Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby Sachin » 28 Mar 2013 13:38

schowdhuri wrote:Too often the 'demeaning' etc is in the eyes of the observer (who has no clues how/why the system works), and not for the sahayak himself.

But is this practise of sahayak becoming a way to shirk work? One argument in favour of the system was that a
sahayak reduced the mundane workload (like uniform maintenance etc.) for an officer, plus also provided him with some security. And this made sense. Now are'nt we saying that the job does not end there, it becomes some thing like an un-paid servant? The only argument in favour of this is that there are folks who prefer the job, because it is more easy going. But Army as an organisation should think if it needs a small army of easy goers who are pretty much servants for various senior officers. Also incidents like a uniformed solider escorting a mem-saheb on the official duty of purchasing fish, may also bring down the respect for the force in the eyes of the beholder.

And slowly I feel we do admit that the system's wide scope for mis-use. I remember, when this whole sahayak debate started (there were multiple rounds of it time and again), the argument was that sahayak was purely an official help.

Standard Disclaimer: When it comes to sahayak business, I include even Central Police Organisations, or State Police as well. Sahayak system in what ever name, should be chucked out from there as well. If I get it right, IAF and IN do not have this practise at all.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby schowdhuri » 28 Mar 2013 19:09

Sachin,
Unfortunately, there are no clear cut answers - it depends on the people involved.

Some sahayaks are treated with respect because of the closeness to the officer (and wife). They bring up issues & grievances from the ranks which would otherwise never come up (you cannot imagine how useful this can be). Others misuse their position and try to get easy promotions (don't you see this happening elsewhere also).

It is very common for a close bond to form between a sahayak and the officers wife (once my mom had left an expensive jewellery in the bathroom and my dad quietly hid it. It was the sahayak who searched through dad's belongings and recovered it for my mom - in fact he knew my dad well enough to know where he could have hidden it).

Ultimately, the fact is that it does become like a unpaid servant, but then so is the working party that comes to do up the garden, so are all the Lt's looking after the mess lawn & searching for picnic spots. It's not an issue at all but next time let some 'journalist' come up about Lt's being unpaid servants, then it will become the next big issue.

We inherited from the British, and their class differentiation makes ours pale in comparison. On the whole though, it worked a lot better than the 'Americanisation' our army is going through. The khichdi does not work.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby member_23455 » 28 Mar 2013 23:13

1. While the Nyoma incident may be the most hyped one, there have been a number of incidents, in quick succession, of breakdown in officer-jawan relations. So it is time for everyone to acknowledge that there is a significant problem.

2. Insofar as the Sahayak system is concerned not only is it liable to, but it is frequently abused by officers (worse their families). It is an anachronism in the 21st century like the armed forces outmoded treatment of women officers, for which the courts had to step in.

3. So where is the problem? No single heat of the moment incident like this can spark off the kind of meltdowns we have seen if there is not a poor leadership climate overall. The burden of leadership always falls on the officers, especially the CO. While Col. Kadam seems on his way out, one hopes to see the COs and other officers in each of these cases get the boot - there's a reason why there is an old saying in the military - there are no bad soldiers, only bad officers.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby manum » 28 Mar 2013 23:36

So the all "Mahabharata" started due to existence of female character...

Why over analyze then...

Rest everyone is being punished...because report can not quote the "Mahabharata"...

While I'll say the whole incident was accident and was aggravated step by step...and again everyone is being punished and rightly so...to create an example, even if some were less guilty.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby schowdhuri » 29 Mar 2013 03:12

Officers are not what they used to be, but that is due to changes in society, and army is not insulated from societial changes.

Army has problem enough of its own without people trying to shove in corporate style affarmative action down its throat.

Rajit,
I don't know your background, but I do know you have no idea about life in the army. Many years back there was a very pretty AMC female doctor posted in Leh. I know very well the problems that GH faced to ensure there were on untoward incidents. Leaving aside all the troubles, how keen would you be to have a pretty female family member among 12000 or so men? And, moving out to forward areas and spending a night in a fwd Area in a cramped tent with several men?

This attitude of your is exactly what I was talking about in my previous post where people create problems where none exist.

Also, if your org removes 1/4 executives and asks you todo the work of 4 people I wonder how effective you would be (that's pretty much the officer situation).

