Saturday, March 25, 2023
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‘Booze Brigadier’ to egg & tent scams: Indian military must check falling standards in ethics

Abuse of privileges by senior officers in the form of misuse of vehicles, use of soldiers as domestic help and fudging electricity bills is rampant.

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While many in the Indian armed forces are calling a price cap on cars sold at military canteens “ill treatment” and some others are questioning the perks they enjoy, they need to look at a recent incident in the UK where a naval officer ‘misused’ his official car and was ‘removed from command’. The two aren’t comparable, but they call into question the expectations people have of military men and women.

Error in judgement or ethics

Two weeks ago, Commodore Nick Cooke-Priest, the Captain of Royal Navy warship HMS Queen Elizabeth, was removed from command for an ‘error of judgement’ in ‘misusing’ his official car.

The military veterans, media and the public in the UK were divided on the subject. Some felt that the ‘misdemeanour’ hardly warranted the sacking of a highly regarded Captain who commanded a £3-billion aircraft carrier, which can carry up to 36 fighter jets with a maximum crew strength of 1600 and is the most modern ship in the Royal Navy fleet.

Some others felt that military ethics are absolute and there can be no compromise on that, irrespective of rank, appointment and professional calibre.

Also read: Indian armed forces upset as Modi govt imposes curbs on car sales at military canteens

My own tweet on the subject, highlighting the falling ethical standards in our armed forces, led to a lively debate on Twitter. It was a pleasant surprise that the Twitterati and the veterans were unanimous in their views on upholding highest ethical standards in armed forces irrespective of the compromised standards in other government institutions and the society.

Military leadership & best practices

In the recorded military history of five millennia, the fundamentals of military leadership – the value system, the leadership traits, the principles, and the code of conduct – have remained unchanged. Unchanged, because the military has dynamically selected the best practices from the society, used them to develop its leaders, and applied them absolutely through enforceable rules, regulations and military law to bridge the gap between military ideals and omnipresent human failings.

Ethics – the understanding of moral right or wrong – guides military leaders in taking the right decisions. The military is the state’s instrument of last resort and can use ‘force’ on its behalf. If it does not strictly adhere to the moral conduct, the consequences will be horrendous, particularly when military is employed for internal security.

Violation of military ethics

Our officer corps have a stellar reputation in peace and war. In battle, they have led from the front. However, a lot of character shortcomings have been reported particularly among senior officers, Colonels or equivalent and above.

Also read: In his hyper-nationalistic election speeches, Narendra Modi is writing India’s security doctrine

Over the years, there have been numerous reports on violation of military ethics by officers. We have had ‘Booze Brigadier’ and ‘Ketchup Colonel’ cases along with numerous instances of alleged fake encounters.

A number of senior officers have faced court-martial, notable among them was a director general of the Army Service Corps, a Lt Gen, who was awarded three years rigorous imprisonment (later reduced to dismissal by the Armed Forces Tribunal) for procuring inferior dal. ‘Tent scandal’, ‘egg scam’ and ‘golf cart scam’ are some of the ridiculous names for cases of petty corruption. Abuse of privileges by senior officers in the form of misuse of vehicles, use of soldiers as domestic help and fudging electricity bills is rampant.

The highest custodians of military morals, the service chiefs, apart from a host of other senior officers, are no exception. A General-rank officer has been found guilty of molesting a subordinate woman officer. Two Army chiefs and one Navy chief and several other generals, including Army commanders, were allegedly allotted flats in the now-notorious Adarsh Housing Society in violation of the rules. If that is not enough, service chiefs in connivance with the Ministry of Defence are known to have got an authorisation to keep personal staff post-retirement. With what face can a chief act as the moral custodian of his service when he has got a dubious perk ‘authorised’?

The cascading effect

It is a non-valid excuse that the declining standards of probity in public life have an effect on the military. The military is expected to avoid this pitfall through a structured leadership development programme, which is backed by rules, regulation and enforcement of the law.

The reasons for the current decline in ethical standards are a flawed leadership development programme and a compromised leadership failing to enforce the rules.

Also read: Don’t politicise Indian armed forces. Just look at what it did to our police

Mutual trust between the leader and those being led is the most important factor in a battle. This trust is built over a period of time during training. In a rules and regulations-bound organisation with strict enforcement laws, the subordinates are constantly watching their leaders. They are very keen to see whether the leader adheres to the strict rules and regulations as well as the privations that s/he enforces on them. This why the ‘role model’ who ‘leads by example’ never fails in the military. In an evolving society, probity of the leader is always measured. The military is no exception. In the military, ‘integrity’ also stands for an ‘integrated personality’ with no duplicity.

Duplicitous conduct of the officer corps, particularly with respect to ‘integrity’, has a cascading effect on the psyche of the subordinates, leading to lack of faith and trust – a most dangerous situation in a battle. This is why the ‘good’ Captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth had to be ‘removed from command’. It is high time that the Indian military puts its house in order with respect to falling standards in morals and ethics.

Lt Gen H S Panag PVSM, AVSM (R) served in the Indian Army for 40 years. He was GOC in C Northern Command and Central Command. Post retirement, he was Member of Armed Forces Tribunal. Views are personal.

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  1. With corrupt and morally decriept bosses in politicians and civil servants, how can any expect the armed forces to uphold ethica and morality?

