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Defence forces not getting fair deal

The morale of the armed forces does not hinge on any single factor such as the age row (The cloud clears out, April 25). It has multifarious determinants such as the tryst with national honour, preparedness of the forces in terms of training and equipment, officers' leadership, political leadership and last but not the least the pay, status and career advancement in the forces vis-a-vis the civilian bureaucracy.

In this respect, there is an overwhelming sense of deep disappointment, dismay and discontentment as mentioned in the news report "Babudom holds back pay scale upgrade for armed forces” (March 29). The report suggested that the para-military forces and civilian officers were pegged higher than the armed forces, thus lowering their status and pay structure.

In December 2008, the Prime Minister approved that the matter needed to be addressed by setting up a high powered committee, which has not come up so far. The bureaucracy has doggedly cocked a snook in a brazen manner at the top political leadership’s directions with impunity for the last 4 years. The armed forces are not being treated at par with the paramilitary forces and Group A officers personnel in the government. The bureaucracy wields all decision-making and financial powers in defence preparedness with little accountability.



The editorial “The cloud clears out” (April 25), commending the apex court’s dismissal of petition against appointment of Lt Gen Bikram Singh as the next Army Chief and Inder Malhotra’s age article “Supreme Court’s sound verdict” (April 27) have very well and forcefully brought out that religion and politics should not be allowed to meddle in the selection of top brass in the armed forces. These maladies, undoubtedly, not only fracture their apolitical character but also impinge upon the fighting potential of the armed forces.

Incidentally, seniority, while selecting the Army Chief, has been disregarded three times as mentioned by Inder Malhotra in his article. These three cases were when Generals KS Thimayya, T N Raina and AS Vaidya superseded Generals Kulwant Singh, NC Rawley and SK Sinha respectively.



In a country as diverse as ours, there will always be passionate arguments about where we draw the line when it comes to government action. This is how our democracy works. But our democracy might work a bit better if we recognise that all of us possess values that are worthy of respect. If men of stature like former Admiral LR Ramdas and former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswamy had acknowledged that appointment of General Bikram Singh as Army chief is under the rules and is processed in the same way as was done in their cases, they would not have acted in the manner they did.


Ill-conceived decision

The editorial ‘Sachin’s new challenge’ (April 28) has rightly brought out the main purpose of nominating Rajya Sabha members. The motive of taking in persons with outstanding contribution to arts, science, sports or social work into the Rajya Sabha is to take advantage of their experience. But now, nominations are undertaken by each ruling party to recruit eminent persons into their party to improve the image of their respective party. Sachin’s nomination is no exception to this rule. His nomination to the Rajya Sabha on the recommendations of the ruling party has political motives. Dragging him to Parliament and in this way to politics, would certainly be unfair.

He has been a national icon who has inspired millions of young Indians to work hard for the pursuit of national goals. It would have been better if our nation would have permitted Sachin to hold an apolitical status in the same way as Australians honoured Sir Bradman.



Sachin is being absorbed in the Rajya Sabha and there is a chorus to award him the Bharat Ratna. But, nothing seems falling in the kitty of great performers like Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble. Kumble with 619 scalps is far ahead of the second highest wicket taker for India Kapil Dev with 434 wickets. If voices can be heard in favour of Sourav Ganguly whose performance is nowhere near these great players, only goes to prove that lobbying can get you these honours.



Politics is not Tendulkar's cup of tea. I fear he will be a square peg in a round hole. His popularity graph will go down. He will fail in politics like famous film stars Amitabh  Bachchan, Dharminder, Rajesh Khanna etc did. He should continue his association with cricket in one form or the other. In this way, he can serve the nation in the best possible way and his nobility will also remain intact.

KL SETHI, Panchkula


Tendulkar has made India proud on many occasions. Can he contribute to his country's development by becoming an MP? Certainly not because he is an excellent player not a good politician. This seat can be given to somebody more eligible. He will not be able to attend most of the sessions of the house because of his busy schedule. What is the fun of having empty chairs for such personalities who cannot participate in the working of the august House?


A party’s health depends on workers

It is quite disheartening to see that some of the so-called state BJP leaders are not working for the solidification of the party. They are seen, more often, working for their own interest and to remain in the good books of their political bosses.

The workers of any party function as roots for the survival of the party tree. It is through the power of the roots that nutrients, minerals, water, etc, are extracted from the soil (the voters) which keeps the tree in good health.

Liaison of the workers with the voters is, however, missing. The party's drive to bring in its fold the educated and dedicated youngsters, old experienced professionals, retired persons, etc, to make the party a good  blend of young and old having deep enthusiasm, seemed to have failed due to the apathy of selfish workers. A gap can be perceived between the workers and the voters.

Dr KC KANWAR, Dharamshala 



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