Sunday, December 15, 2013



                            ON 15 DEC 1971

   ( Remembrances   of a VETERAN received just a few minutes back)

..................December 15 we fought the toughest battle in six tree area. I was at Parbat Ali after providing firm base for the capture of Parbat Ali, I got a desperate call from Maj Alhuwalia to report back to the battalion. We ran across few sand  dunes and reached the battalion. Alhuwalia showed me a clump of trees at a distance of approximately two kilometers from the bn headquarters and directed me to report to Lt Col Basanth singh at that location. When I reached that location, there were many causalities lying near a small village huts waiting to be evacuated, few were dead, others were bleeding to death, Maj Arora was shot, Capt Bedi was blown over a mine field, Capt Bahadur was killed and lying in a mine field, Captain Sen Gupta, the Arty op was badly injured and his TA was killed, Capt Shahi  was badly injured,A company O group was shattered in arty fire, Pakistani air OP was flying over us and started registering our location and the enemy arty fire intensity increased with great accuracy. Col Basant Singh appeared cool and in soft voice he told me that he is stalling the attack and directed me to hold on to the objective at any cost, he placed B company and shattered A coy under my command till he arranged  company commander for B coy, he ordered Maj Virk to take over B company with immediate effect, unfortunately it did not materialize till next day, there was some personality clash between Maj Alhuwalia and Virk. Soon the arty fire metamorphosed in to waves of barrage, Chandra it was really frightening at the initial stage, but the desert sand absorbed the arty fire gradually we regained confidence, we held on to six tree area while neighbouring battalion ,as enjoying  Pakistani fire power demonstration on us, the fire power demonstration continued till late in the evening, we suffered few causalities and we soon got them evacuated them under the cover of darkness, by 16 Dec  there were rumors about end of war. After the war six tree area became a tourist spot for VIPs. We had to make expensive snacks for the VIPs and we enjoyed snacks and cool drinks when they left the location, during their visit they advised us how to fight the battle and modern tactics etc etc. Bastards every one can advise & make grandeur plans with two eggs omelette in the stomach  Tough age is catching up the memory of 71 war is vivid in my mind. I rang up most of our war veterans including Col Basant Singh. The sad aspect is that ALL OF US who are alive today are a forgotten entity even  the Battalion is also oblivion  of our existence yet they celebrate the Battle Honour Day on this very day every year.....................


Friday, December 13, 2013



                  PART ONE of THREE PARTS


                                        CHAPTER -1

                    THE GENERAL OF THE GENERALS


                                     " SHEKAR GUPTA "


      National Interest: Disarming Kashmir

Use Modi's call for debate on Art 370 for a bold rethink —

               begin with role of the army.

 First, a disclosure. Narendra Modi's call for a fresh debate on Article 370 is not the provocation for this week's 'National Interest', though it could very well have been so.

My inspiration, on the other hand, was more personal. At breakfast in a hotel coffee shop in Mumbai last week, a guest walked up. After saying nice things to me about our paper, he said he had only one complaint: that we had paid no attention to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, while we go on and on about the Gujarat riots of 2002. I argued it wasn't a zero-sum game and both were terrible contemporary tragedies, and that it wasn't fair to say that the media had underplayed one while exaggerating the other.

   But an argumentative Indian doesn't give in so easily, particularly one who is a regular Indian Express reader. So he asked me how exercised anybody had been about the "half a million Pandits exiled" from Kashmir and "2,000 killed in cold blood", while "a thousand Muslims killed in Gujarat" was such a big story. He said he wasn't a Kashmiri Pandit either. He had merely married one.

   Now, there is nothing more painful, even infuriating, than the idea that the lives and safety of one set of your countrymen be valued differently from another's, just because they happen to be from different faiths or regions. So I said, at the risk of over-simplification and with some convenient rounding off of numbers, that if you think a half million Pandits were exiled, a half million Indian soldiers armed with the most illiberal of laws have been fighting to "rectify" things in the state. And if you say that 2,000 Pandits have been killed, something like a hundred thousand Kashmiri Muslims have been killed (though not all necessarily by our soldiers) in Kashmir's 24-year maelstrom (remember, the attacks on Pandits started in 1989). So what are you complaining about? But if you think that was crude on my part (which it was), listen to his response: "Oh, really, that many Kashmiri Muslims have been killed! Then it's ok. But why isn't the media telling the world that?" I realised that this argument was going someplace I did not particularly want to go. Definitely not when a very busy day was just beginning.