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby member_23455 » 29 Mar 2013 08:23

schowdhuri wrote:Rajit,
I don't know your background, but I do know you have no idea about life in the army.
:rotfl: :rotfl:

The ad hominem game is really old, especially on this forum. As are all the strawmen arguments you are putting out there.

There are enough red flags for the army to take corrective action - if they don't, someone else will do it for them, best case scenario -the courts, worst case scenario - the politicians.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby prahaar » 29 Mar 2013 10:52

RajitO wrote:
schowdhuri wrote:Rajit,
I don't know your background, but I do know you have no idea about life in the army.
:rotfl: :rotfl:

The ad hominem game is really old, especially on this forum. As are all the strawmen arguments you are putting out there.

There are enough red flags for the army to take corrective action - if they don't, someone else will do it for them, best case scenario -the courts, worst case scenario - the politicians.

Katjus and our current crop of politicos are definitely less credible to fix anything. I am not being sarcastic here, it is a fact.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby Sachin » 29 Mar 2013 14:30

schowdhuri wrote:Ultimately, the fact is that it does become like a unpaid servant, but then so is the working party that comes to do up the garden, so are all the Lt's looking after the mess lawn & searching for picnic spots

I feel there is a difference. The working party coming to work on the garden is doing some thing which has some resemblance to an official job. They are all soldiers and doing some strong physical work is only going to help them. The Lt. scouting for picnic spots etc. also may be doing this to identify a suitable place for a small round of recreation and fun. Because after all he is doing this for the collective good of his officer group (or for his unit). Even when it comes to fatigue parties, fine they are working to make their own officer's official home to have a good garden. But this is certainly different from running around doing errands for mem-saheb and their children. To take for example the purchasing of fish. This is is no way connected with a soldier's duty. He is not part of the cooking party doing cooking for officers and the men.

Officers are not what they used to be, but that is due to changes in society, and army is not insulated from societial changes.

I agree. And if these changes in society is causing problems in Army (or any organisation), then there should be plans to remedy a situation. If a system which was once working fine is now getting misused, then either it should be corrected or removed.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby mody » 29 Mar 2013 15:27

The sahayak system should be scrapped as soon as possible. The system has no place in the 21st century.
Back in the old days there was a big difference between the officers and Jawans. These days the officers are not the same and nor are the Jawans. With the news media and televisions, the exposure of the Jawans is not so inferior to that of the officers.

I had visited Sikkim in last november, and after visiting Gurudongmar lake, north of Thangu, we gave a lift to a couple of jawans in our vehicle. The Jawans were from 6 Jat and residents of a small village in North Rajasthan.
While chatting on the way, they showed me a Tatra Truck, quickly adding that these are same trucks which are in the news for the bribery scandal. The jawan in question, had also previously served at Nyoma, as part of his mandatory 3 years high altitude deployment and was also aware of the Nyoma incident.

I am mentioning the above just to show, that these days the ordinary jawans are also fully informed about the various defense scandals and the like and it does affect their views about the top brass in the services and the officers in general.

Also there is also a purely economic reason to do away with the sahayak system. It should instead be replaced with a monthly domestic help allowance for the officers. Then the officers would be free to hire, anyone they wish. The sahayak system, provides the full benefits of pension and other benefits to the jawans, who are in most cases being used as domestic servants. This only increases the teeth to tail ratio for the services and also in the long run, providing retirement benefits and salaries as per the pay commissions for such domestic help duties, would turn out to be very expensive for the services.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby ashish raval » 29 Mar 2013 18:22

^^ I believe an alternative to sahayak can be screened domestic help who lives on site. The reason why they need to be screened is because of sensitivities that army officers carry around which is a national security issue.
Normal jawans can be sparred from it.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby Kanson » 29 Mar 2013 20:02

rohitvats wrote:Spouses/families on the FF Ranges is nothing new...most often than not, there is a demonstration of firing after the actual exercise is over. It happens with normal firing practice at long ranges for infantry or FF ranges for armor or arty. It is basically an outing for the unit and families of officers and men alike. However, it not clear whether the presence of spouses in this particular case was under such an outing for the unit.

However, in this case, my information on the incident is a bit different. There is nothing about sahayak aspect in this case. The fellow was actually caught being peeping tom on one of the officer's wife. He got the thrashing from the officers (which itself is an illegal act) - but even this did not trigger the actual incident. JCOs and Other Ranks were actually with the officers on this. The JCO(s) then requested for the fellow to be removed for medical care. And this was denied by the officers involved. This is what triggered the whole incident. Men thought that the fellow had died due to the thrashing.

