting TRUTH to win

  21. I have been followig this debate in a very wide perspective and have reached a conclusion that this is not a mundane debate but is indicative of one the basic instint of Indian society represented by the honorable politicians, judges, Babus(please do not mind this word- it is so convenient and everyone used it including media.), the police people, the corporators, the media moguls and last but not the least the common man who provides power to all these classes of citizens.All these classes of people do not agree with one class ie the soldiers that the soldiers need to be given dignity. The essence of the debate is largly this only.It may very in degress but all non solkdiers agree on this.They want the soldier to be ready, sacrifice his life and then melt away somewhere swallowing whatever insults are heaped on him in the name of discipline. Is it not insane??? No. There is a deep civilisational reason for this. Read on:

    The defence forces are an alien growth in this phlistine society with alien values of honor sacrifice blah blah blah—-. All elements of the Indian society like antibodies do to a foreign body which has entered a system , are trying to surround, limit, and finally eliminate it from its system..This is a society which permits and enjoys intervention , rape and plunder from foreign invaders with assured regularity. It requires frequent invasions so that the existing genes and ideas can flourish better by cross pollination from other cultures.The defence forces are unwittingly preventing the natural genetic and deep felt desire of indic civilisation for frgular voilent mix of blood and culture. Some may call it death wish but see how the indic civilisation has bounced back with a renewed vigour after it had absorbed the invader in all possible ways. The defence forces infact are preventing this enrichment of genes and culture and hence the reaction of all section of the society against them. It sound a bit rude but the soiety is missing the hoard and barbarians in the west.

  22. Our Forefathers were not fools. Saali Lugai ko sar pe Bithauge to kaan mein mutegi hi. Dikha di apni aukaat aur jaat?

  23. If as per Ms Sushma Nath, the instructions have been issued in 2000, that rank pay does not form part of a basic pay ( which in any case is not correct ) then, will she elaborate on how the recovery of excess payment made to all the armed forces personals since 2000 in terms of allowances on rank pay and also fixation of pension benefits to retiring personnel. Ms Shusma Nath is liable to answer:-

    (a) who is responsible for the criminal neglect of over paying armed forces personnel,if her interpretation is to be taken as a gospel truth?
    (b) When the people responsible for this criminal financial negligence will be punished/penalised/put behind bars?
    (c) How GoI is planning to recover this excess payment already made to armed forces personals?
    (d) Is this the way country’s highly placed bureaucrats are normally, criminally negligent in their financial dealings?

    I think country definitely require some clear answers on these huge financial bunglings ( as per Ms Sushms Nath herself ).

  24. It is rumoured that this Sushma Nath had said that the Armed forces would get their dues ' over her dead body'. How can you trust such a woman? & Why are the Chief not speaking to PM directly. If Nath is to be met send some Brig for the meeting. Thats her level.

  25. Why should the Chiefs interact with a 74 batch boor-o-crat. They should have sent a Brig and they should deal directly with Pranab Da. I think Ms Nath should be put under the scanner. Maybe the MI can help

  26. I think the country needs some blood of martyrs.Is the Govt so helpless that they cant fire the def secretary or Sushmanath.If they cant lets take them out!

  27. Now that it is Known that Sushma Naths husband is a BSF officer it all falls in to place. For personal gains she has been bickering (can’t use a stronger word here)in the coridoors of South block and leaking information to the PMF/CPOs and inciting them to create a problem. This is called subversion of the Armed forces and she must be dealt with under the IPC. The MI should check her antecedents and ‘leak’ info to the press.