   It was the very same afternoon that Modi made his statement on Article 370, and it was interesting coming from somebody ranking at the very top of secular demonology. It is early days, but I'll stick my neck out and say it is the first time you have heard a new idea on India's most significant internal and external security challenge from a BJP leader since Atal Bihari Vajpayee's brilliant and statesmanly offer to talk to Kashmiris within the framework of "insaniyat" (humanity) and not limit himself to that cliched parameter, India's Constitution. Vajpayee knew better than most that the deepest, most painful scars are emotional. The healing touch for them has to be emotional too. It can't be a few more leaves out of your chequebook, nor any further tightening of the spiral of curfews and executions. 

  If you were a strategic affairs analyst, one of your biggest frustrations with the UPA would be that it has wasted 10 years of peace, so rare in India's history. In these 10 years, India could have embarked on an irreversible and visionary modernisation, re-equipping and re-orienting its armed forces. But given the Bapu Nadkarni-style leadership of our defence establishment, we have avoided any change or risk-taking altogether (Nadkarni rarely let anybody score or got him out, he also tried not to get out by not scoring. He holds the one Test cricket world record that will forever remain Indian: 21 consecutive maiden overs, against the usual suspect of the Sixties, England. And had figures of 32 overs, 27 maidens, 5 runs, and most importantly, no wickets). All three wings of our armed forces are doctrinally where they were in 2004 and have the same weaponry, too. But more importantly, this Nadkarni mindset has infiltrated strategic policymaking as well. A government that made such a revolutionary strategic shift by signing the nuclear deal with the US and was rewarded for it by voters in 2009 has not come up with one new idea or initiative on Kashmir. The one political initiative it took, the appointment of a team of interlocutors, was dumped and their report put in cold storage.

  Because its politics is frozen, it has introduced an unprecedented new factor in Indian policymaking: a veto for the army. So the government, the prime minister, would want to settle Siachen and even think it is low-hanging fruit. But what to do, the army doesn't agree. Of course, with such relative peace and normalcy on the ground, there is scope for a partial thinning of army presence and at least some symbolic dilution of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. But no, the army vetoes it, and does so in public. So which country are we living in?

  Nobody wishes to be confused with facts these days, so why blame my outraged new friend at breakfast. Yet, we must state them. At the peak of the Kashmir insurgency, we would lose up to 500 soldiers a year. The graph has declined so dramatically and progressively since 2003 that in all of 2012, only 17 of our uniformed men lost their lives in and around the Kashmir Valley. Civilian casualties have declined accordingly. An armed skirmish now takes place once in a few months. I am conscious of the protests this will bring. As also of the dangers of over-simplification. But I cannot help underlining what one of India's most respected former (and soldierly) generals, with five tenures in Kashmir, tells me. That in the past five years, the army has built more new golf courses and guest houses in Kashmir than the number of encounters it's had to fight.

    If you are a student of modern military history, you can see how difficult armies find it to return home in victory. A retreat in defeat leaves you no choice. But a retreat in victory, get your head examined. But leaders, political and military, who are more far-sighted and large-hearted than this turn the course of history. As Indira Gandhi and Sam Manekshaw did after 1971. From the day of the Pakistani surrender, they embarked on a prompt and decisive withdrawal plan. On the other hand, Vajpayee, Brajesh Mishra and L.K. Advani lost their "victory" moment during Operation Parakram. On January 12, 2002, within the first month of the Parliament attack and military build-up, Pervez Musharraf made his most grovelling speech ever, even talking of handing over the 20 on India's most wanted list if they are found in Pakistan, because "we have not given asylum to anyone". That is when the NDA should have declared victory in coercive diplomacy, and without having to fight a war they had never intended to. But they missed it and wasted almost two years searching for face-savers.

In the Valley today, if there was a military objective, it has been achieved. You can't be so stupid as to suggest we declare victory against our own people. But the fact is, the Lashkars have been roundly defeated in the Valley while they play havoc in Pakistan and savour a big forthcoming victory in Afghanistan. Such a significant change on the ground has to reflect in our policy on Kashmir, and towards Kashmiris. If the people of Kashmir have given us back peace and tranquility, they deserve a thank-you note. And because the army has delivered as much as any tough modern army could, it needs a respite too. So strengthen the LoC even more than before, but do de-escalate within the Valley. Let the people of Kashmir also start enjoying the fruits of peace in dignity. And if any Hizb or Lashkar thugs again surface some place, you can easily confront them with overwhelming force within minutes. This war was not against our own Kashmiris, Hindu or Muslim, nor between them. This was a proxy war launched from Pakistan and they have been defeated. Why then should Kashmir remain frozen now? Why should the Kashmiris be condemned to even less aspiration than their fellow Indians in Chhattisgarh?

