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United effort must to help the Services

I read Premvir Das’ article, Military-civil ties (Oct 8). He appears to be projecting the views of the babus. He feels that the civilian bureaucrats, by virtue of not wearing the uniform, are more akin to the elected representatives and because of their permanence are more competent than military men to advice and support elected leadership.

The writer has given no logical reasons to arrive at this conclusion other than that babus have a structure and a hierarchy to manage and run the administration. By this, he has implied that military men, nurtured and trained in the Army, do not have the competence to advise the leadership about running the administration which includes the management of defence organisations.

The actual position is that the military leadership is technically, operationally and administratively more competent than civil servants to advise the political masters on matters connected with management and administration of defence organisations.

It is time all sections including civil and defence bureaucracy shed their prejudices and come together to resolve issues confronting the defence forces. The political leadership should carry out a proper evaluation of the genuine grievances of the military men without the biased advice of civilian bureaucrats and take action to remedy the present situation.

Maj-Gen J. S. KAPOOR (retd), Panchkula


I am amazed to read Premvir Das’ implied assertion that ‘civil control’ does not mean only the control of the political leadership, but also of the civilian bureaucracy. How wrong can one be, especially a veteran admiral? I do not know his motivation for making this statement, but his assertion is patently wrong.

The writer goes on to make amends in the later part of his article; perhaps he wanted to write a politically correct and a balanced piece, but in the bargain he seems to have opted for a far too simplistic solution.

In a democracy, control is exercised by the political leadership and both the military hierarchy and the civil bureaucracy support the government of the day in their respective spheres. In our country, however, while the military is apolitical, the bulk of the bureaucracy is politically aligned and hence the political leadership is comfortable with them. That does not mean they become part of ‘civil control’.

While I go along with the assertion that both the military and the civil bureaucracy need to work with each other in harmony, I strongly object to the writer’s attempt to include the bureaucracy in the phrase ‘civil control’.

Lt-Gen VIJAY OBEROI (retd), Panchkula


No one doubts the supremacy of the civilian authority in a democratic system like ours and we are proud of that. But the writer’s definition and explanation of civilian authority appears to be prejudiced against the military.

Even if top civilian bureaucracy is taken to be superior in status to the Service Chiefs, does it mean that the status of military needs to be continuously downgraded and its rank and file made to suffer humiliation to make their point?

We as a nation have got used to honouring dead soldiers without caring about those who face death every day. We only pay lip-service to them. How many Deputy Commissioners of districts have directed their subordinate staff to attend to the genuine problems of the military personnel on priority as they come home on leave for a short period? How exactly are we looking after the welfare of the serving soldiers?

The three Service Chiefs have their responsibility to look after the interests of their commands. Let us look into their grievances with compassion, without prejudice and give them their due.

H.S. CHEEMA, Ludhiana

Timely ruling

The Punjab Haryana High Court’s ruling fixing accountability on the officials is noteworthy. It is not that the officials refuse all cases. Many people get genuine works done by greasing the palms of the dealing assistants. But the refused cases which come to the notice of the higher officers must get due diligence.

The High Court has rightly held the higher ups responsible for defending the wrong action of the staff resulting in avoidable wastage of the court’s valuable time. Let us find ways to implement the letter and spirit of the ruling.

T. C. CHOPRA, Nabha

Jawali neglected

The Jawali Hospital is without a lady doctor and basic facilities. The poor have to pay a lot to private doctors at Pathankot and elsewhere. The building of the Senior Secondary School is in a pitiable condition. Because of lack of infrastructure, the students and teachers are suffering.

Moreover, the newly built bus stand still awaits inauguration by a VVIP. As a result, bus drivers drop the passengers at Kehnam Chowk, a full 1 km ahead of the bus stand.

Similarly, though the MLA had announced the opening of a vegetable market here about three years ago, it is still on paper.


Give a boost to exports

To improve the economy, the Indian government should concentrate on increasing exports. This is most essential. For example, Indian farmers being most skilful as well as laborious should be motivated in the form of incentives and awards to increase the output of foodgrains, particularly quality wheat — an item which has a big market in the Gulf countries.

A few years ago, the enterprising Punjab government had planned to cultivate Durum — a special quality wheat only for export purpose — in a more fertile area surrounding Ludhiana.

The need is to increase the area under Duram wheat not only in Punjab but in all wheat growing states like Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar also, and export quality wheat to the Gulf countries. Besides wheat, fruits, particularly apples and mangoes, can be two other major items India can easily export to the rest of the world and earn foreign exchange, the backbone of an economy.

RAMA, Amritsar


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