  28. While reading some of the posts, one cannot but feel that we are back to the Nehruvian era when Armed forces were required for only ceremonial purposes. It is not so long before that in Punjab we had a situation where no civilian authority entered any villages forfor routine Governance despite all the CPOs and police force. Op Rakshak II saw to it that Punjab is still in India. Mr. Gill was allowed to take all the credit on some pretext which the then Chief and Western Army Commander accepted. This was one single instance which gave the CPOs an aura of success and stature in the country on the Army’s shoulder. The situation is the same in several parts in Eastern India where no Govt exists but in name. The IAS and many others including CPSUs pay regular ransom/taxes. So much for their divine right to rule India. Game plans and pretexts are always hatched at the appropriate Govt Depts against the Armed Forces exploiting the fear of the politician of a coup. Fate of the nation is forgotten. Every third day thhe Govt strengthens the security and intelligence agencies. How? by allotting more and more non auditable funds. Obviously you will find more and more sponsored articles,blogs and such write ups which are down right anti national. After all whose army it is? If the Nation wants such an army ,So be it. WHAT DO THE CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY WANT?(NOT BEAUROCRATS)I only feel sad for the current lot of officers who are ruining their lives doing such thankless jobs. The fault most of the time is with the army’s brass only. Only in India you will find army mobilizing without a national mobilization on beg, borrow or steal principle. OP Parakram is the latest example. IT IS TIME THE CHIEFS SHOWED THE RULE BOOKS MORE OFTEN. As someone said if the National leadership is so confident that their bureaucracy will ensure that there is no future war, kick out the Lt Cols, appoint all IAS, And PMF officers to the borders and reduce the strength of the Army drastically. Dismantle all the installations . There is so much of money to be made in real estate. As it is even at the jawans level the Army gets only the third best recruit, the CPO being found practically more lucrative in several respects. In fact in the corridors of power at Delhi in the eighties there was such talk that between the home and external affairs ministries they will ensure that there is no war in future. This lotus eater’s amnesia was broken only when a Lt Gen in the East took action against a Chinese incursion in force in National Interest. Of course the System punished him by quietly sidelining him. So let the politicians decide what type of Army they want by providing the requisite manpower at their wages. There will only be a question of who will operate the costly equipment. That can also be out sourced. Another avenue for kickbacks!So JAI HIND.

  29. Retired Military Veterans should not take part in the coming Republic day parade in protest against the apathy of the Sardar, his Mistress the Italian Vamp, moll Sushma and the Three stooges (GoM). Before the elections they must bring it to the people of India how this Govt controlled by a foreign Madamme is subverting National Interest and creating and instigating religious and demographic disturbances. Once out of power they must be investigated including the crooked MoD Babus who maybe selling the nation out by demoralising the Armed Forces. This is the very same Devious Coterie that has even mooted the idea of Pensions for the families of slain terrorists but are stingy to give the Military verterans their dues. The Sardar cannot sleep when a suspected terrorist is caught in a foreign land but when an Indian is caught by a vacillating incompetent police he has a good snooze interspaced with farts of italian left overs.

  30. Even the Pakis know that the Madame has been compromised.
    Read here: http://dailymailnews.com/200810/31/dmcolumnpage.html
    Some excerpts:
    As soon as the new alliance was formed, some senior Congress-I leaders with the backing of Italians established a “special operation team” without the knowledge and approval of Indian Prime Minister. Edvige Antonia Albina Maino, better known as Sonia Gandhi, widow of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, and current president of ruling Congress-Party of India, first introduced one of her closest friend, an Italian mafia boss, Mr. Ottavio Quattrocchi to Rajiv. Ottavio was the principal broker of now infamous Bofors deal (the largest scandal India ever seen – the Bofors scandal). The Bofors deal with the Government of India was signed on March 24, 1986, when Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister.
    CBI filed a case against Mr. Quattrocchi, Win Chadha, Rajiv Gandhi, the defence secretary S. K. Bhatnagar and a number of others. Mr. Quattrocchi is the only living key figure of those accused, today. Rajiv made a deal with CBI; he pledged full corporation, including naming all who were involved to save his political career. In return, CBI promised some probation, not criminal record for Rajiv. This deal agitated some very powerful Congress-I party members, and their associates, including Ms. Maino (Sonia) and Mr. Quattrocchi. The same Bofors arms dealers and their cronies with multiple bogus-postbox corporations are handling arms supply to Sri Lankan Government too. Some of the special projects are directly benefiting the top officials of Sri Lankan Government and its National Intelligence top officials.
    The Rajiv’s agreement with LTTE and CBI, not only was going to expose all the culprits in the Bofors matter, but also was going to cut all the special project funds – with respect to Sri Lankan conflict. The following people were in trouble:
    • Indian top leaders who get a portion of the special project funds – including former heads of RAW
    • The Bofors dealers – the Italian mafia and their closest associate in India


  31. Flag day from now should be renamed as Black Day for the Armed forces and Veterans. When the Nation tries to pin flags Veterans should wear black badges of protest against the apathy of this warped Govt.

  32. Dear Sir,

    Mr TR Ramaswami,an Ex banker appears to have comprehended the issues very well.He deserves our compliments.Will any one help me to get his contact details, to congratulate him.Please also see his comments on Shekha Gupta’s article,towards the end of this article.


    http://www.scribd. com/doc/7402285/ Sixth-Central- Pay-Commission- ARMED-FORCES- PAY-

    Sixth Central Pay Commission: ARMED FORCES PAY


    [ We need a permanent solution to this tussle over emoluments so that the armed forces need only confront the enemies of the nation, says T.R.Ramaswami ]

    In the continuing debate on pay scales for the armed forces, there has to be a serious and transparent effort to ensure that the country is not faced with an unnecessary civil-military confrontation. That effort will have to come from the netas, who are the real and true bosses of the armed forces and not the civil bureaucracy. A solution may lie in what follows.