  That is why the time to think creatively is now. Politics has to build on military success. Armies that stay on too long after fulfilling their immediate task tend to become lazy and complacent, even if not armies of occupation. Just to mention four recent examples: the 16 Cavalry HQ, raided by a Lashkar gang on September 26, had just one sentry at its entrance. The eight Assam Regiment soldiers killed in an ambush near Srinagar were returning from leave, in uniform, but were not carrying any arms. The five-man patrol annihilated on the night of August 5 in the Poonch sector, was probably caught napping, literally. And two soldiers of the 13 Raj Rif Regiment were earlier waylaid and killed in the Mendhar region in January. The lesson is, no army can stay fully at battle-stations even in times of peace. And no democracy can wait till its army can declare victory against its own people.

We have to learn from our own history of settling the Naga and Mizo insurgencies. You prove your military strength, but leave the final solution to open-minded negotiators and politicians.  Kashmir is at that inflection point now.  That is why Modi asking for a debate on Article 370, while his party has a six-decade-long holy commitment to abrogate it, is a welcome change. Kashmir is crying out for a new set of peacetime and political ideas. You cannot find a Kashmir settlement with Pakistan before embracing your own Kashmiris and restoring trust with them first.

                     PART TWO OF THREE PARTS

                                            CHAPTER -  2

                                A FIGHTERS COMMENTS


                      ‘Victory’ in the Valley

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

INVITATION IESM : The Third Veterans Remembrance Day Seminar On Sunday, December 15, 2013




IESM : The Third Veterans Remembrance Day Seminar On Sunday, December 15, 2013

As has been our practice for the last two years, the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, Panchkula Branch plans to hold the Third Veterans Remembrance Day Seminar On Sunday, December 15, 2013 at The Jainendra Public School Auditorium, Sector-1, Panchkula, Haryana on Post-Independence Evolving Contours of the Indian Military Society.
Till independence, India didn’t have to worry about her military security. It was the prerogative of the British Crown. The Indian Army had no coherent nationalist ideology except for a consciousness of its history of loyal obedience, and valour under the foreign ruler. As India moved out of Britain’s orbit, her defence forces’ attempt at creating a robust structure was stymied because a severe shortage of trained Indian officers, and such as there were, though brought up in the British military mould had never experienced higher command.
 The officer corps is the active directing element of the military structure and is responsible for the military security of society.
The state is the active directing element of the society.
 In 1962, unfortunately both were not up to the task.
Post 1962 War, Indian defence forces was augmented, both numerically, and equipment-wise at a feverish pace, and this is what perhaps saved the country when faced with a war against Pakistan in 1965. The Indian defence forces also defeated Pakistan decisively in the 1971 War with a record bag of 93,000 prisoners of war. A long interregnum of peace followed till 1999.
With the 1999 Kargil War, many skeletons came tumbling out of the government and defence forces’ cupboard – lack of intelligence, equipment and ammunition shortages, and delayed employment of the Indian Air Force etc. It has been a long haul for the Indian defence forces from 1947 to the closing month of 2013. It has weathered many storms.

 From 1965 onwards, the country has seen a phenomenal increase in new raisings of the Central Police Forces. Despite this, there has been little decrease in the army’s employment on counter-insurgency tasks. From 1992 onwards about 1,300 women officers have been inducted into the armed forces. Higher educational levels have been mandated for recruitment to rank and file. Modernization and making up of the existing deficiencies of equipment has been a nightmare.

  On October 4, 2010, the then Indian Airforce Chief, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik said that 50 per cent of the IAF systems and equipment was obsolete and the force was facing a shortage of around 600 pilots.