AFAIK, the Officers involved will be Court Martialed for the their conduct of assaulting the jawan (serves them right) and JCOs/Other Ranks will also face similar music for indulging in fist fight and taking things in their hands. The CO will loose his job for Command Failure.


Hope what you said is right and thanks for presenting these details. I can understand punishments to officers and to somehow for JCOs and lower ranks (though I have my reservation) but how this is the mistake of CO? If you could elaborate what actions are termed as Command Failure?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby Kanson » 29 Mar 2013 20:11

ashish raval wrote:^^ I believe an alternative to sahayak can be screened domestic help who lives on site. The reason why they need to be screened is because of sensitivities that army officers carry around which is a national security issue.
Normal jawans can be sparred from it.


Sirji, If I'm not wrong, this whole Sahayak system evolved as kind of personal protection to officers. So this was all fine during war times. But what they do during peace times? So they became attendant to Officer and slowly to his friends and families. So this is not something conceived as domestic help.

Sorry of using this analogy, for hunting, a hunter usually goes with helping hand, sometimes helpers or sometimes hunting dogs....This 'Sahayak' initially started as something like that and it do have colonial tinge.

This analogy is needed to understand why there is no such system for airforce and navy.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby Kanson » 29 Mar 2013 20:17

RajitO wrote:1. While the Nyoma incident may be the most hyped one, there have been a number of incidents, in quick succession, of breakdown in officer-jawan relations. So it is time for everyone to acknowledge that there is a significant problem.

2. Insofar as the Sahayak system is concerned not only is it liable to, but it is frequently abused by officers (worse their families). It is an anachronism in the 21st century like the armed forces outmoded treatment of women officers, for which the courts had to step in.

3. So where is the problem? No single heat of the moment incident like this can spark off the kind of meltdowns we have seen if there is not a poor leadership climate overall. The burden of leadership always falls on the officers, especially the CO. While Col. Kadam seems on his way out, one hopes to see the COs and other officers in each of these cases get the boot - there's a reason why there is an old saying in the military - there are no bad soldiers, only bad officers.


If suppose what you say about CO is true, then entire officer ranks till the top brass must be held responsible no? If CO is wrong in this case, then his superior too is wrong and so are the others, if we see this from 'leadership failure' angle, no?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby member_23629 » 29 Mar 2013 22:27

The New Indian Express newspaper recently carried a series of articles by Anantha Krishnan M on training of army soldiers.

The Indian Army’s Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre (MLIRC) is putting its recruits through an innovative combination of aggression and firing skills as part of its mission to convert a civilian to a combat-ready solider.


Part 1: Where aggression and firepower go hand in hand

Part 2: Soldiers get training in ‘Kashmiri village’

Part 3: 12 minutes, 22 obstacles and a happy climax

Part 4: ‘Buddy pair’ concept key to counter-terrorism operation training

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby rohitvats » 29 Mar 2013 22:43

habal wrote: & what's wrong with that, may I ask without a hint of shame ? What's a trained warrior doing in the house of an officer as a manservant ? I am sure a soldier who is away from his family is not supposed to be in an environment where he is exposed to women changing clothes or should even have an opportunity to be tempted to such a situation. Where else in the (first) world does this happen ? And what is wrong if the 'sahayak' (such a shameless name) took the opportunity to be a peeping tom, he too needs something to do and something to stimulate himself. This entire sahayak BS is an extension of the feudal system, nothing else. It is the officer who should be thrashed silly for allowing such a situation to come to pass where his orderly had the opportunity to catch his wife changing. If he is incharge of his uniform or cleaning of weapons only then let that be just for an hour or so before the officer steps into his role.


What a wonderful medium this internet is, isn't it? I mean, try giving the above explanation to someone with whom the above incident has happened or even a sane person and chances are you wouldn't have even been able to finish the above w/o being thrashed black and blue. And rightly so.

But then, talk is easy and so is sense of righteousness especially when all you have to do is write idiotic statements on internet.

Now - first things first. This did not happen inside the officer's house; this happened in a field firing range area where families had gone to witness firing exercise. The fellow was caught peeping into tent reserved for ladies. So, even if he was a 'Sahayak' he had no business being there.

