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What the Naval Chief did was correct

This is in response to the editorial, “Uncalled for defiance” (Sept 30). The three Service Chiefs took this step only after exhausting all other means. But for the action of Service Chiefs, do you seriously believe the Committee of Ministers to look into grievances would have come into existence? The answer is a big No. The editorial criticises the three Service Chiefs for their actions (which is not defiance but only a hint).

That they have put their own careers at stake shows the difficult situations they are in. They cannot let down this country which can be a possibility if simmering discontent in the defence forces is not addressed. They could have very well meekly agreed to the government’s proposals and gone on to become Governors and Ambassadors after retirement.

Wg-Cdr P.P.S. BAINS (retd), Jalandhar


Half-hearted assurances and broken promises tantamount to deceit. And deceit ultimately breeds defiance. The Tribune editorial (Sept 30) brings to mind a case of collective defiance by the US Armed Forces Veterans (that is how the pensioned soldiers are called in the US) sometime in 1930s.

The Veterans felt generally neglected by the country and deceived by the bureaucracy. It led to what came to be called the Veterans March. They gathered in Washington in very large numbers. They decided to march to the White House to personally confront their Commander-in-Chief of the broken promises.

The considered assessment of the situation was that even Veterans could turn into a mob. In a meeting at the Pentagon, General Douglas McArthur was sounded that he should be prepared to resort to firing as the last option.

General McArthur’s unequivocal response was that “no serving soldier of the US Armed Forces would ever point the gun leave aside pull the trigger at the Veterans” or words to that effect.

There is a lesson here to learn from. Let us please not deceive the armed forces any more. For, they are the best, they are loyal, they are the most disciplined body anywhere, and they are highly motivated to fight even foes with superior state-of-the-art weaponry.

Lt-Gen BALJIT SINGH (retd), Chandigarh


It is very rare that the three Service Chiefs make requests to the government so repeatedly on any issue as in the case of constituting and recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission. This is due to the deliberate downgrading of the defence services over a period of 30-40 years, time and again, whenever a pay commission was constituted.

The Chiefs are duty-bound to stand up to the blatant discrimination by the bureaucracy to see through its game in case they have to maintain the morale and the fighting spirit of the forces.

As you are fully aware, the defence services personnel cannot form trade unions or agitate collectively. Hence, it is the Service Chiefs who have to take up cudgels on their behalf with all

The signal by the Naval Chief is very aptly worded and was intended to reassure all ranks and as a prevent measure against any unrest, that all possible steps were being taken with the government.

The Prime Minister should set up a commission immediately to investigate how the bureaucracy misguided the ministers and injected new disparities in the inter se seniority of Lieutenant-Colonels and Lieutenant-Generals which has resulted in feeling of so much despondency amongst the defence services.

Lt-Gen HARBHAJAN SINGH (retd), Chandigarh

Worthy of emulation

I was extremely happy to read about Balkaur Singh’s principle and his undeterred determination in following it in spite of holding a high profile job. The British couple’s comment, though true, only good and ardent patriots like him can realise the depth of the comment and react wisely. Today every Indian is ashamed if he doesn’t know to speak English and tries to learn it by hook or by crook! May be in a decade or so we will lose our identity by adapting the British style of living in every way!

When the British were ruling us for 200 years, we Indians never tried to copy them because we were Indians mentally. The day is not far when we will be left with no time or chance to rectify the blunders we are committing today.

I hope the people will be inspired by persons like Balkaur Singh and be patriotic and proud to follow one’s own religion, culture and attire.

C. BAGIRATHI, Paunta Sahib (Sirmour)

Gymkhana Club

Devi Cherian, writing about the Delhi Gymkhana Club (The Tribune, September 22), makes it 95 years old. This takes us back to 1913 when New Delhi did not exist.

The Delhi Gymkhana Club came into existence in the early Thirties along with Lutyen’s New Delhi.


Rapists deserve no mercy

The editorial, “Rapists on the prowl” (Sept 30) was hard-hitting. The kidnapping and molesting of foreign tourists are not new to Chandigarh — a modern city but inhabited by some beasts born as human beings. An Australian tourist girl had gone though this trauma a few years back and the alleged culprits were “kakas” of big political wigs. Such reprehensible incidents are happening in a country where women are given the status of a goddess!

However, such diabolic acts should not surprise us when we have no qualms in resorting to the equally inhuman and outrageous crimes like female foeticide and infanticide and the so-called honour killings. We kill our own daughters and sisters and assault those from foreign lands. There cannot be a better example of hypocrisy and depravity on our part.

The people responsible for outraging the modesty of the German tourist should be awarded exemplary punishment promptly through the fast track court.

SATWANT KAUR, Mahipur (Punjab)



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