Saturday, September 8, 2001, Chandigarh, India



How to motivate youth to join armed forces

My conscience is stirred up by two news items — “Armed forces ignored” and “Row over IAS seniority list” (Aug 22). The first item refers to non-appreciation of the Army’s role in the Independence Day speech by the Prime Minister for the first time since Independence and the second item reveals that ex-servicemen who joined the HAS have been placed junior in the revised tentative seniority list by the Himachal Pradesh Government.

Some of our bureaucrats and politicians are so busy in drafting self-centred policies that they are least bothered about the national interest. For their petty gains they go all out to make rules and policies ignoring the national interest. They no longer seem to be perturbed by a “Kargil” as is obvious from the shortage of 16,000 officers in the Army. A large number of armed forces officers opt for pre-mature retirement because of the pyramid-type promotion structure (as compared to the whole batches of the IAS and the IPS becoming Principle Secretaries and Additional DGPs).

Instead of being shocked by such an alarming situation concerning national security, corrupt bureaucrats and politicians are busy making and implementing rules and policies which will ensure that more perks and privileges flow to those who refrain from joining the armed forces and prefer to join as “general category” Naib Tehsildars, Tehsildars or the H.A.S. through recruiting agencies manned by “honourable members” appointed by “honourable Chief Minister”. Some members of such recruiting agencies are known ex-criminals.

The message being conveyed to the youth of the nation is clear: if you join the armed forces after competing at the national level through the U.P.S.C, serve at the borders and then come to serve in the state civil services through competition, you will be placed junior to officers of the “general category” who did not have guts and competence to compete at the national level through the U.P.S.C. and preferred to join through department selection committees and state recruitment agencies by well-known means.

Earlier, the benefit of seniority was being given in Punjab for the services rendered in the armed forces. This benefit was withdrawn because it was against the “general category” and the ex-servicemen P.C.S. officers of the 1986 batch were grouped with S.C. and B.C. officers and placed below the “general category” with retrospective effect in 2000.

Now it is the turn of ex-servicemen H.A.S. officers. Those who joined and served the armed forces have to be relegated to ensure that they are humiliated and not allowed to be promoted to the I.A.S.

The top bureaucrats must pause, think and see how some of them are conniving with corrupt politicians to mislead the youth for their petty gains. If they have even a fraction of nationalism, they must now stand up and see why every honest and intelligent young man is fed up with the system developed by the “steel frame” of the country and wants to leave this country at the very first available opportunity.

Young men will be motivated to compete and serve on the national borders only if they know that their services will be acknowledged and they will be given preference over other “general category” colleagues who dared not compete and guard the honour of Mother India. Time is ticking out.

Col P. S. RAWAT (retd), Kasauli


Hounded heroes or killers?

Mr R.N. Prasher seems to have seen only one side of the coin. Had you lived in my village during the days of militancy, you would have realised what was meant by state terrorism or “police terrorism”. Your so-called heroes would go to farmhouses, posing as terrorists and demand food and money at gun-point and the very next morning arrest the innocent farmers saying that they had sheltered militants. They were released only after big “firauties” were paid.

You haven’t seen the police rounding up the whole village and kidnapping people (I wouldn’t call them arrests because there was never a case registered and the police record would not say if a person was ever in their custody).

Will Mr Prasher explain why he thinks these policemen were any better than terrorists? They did everything — robbery, kidnapping, murder and rape. Why not call them terrorists? Only because they were paid by the government to commit these crimes? What makes you compare these crooks to great people like Chander Shekhar Azad?


Eradicate corruption

Recently, the constitution review panel deplored high-level political and bureaucratic corruption. In its paper on probity in governance, far-reaching recommendations have been made. The panel admits that there is a nexus of terrorists, drug smugglers and politicians.

Whatsoever anti-corruption measures are there have proved ineffective. Let us take bold steps to eradicate corruption and unrest in society.


NAC status for Naya Gaon

If the government is really interested in granting the status of NAC to Naya Gaon, it should be considered for the other 28 villages also which have been proposed for Anandgarh to avail the basic facilities. Otherwise, it would mean step-motherly treatment with this area.

NAIB SINGH, ChandigarhTop

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