Second - apart from this particular soldier, there were bound to be another 300-400 soldiers on the range. Somehow, apart from this one soldier, no one else found the courage to 'make hay while the sun shines' and 'stimulate' themselves when the opportunity presented.

Third - Sexual urges or no sexual urges, you do not violate the dignity of a lady under any circumstance. Period. And if you do, there is hell to pay. These troops are stationed in Leh. And while this is a field posting, these men are in middle of civilian population. As are number of other field formations of the army. And they stay away from their families for a long time. And I'm sure each of them feels the need to vent their frustrations at many a times.

So, taking your argument further, it would be all right to peep into the houses of civilians near to bases or molest/rape a female if the opportunity presented itself? Why Court Martial an officer/jawan if he lets go of his urges now and then?

Many jawans bring their families to forward areas for holidays (if the policy and infrastructure permits). It would be all right for a fellow Jawan, I guess, to take his chances if the opportunity presents himself? After all, what shame is there in the act? And while we're at it, the lady officers would also be fair game? After all, what are they but female flesh amid couple of hundred testosterone charged men.

Officers get court-martialed and cashiered from service for so much as casting an eye on fellow officer's spouse and here we have you indulging in intellectual m@sturbation trying to give vent to your frustration(s).

The sheer ch@@tiyapanti of your statement is mind-boggling.

And this thrashing business seems to be a peculiar feature of North India, where all and sundry budding feudals feel it is their right to thrash around somebody they have a disagreement with. It should be made legal in India to chop off the hand that indulges in wanton thrashing. See to it that such a backward culture is curbed before it just encourages disunity, mutual suspiscion and unwanted fear and disrespect of a fellow countryman who may not be a man of similar means. It is such an insult to the ethos of the country that such nonsense still thrives.


:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

Did you by any chance equate the "thrashing" the jawan got to "Officers being North India" and hence, the outburst?

Does it occur to you that there is no way in hell to know what part of country those officers belonged to? As it is, most of the arty regiments are all class mixed regiments with men drawn from across the country.And did you know that officers in all the regiments across all the arms are 'mixed' - as in not belonging to any particular region or cast/sub-caste?

How about next time taking a deep breadth before morphing into key-board ninja? You can save us from such nonsense.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby rohitvats » 29 Mar 2013 22:49

ASPuar wrote:<SNIP> In fact what RV above has said is correct, which is that the non removal of the fellow to the Fd Hospital is what caused the trouble. And this was because the officers were afraid that moving him to the hosp would expose their overreaction, and illegal act.


Taking the jawan to hospital would have exposed the action of the officers involved. The military hospital folks would have asked for the reasons for the injury - which needs to recorded in an official document - and this would have compromised the officers. As it is, during medical examination, the nature of injuries would have shown up.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby rohitvats » 29 Mar 2013 22:51

Kanson wrote:<SNIP>This analogy is needed to understand why there is no such system for airforce and navy.


Most simple reason - manpower.
Second - nature of interaction and period of interaction between officers and men is quite different from the Army.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby rohitvats » 29 Mar 2013 23:01

Sachin wrote:<SNIP> On the Nyoma Incident and its enquiry, I hope they also investigated on this culture of Field firing practise becoming a family picnic, with officer's wives also joining in. I really dont think the JCOs or NCOs had this privilege of bringing in their wives etc. for the firing practise. I dont think the officers here were leading by example. The fact that a lady was present at a situation, where generally it is not allowed also needs to be probed and if confirmed, corrective actions taken.


Sachin - you are over analyzing the situation. Leh is field posting for the army. So, no one keeps families in these stations for a simple reason that infra (like officer's quarters) do not exist. Officer's or JCO's families can stay with them for some period - say couple of weeks maximum - in rooms allotted to them in their respective messes. Or, there might be some guest houses with limited rooms.

In this case, the chances are that the some families were on leave together (this was in May when weather is pleasant) to the station and would have went to field firing area. So, the question of same privilege being being given to JCOs/NCOs does not arise. As I have said earlier, Units generally participate as a whole in peace time locations.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby rohitvats » 29 Mar 2013 23:12

Kanson wrote:<SNIP>I can understand punishments to officers and to somehow for JCOs and lower ranks (though I have my reservation) but how this is the mistake of CO? If you could elaborate what actions are termed as Command Failure?


