RayC, I know what you feel about the distinction and the need to keep these separate
But what I am trying to get a clearer picture about is the Army's Official classification and some of the things i am seeing says different.
Again, I think the policy is that all deaths, irrespective of cause during War Time are included in these rolls.
Infact this is in line with what the CWGC Does. the Roll of Honour for WWII "Debt of Honour", maintained by Commonwealth War Graves Commission (http://Www.cwgc.org
) includes ALL - accidents, typhoid, malaria, stupidity and even suicides. As long as the death happened in uniform , it is included. But it was war time, so the policy had been to include all wartime deaths, irrspective of the cause in the honours.
You say peacetime treatment is different and accidental deaths are not included in rolls of honour. But the Amar-Jawan book says otherwise - and If I will take your word for it that it was for public consumption then the book is a misleading attempt and fools both the people of India as well as NoK of those killed in accidents. Not desirable eitherway
The Armed Forces is very subjective. Whatever the boss says goes! Thus, the difference in the Army and Air Force perceptions. I prefer the Air Force's perception.
One could have a Debt of Honour for non battle cases. I agree on that, except that medical deaths or no operational deaths are hardly a part of any debt that the nation should shoulder! What if some bloke dies of AIDS in the operational area? OK, maybe the Nation did not care for his biological needs and he had to get it on his own, the nation should feel guilty!
No offence meant. Just wondering and debating!
Maybe I am touchy.
I have a decoration that is given in combat as also to those who keep the cars fit for VIPs! It is a very subjective and misused decoration.
When I went for the Investiture, an EME senior officer, way senior to me, said Oh I see another with the same medal I have in a very disparaging tone!
Being what I am, I had no hesitation in telling him that I got it in combat and he got it in repairing vehicles!!
If all and sundry are equated on the same platform, the value is lost.
Do you think anyone cares for the PVSMs and AVSMs that General get every Republic Day (and some deserve it, while most don't) and it becomes routine, it does lose its glamour and value.
Books will write what is the perception of the author. He may be motivated to promote a view. Check the number of books on Kargil, which was a cash cow for many. Gaurav Sawant spoke of sitting in a trench outside the Brigade HQ in Kargil with Madras Regt troops! Were they there? I wonder, who he was sitting with. My memory fails, but the last time I was around those parts and during the War, I think that the Bde HQ was staffed by Dogras.
Now, if I contest Gaurav Sawant on the issue, there will me many to tell me it is in the book and so carved in stone!!
Take the case of Sureesh Mehta. He was asked a question and he replied it as honestly as he could. The media went to town and conveniently forgot it was in reply which has resulted in people, on this very forum, stating that Chiefs develop spine pre retirement. Sadly, they don't check the address given earlier or their writings and become Oracles based on one news report, which is but sensationalism! Therefore, what is written is cast in stone, whether it is true or not!