    This country requires the best armed forces, the best police and the best civil service. In fact that is what the British ensured.. By best one means that a person chooses which service he wants as per his desires/capabilitie s and not based on the vast differential in prospects in the various services. How much differential is there?

    Take Maharashtra, one of the most parsimonious with police ranks thus still retaining some merit – the 1981 IPS batch have become 3-star generals, the 1987 are 2-star and the 1994 1-star.. In the army the corresponding years are 1972, 1975, 1979. – ie a differential of 10-15 years. While the differential is more with the IAS, the variance with the IPS is all the more glaring because both are uniformed services and the grades are ” visible” on the shoulders.

    First some general aspects.

    Only the armed forces are a real profession – ie where you rise to the top only by joining at the bottom. We have had professors of economics become Finance Secretaries or even Governors of RBI. We have any number of MBBSs, engineers, MBAs, in the police force though what their qualifications lend to their jobs is a moot point. You can join at any level in the civil service, except Cabinet Secretary. A civil servant can move from Animal Husbandry to Civil Aviation to Fertilisers to Steel to yes, unfortunately, even to Defence..

    But the army never asks for Brigade Commanders or a Commandant of the Army War College or even Director General Military Intelligence, even from RAW or IB. Army officers can and have moved into organizations like IB and RAW but it is never the other way round. MBBS and Law graduates are only in the Medical or JAG Corps and do nothing beyond their narrow areas. Every Army Chief – in any army – has risen from being a commander of a platoon to company to battalion to brigade to division to corps to army. In fact the professionalism is so intense that no non-armoured corps officer ever commands an armoured formation – first and possibly only exception in world military history – General K. Sunderji. Perhaps it is this outstanding professionalism that irks the civil services.

    Next, one must note the rigidity and steep pyramid of the army’s rank structure. In the civil services any post is fungible with any grade based on political expediency and the desires of the service. For example I know of one case where one department downgraded one post in another state and up-graded one in Mumbai just to enable someone continue in Mumbai after promotion! You can’t fool around like this in the armed forces. A very good Brigadier cannot be made a Major-General and continue as brigade commander. There has to be a clear vacancy for a Major General and even then there may be others better than him. Further the top five ranks in the army comprise only 10% of the officer strength. Contrast this with the civil services where entire batches become Joint Secretaries..

    Even the meaning of the word “merit” is vastly different in the army and the civil services. Some years back an officer of the Maharashtra cadre claimed that he should be the Chief Secretary as he was first in the merit list. Which merit list? At the time of entry more than 35 years before! The fact is that this is how merit is decided in the IAS and IPS. Every time a batch gets promoted the inter-se merit is still retained as at the time of entry. In other words if you are first in a batch at the time of entry, then as long as you get promoted, you continue to remain first! This is like someone in the army claiming that he should become chief because he got the Sword of Honour at the IMA. Even a Param Vir Chakra does not count for promotion, assuming that you are still alive. In the armed forces, merit is a continuous process – each time a batch
    is promoted the merit list is redrawn according to your performance in all the previous assignments with additional weightage given not only to the last one but also to your suitability for the next one. Thus if you are a Brigade Commander and found fit to become a Major General, you may not get a division because others have been found better to head a division. That effectively puts an end to your promotion to Lt. General.

    The compensation package must therefore address all the above issues. In each service, anyone must get the same total compensation by the time he reaches the ‘mode rank’ of his service. ” Mode ” is a statistical term – the value where the maximum number of variables fall. In the IAS normally everyone reaches Director and in the IPS it is DIG. In the army, given the aforementioned rank and grade rigidities and pyramidical structure, the mode rank cannot exceed Colonel. Thus a Colonel’s gross career earnings (not salary scales alone) must be at par with that of a Director.. But remember that a Colonel retires at 54, but every babu from peon to Secretary at 60 regardless of performance. Further, it takes 16-18 years to become a Colonel whereas in that time an IAS officer reaches the next higher grade of Joint Secretary, which is considered equal to a Major General. These
    aspects and others – like postings in non-family stations – must be addressed while fixing the overall pay scales of Colonel and below. Thereafter a Brigadier will be made equal to a Joint Secretary, a Major-General to an Additional Secretary and a Lt. General to a Secretary. The Army Commanders deserve a new rank – Colonel General – and should be above a Secretary but below Cabinet Secretary. The equalization takes place at the level of Cabinet Secretary and Army Chief. If this is financially a problem I have another solution. Without increasing the armed forces’ scales, reduce the scales of the IAS and IPS till they too have 20% shortage. Done? Even India ‘s corruption index will go down.