I can understand where this reservation about punishment to JCOs/Jawans is coming from. Common sense would tell you that they reacted to an instigation. But that is not how Army Act works. It punishes those who did the guilty act and those who reacted to it in a manner which was outside the chain of command or SOP.

Coming to Command Failure - Look at it this way: Almost the entire Unit was involved in a free-for-all brawl where even the sanctity of CO's Rank was not respected. There was complete breakdown of cohesion in the unit and officer-jawan relationship. In those dark hours, 226 Field Regiment ceased to exist a fighting formation of the Indian Army.

Even if it was in the heat of the moment, the fact that JCOs and Men decided it was OK to resort to direct action and did not stop even when the Commanding Officer intervened, showed complete Failure of Command.

The Commanding Officer could not ensure the cohesion of his unit as a fighting formation. Believe you me, if not Command Failure, COs have been pilloried for much less like family of Jawan committing suicide.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby schowdhuri » 30 Mar 2013 14:29

CO is reposible for everything being OK in the unit, and everyone know it even though he cannot keep an eye on everyone and everything.

There have been so many cases where I felt really bad because the CO was obviously not at fault, but still got exemplary punishment. Thats how the army works.

A (Sikh) CO during the Sikh mutiny (post Bluestar) tried everything to stop his men, showing high level of courage, and 'only' when he could not control the troops (he was physically manhandled by them), ran to the neighbouring unit to get help. I don't remember the exact sentence, but it was pretty bad. I could never figure out what else he could have done, but thats the army for you, and everyone knew that he would receive a really tough sentence.

The army is last credible institution standing, which is why perhaps all our social scientists/politicians are hell bent on breaking it down, by treating it as if it were a PSU or some corporate body. As if the Sahayaks & not getting women in combat arms will make us lose the next war.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby member_23455 » 30 Mar 2013 22:45

Hmmm...it's interesting that the Nyoma incident is becoming a long drawn out morality play for many posters here when the much abused DDM themselves have chosen to focus more on the discipline and leadership aspects in the current army.

At the unit level, the buck stops with the CO, end of story. All COs know it or are supposed to know it, well before they get that job.

If the COs in each of these cases can prove that they needed the resources and intervention of their immediate superiors to solve unit level issues then by all means the CoI should get expanded. But it won't.

Anyone watch Nat Geo's excellent Aircrash Investigations series or read any accident report - it's always a chain of events that lead to the final cataclysmic outcome.

So while a CO may face a harsh rebuke or an adverse remark in his ACR if a jawan commit suicide, when that suicide leads to the whole unit mutinying, it is clear that it was the proverbial last straw that broke the camel's back. So we can all keep focusing on the salacious details of one incident or recognize in the words of the Bard that "Something was rotten in the state of Denmark."

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby schowdhuri » 30 Mar 2013 23:01

RajitO wrote:So we can all keep focusing on the salacious details of one incident or recognize in the words of the Bard that "Something was rotten in the state of Denmark."


Quite a few yrs back (don't remember exactly when) India today carried an article on the changing Army, which mentioned that the oficers are tougher, and more capable than ever before, but they are no longer gentlemen.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby vsunder » 31 Mar 2013 05:08

I saw a train video of the IR and did not understand what I saw.
The video shows a waiting mixed train ( wagons + coaches) at Ratlam Jn. composed
of wagons and coaches carrying IA units or paramilitary, cannot say.
There are many wagons that are being used to transport soldiers and I suppose equipment.
I understand maybe that soldiers need not have accomodations at the Ritz or the Hilton
but to make them travel in wagons like cattle where temperatures
can soar in areas like Rajasthan-Madhya Pradesh(Ratlam Jn.) in
all metal wagons is questionable. Is this the standard way IA performs
its troop movements? I am reminded of the cattle cars which were used
to transport Holocaust victims. Look at the piece of the video from 1hr 24mins
onwards:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlYUAnSj518

Please help me understand this video. The wagons with personnel do not
seem crammed with equipment so its not clear why the soldiers should
ride in them. Do the wagons have provision for urinating, defecating etc?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby schowdhuri » 31 Mar 2013 11:19

vsunder wrote:Please help me understand this video. The wagons with personnel do not
seem crammed with equipment so its not clear why the soldiers should
ride in them. Do the wagons have provision for urinating, defecating etc?


