Need to check moral decay in the Army

The Army is in the news for the wrong reasons, which is followed by apt and pithy editorials in The Tribune. While I endorse your editorial stand that delinquent officers do not deserve any mercy and should be shown the door, I regret to mention that two Lieutenant-Generals have been acquitted by the civil courts as the case of inquiry conducted against them was set aside.

This happened due to the very basic omission that Army Rule 180 C (to cross-examine a witness by the accused) was not invoked. Top officers have committed this omission in both aforementioned cases. The officers who conducted the case of inquiry should be severely punished for their poor knowledge of military law as they have caused huge loss to the exchequer by not doing their job properly.

Corruption in the civil society is so rampant that it had spread its tentacles in the Army. The erosion of moral values in the Army is at its lowest ebb. I have known officers owning properties worth crores, but society accepts such officers with open arms. Today, money is the sole criterion to earn social acceptability.


Cases of sexual harassment notwithstanding, the Army is known to hold women in the highest esteem. That top officers who have grown up daughters could indulge in such lowly activities is beyond one’s comprehension. In the past, we were known as gentlemen officers. Today, we are neither gentlemen nor officers as we feel ashamed to read such reports almost everyday. We need to introspect and take effective measures to stop moral and professional decay.

Col. B. K. GOPAL (retd), Panchkula

Steady deterioration

The National Highway from Surajpur to Kalka may be closed temporarily, till it is repaired to avoid accidents. The Tribune suitably highlighted this issue last month. It appears that the conflict between the National Highway Authority of India and the Haryana government would not be settled, till major disaster(s) take place. The road condition is deteriorating day by day.

Perhaps, now the Punjab and Haryana High Court would have to order immediate repair of the road, pending fixation of liability either on the Central or the state government agencies in the interest of saving precious human lives. No amount of money and sympathy could compensate the families of the fatal accidents. When the lives of scooterists plying on such roads in daytime is highly risky, one can imagine the fate of those using the road in the nights.



Best way to pray

A J Philip’s article, “Saint or hypocrite?: The power of prayer and faith” (Sept 4) is timely. He refers to the dark period in the believer’s life when the prayers do not seem to answer, when he says, “My God, why have thou forsaken me”. The writer also refers to Mother Teresa’s belief that service to the poor was service to God and the summing couplet, “The deeper depth is out or reach, To all, my God, but Thee”.

In fact, the man looks for support or is involuntarily drawn to pray the highest authority because he finds himself weak and overawed by the powers that oppose him and the magnitude of the power of the nature and the world around him.

This is in tune with the fact that from childhood he is taught about the supreme power that has created the universe around him. He wants more from Him. And safety for himself and his world around him.

The best way is to pray to Him directly without the intervention of the so-called mullahs or the pujaris.


Example to emulate

S. P. Sharma in his piece (Aug 19) has pointed out that the study by S. K. Jain reveals that the annual pilgrimage to the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine has been generating Rs 474 crore a year by providing employment to nearly 27, 000 people in Katra and the surrounding areas. The number of pilgrims visiting the shrine is expected to touch 72.28-lakh mark in 2009 and 86 lakh in 2015 as against 69.05 lakh at present.

Under the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Act, 1986, Jagmohan, the then Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, had developed roads, drinking water, electricity, cafeteria and dispensary facilities from Katra to the shrine. The entire 14-km route was widened and made pucca.

For the pilgrims’ comfort, shelters, shades and shelter-cum-cafeteria units were set up in the complex. Lights were provided in the entire route. If such reforms are undertaken all over India, hundreds of crores could be channelised for environmental, social and economic advancement.




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