    If the above is accepted in principle, there is a good case to review the number of posts above Colonel. Senior ranks in the armed forces have become devalued with more and more posts being created. But the same pruning exercise is necessary in the IAS and more so in the IPS, where Directors General in some states are re-writing police manuals – one is doing Volume I and another Volume II! Further the civil services have such facilities as “compulsory wait” – basically a picnic at taxpayers cost. And if you are not promoted or posted where you don’t want to go they seem able to take off on leave with much ease. In the army you will be court-martialled. Also find out how many are on study leave. The country cannot afford this.

    Let not someone say that the IAS and IPS exams are tougher and hence the quality of the officers better. An exam at the age of 24 has to be tougher than one at the age of 16. The taxpaying citizen is not interested in your essay/note writing capabilities or whether you know Cleopatra’s grandfather. As a citizen I always see the army being called to hold the pants of the civil services and the police and never the other way round. That’s enough proof as to who is really more capable.

    Also recall the insensitive statements made by the IG Meerut in the Aarushi case and the Home Secretary after the blasts. Further, when the IAS and IPS hopefuls are sleeping, eating and studying, their school mates, who have joined the army, stand vigil on the borders to make it possible for them to do so.

    Remember that the armed forces can only fight for above the table pay. They can never compete with the civil services and definitely not with the police for the under the table variety.

    Finally, there is one supreme national necessity. The political class – not the bureaucracy – which represents the real civil supremacy better become more savvy on matters relating to the armed forces. Till then they are at the mercy of the civil service, who frequently play their own little war games. At ministerial level there are some very specialized departments – Finance, Railways, Security (Home), Foreign and Defence, where split second decisions are necessary. It is always possible to find netas savvy in finance, foreign relations and railways. Security has been addressed in getting a former IPS officer as NSA at the level of a MoS. Is it time that a professional is also brought into the Defence Ministry as MoS? The sooner the better. In fact this will be better than a CoDS because the armed forces will have someone not constrained by the Army Act or Article 33
    of the Constitution. Of course the loudest howls will come from the babus. The netas must realize that a divide and rule policy cannot work where the country’s security is concerned. Recall 1962?

    Our army, already engaged in activities not core to their functions, including rescuing babies from borewells (!), should not have to engage in civil wars over their pay scales.

    The writer is a former banker who was with the SBI Group and DSP Merrill Lynch Ltd.

    ———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— —


    Mr. T.R. Ramaswami, had earlier penned the “Open letter”

    to Mr. Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief, Indian Express on his

    “Chain of Command, demand”. Some excerpts from Mr. T.R. Ramaswami’s letter ( posted on 08 OCT 2008):

    ” I write with reference to the article “Chain of command, demand” by Shekhar Gupta (Ind Exp 4th. Oct 2008). Mr. Gupta has not only castigated the chiefs but also predicted dire consequences for them. Not difficult when your courage can bask in the knowledge that the armed forces cannot respond because of the various Acts. Fortunately
    I also don’t have to worry about these laws. Gupta has forgotten important issues and aspects of the whole affair. The present chiefs have less than 18 months to go. In 2010
    you will have a brand new trio. If the chiefs were to go by what Gupta has implicitly suggested, three scenarios

    emerge. – – – -.”

    ” – – – . What would “General” Gupta choose? Let us know. With reasons. Yes, the whole affair has been mishandled. But by whom? By the Defence Minister who was probably acting on the advice of his Defence Secretary. So let Antony start by booting his Defence Secretary out . But he can’t . As you have rightly stated a more powerful government and a defence
    minister who knows the difference between a human butt and that of a rifle may pounce on the services. But there also has to be an army then. Will we have an army in 5-10 years?”

    ” – – – . Why is the armed forces pay always in dispute? Because the establishment mafia which includes netas, land owners, owners of assets and media want the country to be
    defended as cheaply as possible with the lives of other people’s children. How many of these categories have their progeny in the forces? If MPs can decide their emoluments
    and civil servants theirs, why can’t the armed forces do so directly with the political leadership? Why not make the Defence Ministry independent with its own budget like the
    Railway Ministry. We the people would contribute what it wants and we will pay only the difference to the Consolidated Fund (or is it Fraud) of India. “

    ” – – – . Gupta’s article states that it is of national interest. I fully agree. I therefore reserve my right to send my response to the three HQs, the media and such other parties who are interested in national affairs. I am also including Mr. Gupta’s id in this email. The present chiefs may not be Thimayyas or Maneckshaws, but let us see whether Gupta is a Ramnath Goenka, even when we don’t have an emergency. Let’s see whether this article is printed, even in a sanitized form.

    Yours faithfully,


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