This seems like a 'special' train, that is a whole regiment/battalion on the move (not sure if it is IA or paramilitary). No one is travelling in the goods compartment. Those are used for all the activities need for a regiment - cooking, washing, recreation etc.. These trains have the lowest priority, so they spend a lot of time standing at the sidings, and may take many days to reach their destination.

It also allows fun things like travelling in the engine (1st hand experience :D ), which cannot normally be done.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby srin » 31 Mar 2013 13:26

schowdhuri wrote:
RajitO wrote:So we can all keep focusing on the salacious details of one incident or recognize in the words of the Bard that "Something was rotten in the state of Denmark."


Quite a few yrs back (don't remember exactly when) India today carried an article on the changing Army, which mentioned that the oficers are tougher, and more capable than ever before, but they are no longer gentlemen.


As an armchair lieutenant, the culture/ethos of the army is something I don't really know. My first intro to the society of the military was a book series I'd read long ago called 'Brotherhood of War'. But still curious about an officer being not just an officer but required to be "officer and a gentleman", or why there is such a clear separation between officers and OR/enlisted ranks. Is that more of a tradition or is that something that is functionally important ?

Can you please elaborate on that statement ? Not trying to question you, but trying to understand more...

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby biswas » 31 Mar 2013 23:09

Quick question.

Could someone tell me approximately how much money in USD the IA spends on equipping each of its infantryman? If such information is readily available.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby merlin » 01 Apr 2013 07:14

schowdhuri wrote:
vsunder wrote:Please help me understand this video. The wagons with personnel do not
seem crammed with equipment so its not clear why the soldiers should
ride in them. Do the wagons have provision for urinating, defecating etc?


This seems like a 'special' train, that is a whole regiment/battalion on the move (not sure if it is IA or paramilitary). No one is travelling in the goods compartment. Those are used for all the activities need for a regiment - cooking, washing, recreation etc.. These trains have the lowest priority, so they spend a lot of time standing at the sidings, and may take many days to reach their destination.

It also allows fun things like travelling in the engine (1st hand experience :D ), which cannot normally be done.


Not only that. Many times these special trains are not available in time so the battalion (minus the advance company) is forced to stay put at the station which has already been handed over to the relieving battalion.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby pentaiah » 01 Apr 2013 10:07

Officer and gentleman comes in the context of chivalry.

Gentlemen are those who are honest, follow the code of conduct and will not sacrifice just for the sake of ends.

If you have watched guns of navarone Gregory pecks dilemma shooting a woman,
Or in case of eagle has landed a German officer rescuing a British kid while on mission because its humanitarian to do so but the whole squad of para troopers are killed...
Watch the movie spoiler alert

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby Sachin » 01 Apr 2013 12:02

rohitvats wrote:Leh is field posting for the army. So, no one keeps families in these stations for a simple reason that infra (like officer's quarters) do not exist

All I meant to say is that, if ladies are not allowed in a certain area (field posting, or field firing excercise) then the officers did not have the right to bring in their wives as well. I understand that this may be a practise in reality, and nobody is really bothered. But if it was a violation of the rule, then it should be addressed. I guess, this aspect was also considered during the Court of Inquiry. Let us leave it at that.

Meanwhile poaching of Army land is on the increase in Bangalore. And the Army and Civil authorities now plan to get a resurvey done.
‘Survey will end row over Army land’

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby Baikul » 01 Apr 2013 12:44

schowdhuri wrote:
RajitO wrote:So we can all keep focusing on the salacious details of one incident or recognize in the words of the Bard that "Something was rotten in the state of Denmark."


Quite a few yrs back (don't remember exactly when) India today carried an article on the changing Army, which mentioned that the oficers are tougher, and more capable than ever before, but they are no longer gentlemen.


I would hesitate to make a blanket characterization that officers are no longer gentlemen, or that standards are slipping. To my mind this claim has been made many times over several years if not decades, not the least by senior or retired army officers.

Personal story, one my father tells with great relish: When he joined his regiment as a first lieutenant in the 1950s, my father's commanding officer (Colonel rank) was the epitome of an officer and gentleman. The first evening in the mess when someone offered my father a drink, he declined saying that he did not drink alcohol. At which point the Colonel looked disgustedly into his whiskey and muttered "Dear God, we're recruiting bloody baniyas these days!".