For the last two-and-a-half decade, the Indian Army’s officer shortfall continues to fluctuate between 10,500 to 13,000. Lately, there have been some cases of worrisome tension in officers and men relations. In 2012, a news report appearing in the Indian Express alleged that the then Army Chief General V. K. Singh had stealthily tried moving troops and tanks to Delhi to pressurise the government on a personal matter.
The armed forces are a proper functional society within the larger civil society coterminous with the state, with boundaries separating the two. Both are incomplete without the other. Central to the issue is that the officer corps, as the active intelligent component of the Indian military society interrogates itself and the military society holistically.
Any society is a complex organism, and can hardly be deliberated upon in a one day seminar. Only following sub-themes are sought to be discussed during the current seminar:
·        Session 1 . The services have conspicuously failed to obtain adequate and timely resources for new raisings, vital defence equipment, and infrastructure. Sometimes, it appears like a total lack influence over governmental machinery by the senior service hierarchy. While deflecting of blame comes naturally, is it also because the services, in military straitjackets have not learnt how to work the democratic system of governance?
·        Session 2. Women officers made a late entry into the hallowed male bastion of the Indian military in 1992, and have kicked up a veritable storm. Do women actually want equality in serving in the military? From female advocacy point, the answer is obvious. From another perspective, the answer is far from clear. Is military service just another job? And yet, in the changing technological scenario, women may be more suitable than men in certain tasks.
·         Session 3. Democracy and free flow of media led information has enhanced human aspirations. Lately inter-personal relationship has increasingly come under strain. Decidedly, there is an elemental of coercion in enforcing the services disciplinary code. Shouldn’t the services man management models, disciplinary methodologies and laws be reviewed keeping in view the latest sociological changes?
Programme         Inauguration and First Session.        10 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.
                             Lunch                                      1.30 p.m. to 2.15 p.m.
                             Post- lunch Sessions                2.15 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.
                             Tea                                          4..30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
All veterans,  interested scholars, and citizens of the Tri-City are invited. Do keep your calendar free for this important veterans event, and do inform your friends and colleagues also. Ladies are cordially invited.

With regards,
Brig. Kiran Krishan, SM (Retd.)
Convener, IESM, Panchkula
Mobile: 9876116898


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

IESM Rally at AMBALA on 22 Dec 13‏


                IESM Rally at AMBALA on 22 Dec 13‏

Dear Veterans
IESM has planned a big rally at Amabala in coordination with All India Ex-servicemen Association (JCOs and ORs) of Ambala. All India Ex-servicemen Association has about 35000 to 40000 members all over India. Chairman Ex Servicemen Association  Piara Singh Pannu has pledged full support to IESM. 
Ex-servicemen rally is planned at Ambala from 1030h to 1400h at Gandhi Ground at Ambala Cantt. Gen VK Singh PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC former COAS will also be addressing the rally. 
All ex-servicemen are requested to attend the rally in large numbers and make this rally successful. This is the time for ex-servicemen to show their unity and present  a united and strong face of ex-servicemen to the Government.

Ex-servicemen are in this present state only because we have not been united. Government and politicians understand only language of vote bank and we must show them that ex-servicemen have a very large vote bank. Ex-servicemen unitedly control FOUR crore votes and if these votes are used judiciously ex-servicemen can influence the result of 140 to 150 parliamentary constituencies and about 400 assemblies constituencies in states. Now that the serving soldier has been permitted to vote on place of posting the importance of soldiers/ex-servicemen has increased many folds. This is the time to make sure that ex-servicemen are taken seriously and accepted as  important part of the society and given their dues.
The present political scene has completely changed  with the results of assembly election in four states. In these four states electorate has expressed their choice and sent a strong message that the people of this country can elect the Govt which will work for the people of India, it is therefore important for ex-servicemen to also send a strong message to political parties. This can be done with a large number of ex-servicemen attending the rally at Ambala on 22 Dec 13.
Bank details for sending donation are given below.
Name of Account: Indian Ex Servicemen Movement
Account No: 06162000001330
Name of Bank: HDFC Bank
Nine Digit MICR Code of Bank: 110240109
IFSC Code No (for e-transfer): HDFC 0000616
Postal Address of Bank: Palam Vihar Branch, SCO 87, Sector 22, Gurgaon–122001
You may send a cheque/DD, deposit directly in above account in your local HDFC Branch, or do an e-transfer. Please send us the filled Membership or Donation form(s) by post.
Please address your emails on the above matter to the following email IDs:
Wg Cdr CK Sharma at
Maj Gen Satbir Singh at
Gp Capt VK Gandhi at

Gp Capt VK Gandhi VSM
Gen Sec IESM
L - 48, Sector - 25,
NOIDA. 201301
Tele no 01204313951
Mobile   09810541222

Pls see IESM latest NEWS on