My father and I were at the DSOI in Delhi in the 90s one afternoon when we caught up with this CO in the dining room. Both men had retired by then. The former CO must have been in his 80s then, but he was ramrod straight, impeccably dressed, and handling his cutlery with the precision of a surgeon. He no longer recognized my father, sad to say, but one look at him and you knew the man was Quality right through.

But in the end both officers did well in their own way, without letting standards slip.

Everything changes, people and systems evolve, so no doubt the officer class of today is likely to be different from what it was a few decades ago. Perhaps officer - solder relationships have also changed over the years, becoming slightly more democratic, maybe more functional. However, I would not let a few incidents like this convince me that IA officers were indeed no longer gentlemen, or that standards had slipped dramatically from the past.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby schowdhuri » 01 Apr 2013 14:21

Baikul wrote:Personal story, one my father tells with great relish: When he joined his regiment as a first lieutenant in the 1950s, my father's commanding officer (Colonel rank) was the epitome of an officer and gentleman. The first evening in the mess when someone offered my father a drink, he declined saying that he did not drink alcohol. At which point the Colonel looked disgustedly into his whiskey and muttered "Dear God, we're recruiting bloody baniyas these days!".


These kind of stories are there with all Army officers, particularly from bygone days, but it is not 'really related' to the officer quality. A better example would be the fact that close to 40% of my dads batch mates were wealthy enough NOT to have chosen the army as a career - they went for the izzat of the uniform. How many officers from really wealthy families are going into the army today?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby Sanku » 01 Apr 2013 15:01

^^^ That class is gone. Thanks to Indira Gandhi. The above class was landed aristocrats with martial heritage as part of family history.

The rich now are the baniya's/vaishya's (do not mean it negatively or in caste manner but profession wise) -- they have neither personal and rarely inherited interest in such matters.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby amit » 01 Apr 2013 16:03

^^^^^^

I don't want to start a fight with the great Sanku ji so I'll give him the right of having the last reply.

However, I can't but comment that this is a very shallow observation.

In the 1950s there were very few employment opportunities available. And so there was a craze to be either a doctor or engineer. And those who couldn't be went for civil services - IAS, IFS and others lower down in the order, right dow to lower and upper division clerks. Yet another avenue was the Armed forces.

Now there's a myraid of careers and opportunities - both for the rich as well as middle/lower class. That is one reason why the best and brightest no longer pine for a government career and I suspect that's why folks whose fathers thought of the Army as a career look at other options first.

I don't think one can infer from that, that the previous generation was somehow more valiant and patriotic than the present generation based on their employment choices. IMO that's too simplistic a view.

Another point: Previously only a certain type of people from a certain type of family/background used to go to the Army as an officer class - much like is the case in Pakistan today. However, now people from all backgrounds apply for the Armed forces. That makes them less class based and more representative of India. I think overall that's a good thing.

And yes I really couldn't understand the refernce to Indira Gandhi - but then that's me. :-)

PS: I'm really glad that the officer class in India's Army not longer come exclusively from landed aristocrats and instead comes from the whole of India from all classes be it baniyas or vaishyas. They may not have the "class" of yesteryears but, warts and all, they represent what is India today.

And yes, I think even terminological use of these class nominclature is disconcerting even after the disclaimer. Is it being implied that somehow officers with baniya or vaishya heritiage are less capable/patriotic officers than pure blood land owning artistrocrats coming presumably from the Khatriya caste (the part about family history)?
Last edited by amit on 01 Apr 2013 16:06, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby Baikul » 01 Apr 2013 16:03

schowdhuri wrote:...
These kind of stories are there with all Army officers, particularly from bygone days, but it is not 'really related' to the officer quality. A better example would be the fact that close to 40% of my dads batch mates were wealthy enough NOT to have chosen the army as a career - they went for the izzat of the uniform. How many officers from really wealthy families are going into the army today?


If you had read my post, that story was not given to relate it to difference in quality, but that of a perception of difference that has survived over the years.

Significant difference between the two.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby Sanku » 01 Apr 2013 16:17

amit wrote:^^^^^^

I don't want to start a fight with the great Sanku ji so I'll give him the right of having the last reply.

However, I can't but comment that this is a very shallow observation.


Trust amit to make a completely OT comment, pepper it with a flame bait in order to get replies to his extra-ordinarily tangential statement on the issue.

:roll:

And of course ignorance and lack of understanding is now a virtue

And yes I really couldn't understand the refernce to Indira Gandhi - but then that's me. :-)


since it frees the poster from having to actually make a statement on the relevant issue and make some inane statement since heck, its all the same anyway.

What last word does one give to a reply which is self professed ignorant but makes a attack anyway?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby amit » 01 Apr 2013 16:28

^^^

+100

:rotfl: :rotfl:

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby Yayavar » 02 Apr 2013 02:22

amit: it is a direct reference to privy purses and if you are ignorant of it no need to mock the other poster.
I agree on the caste stuff (like hte comment made by Baikul's father's CO) -- the baniya or brahmin comment has been made on brf many a times...which is ridiculous. Totally agree with you on it.

Regarding the defence: yes there are other options - both easier and more lucrative. You would have met folks who could not get through SSB but are now in IT or doing well elsewhere. Some have told me they could not and they feel lucky they could not make it. Others in my class who had scored at the top still joined defence - with all its hardships and still love it. But there will be less of the latter for sure.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby amit » 02 Apr 2013 06:23

viv wrote:amit: it is a direct reference to privy purses and if you are ignorant of it no need to mock the other poster.


Viv,

I understand the compulsion to believe a poster whom you are responding to is ignorant. Once one can do that, then it obviates the need to be sufficiently intellectually engaged while responding.

Sure Indira Gandhi abolished the Privy Purse in 1971 but if you do read up a bit you'd find that it was on the Congress agenda before Indira Gandhi's time. And also note that the 1971 abolition came after an initial attempt and a Supreme Court verdict and with various princelings contesting elections in 1971 and losing heavily. In short what I'm trying to say is that Indira Gandhi happened to be the "man" (yes she had more b*lls that any other PM that we've had till date) in the right place and right time to push through the Privy purse abolition and bank nationalisation (incidentally, I think that was a disastrous move but that's OT for this thread). Any other (Congress) PM in her place would have done the same.

I'm also curious. Do you also subscribe to the urban legend that these princelings were a "natural" warrior caste who made fine officers and that they are better officer material than ordinary SDREs who slog it through the National Defence Academy because they ave a burning desire to serve India? Do you feel that the current crop of officers who do not come from landed aristocracy, perhaps have no taste for alcohol and ball dances, have less "valour" and military sense than say someone with an "aristocratic" lineage like Brij Mohan Kaul?

But all the above is moot. My LOL to Sanku's post was because he latched on a one-line comment in my post and did a "downhill skiing" regarding my riposte to his dreadful baniya/vaishya comment.

I agree on the caste stuff (like hte comment made by Baikul's father's CO) -- the baniya or brahmin comment has been made on brf many a times...which is ridiculous. Totally agree with you on it.


If you do agree with me on this stupid casteist comments about alleged martial valour of "landed aristocracy" then why this venting regarding my comment? What Sanku wrote was far worse IMO:

Sanku wrote:The above class was landed aristocrats with martial heritage as part of family history.

The rich now are the baniya's/vaishya's (do not mean it negatively or in caste manner but profession wise) -- they have neither personal and rarely inherited interest in such matters.


So as a general rule Baniyas/Vaishyas, and people like them, do not have any interest in martial traditions which can defend Mother India? Do you agree to that?

Regarding the defence: yes there are other options - both easier and more lucrative. You would have met folks who could not get through SSB but are now in IT or doing well elsewhere. Some have told me they could not and they feel lucky they could not make it. Others in my class who had scored at the top still joined defence - with all its hardships and still love it. But there will be less of the latter for sure.


I agree with this and that's essentially what said in my post. I again ask, what's your grouse?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby Yayavar » 02 Apr 2013 07:07

Amit: you seem to do a lot of grouse hunting. Afterall my note had grouse against your and Sanku both and you shot both :).

Joking aside, it is obvious from my comment that I do not agree with the martial or other caste based traditions. So no need to grouse hunt on that account.

Regarding IG comment - well it seemed like you were deliberately mocking (the post before LOL). Let us say we have shot that subject down too and move on.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby amit » 02 Apr 2013 07:35

Fair enough Vic. Let's move on. But in future it would help if you don't post based on assumptions. Regarding grouses, I have none. However when I see comments such as the one that started this discussion, I will comment.


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