  2. Interesting read – more of comments than the original story that lambasted the parent stock ! Moral of the story :
    From the peons to the top most beraucrats and political Netas practise these ennobling features that you accuse us of, then why single us out ?
    It is alright, to close one’s eye, let us keep enjoying the same privileges that you also did, lest we open up those large cans containing worms that you left behind.
    We must have our own dhobi ghat to wash our linen and that should be out of bounds for civilians.
    Of morality and ethics – one should confine it within specified class and our conscience should not be muddied by the domestic use of combatant troops. Poor soldier , when he meets his mom and dad back at the village can always claim that he is fighting the enemy at the border in the defence of motherland while your wife makes him wash her pet dog !
    O.K. we will not call him Ordly., we will make him Sahayak and of course on the T.V.panel make him our “Buddy”, doesn’t it look decent ?
    Even a Rahul has become aware of the disparity in the food served in officer’s mess and Soldiers ‘, “Oh ! the nutritional value is same though choice of dishes may vary” is good advocacy. We can use terminology to explain.
    Getting soldiers attached to nearby units where a batch mate is commanding for assisting a separated family is an age old trick that should remain sealed !
    Lastly, those that have benefited from this corrupt system should not possess the gumption to expose us to deprive of the same.
    One repeated exception that a retired General must keep all his orifices closed because, while in service he did not do any better , of course is partially an accepted truth.
    Jai Hind, Jai Bharath Mata.

  3. I think it’s the right time now that all the officers should be sent on compulsory retirement.. Since army can be run without them.. Now generals who say officers have lost their morality.. and people who are also raising voices along with them and they have no clue about the army life and it’s functionality.. like I don’t have any Idea about this organization. I just know all people are not same like our fingers.. So blaming all officers is not right.. Like soldiers of Indian Army giving supreme sacrifice for the nation every second day brave officers are also being martyred.. As far as I think corruption in Army is negligible if you compare it from office of ministries to the municipality.. This my humble request to all the general sahebs and my other country men do not doubt on the morality and sincerity of army.. Don’t forget this is the same army who carried out surgical strikes and made whole Nation proud.. It is better that we should not get swayed by a few corrupt individuals.. I am proud of My Indian Army.. and I will be a proud father if my Son joins Indian Army..

  4. Common man, you need to stop putting forward your crap views time and again. No wonder nobody likes you in the army itself and also I can understand why your first wife decided to run away with another officer.

  5. Boy..Are you a serious case of VERBAL DIARRHOEA or what..! Am sure you are aware..that ..Of all the nincompoops to ever don A Uniform .. our name is right up in the “Hall Of Fame”. Fortunately..You can Do write all made up stories you want..but the responsibility of upholding the ethos of Army.. is not resting on your Opportunist shoulders. Let me break your bubble.. Even if you wrote a million articles selling out the organisation which has given you everything ..YOU DEAR DELUSIONAL MAN..WILL NEVER BE MADE A GOVERNOR/ AMBASSADOR..OR EVEN A VC ..OK? So now please give it a rest.. relax mooch off the regiment you already are..and just chill..Army surely.. doesn’t need ” YOU” ..Take Care..

  6. Absolutely right General Panag. This reminds me that Sardar Patel sanctioned, post facto, the loot and rape of Hyderabad by such high ranking officers as Gen. Choudhury.

  7. Somebody very close to me was on a long trip in the Ladakh region. He saw army tankers taking a diversion to sell off some of the diesel. It seemed par for the course.

    The army in particular needs to do a lot of cost cutting in peace station cantonments. For example sending out a three tonner to distribute milk packets in officers’ houses is absurd. A ‘civilian” would have used a three wheeler for the same task!

    • Who are u to comment on the practices in Army…?
      Have u stayed in the freezing cold nights on a post in Kashmir in December ?
      Have u burnt itself in the sweltering heatvof Rajasthan in May?
      Have u been drenched in rain while carrying out a search operation in Assam for 3 nights continuously?
      Have u run a 40 km distance with battle loads ?

      If not… Then u don’t have the moral right to comment on the functioning of the armed forces. It’s not about being an officer or a jawan.. an army man is an army man.
      He/she does work which is exclusive…. And he/ she should be rewarded in a manner which is exclusive

    • And btw… That person very close to u.. did he have magical powers that just by seeing vehicles plying in the road.. he could make out where were they going ?

      For God sake.. Stop shaming your own army.
      This is an organisation that works selflessly for ungrateful and unintellectual people like you…. Unfortunately

  8. Good write-up General Panag. No solutions suggested however. Years ago I wrote to Marshal’s Manekshaw and Arjan Singh arguing that the duty-free quota of liquor to the Armed Services was ridiculous. Marshal Arjan Singh wrote back suggesting that it was a harmless perk while Marshal Manekshaw forwarded my suggestion to the Canteen Stores Dept. One needs to take action . Rank, whether serving or retired is meaningful only when used for a good purpose

  9. The author has compiled all instances over the last over 30 yrs and painted a picture of gloom and doom. There are bad people, ldrs and led, and there are good ppl. And good ppl enormously outnumber bad ones on any day and that is how the systems run effectively. And when it comes to leader, it is not just ‘daal’ which counts, the quality of ldrship is very very important. One wonders how all saintly wisdom dawns upon some ppl only after they cease to enjoy the perks and privileges of power and authority. Perhaps the author could enlighten readers as to why he was removed from Command of operationally sensitive northern army midway.

  10. Sir, with due regards, I am convinced that it is the seniors in our Army who have failed to lead from the front. The prospect of next rank has resulted in lowering of moral values. While I have no doubts the juniors in the hierarchy have managed to salvage the image through their blood.

  11. Holding the military to higher standards of ethics and morality would be the right thing to do. But ponder if you must, the depravity of the ‘boss’ , the political executive being held to very low standards of ethics and those subordinate being asked to behave like ‘maryada purushottams’. When was the last time the Armed Forces flinched or took years to bring erring soldiers to justice. When was the last time a bureaucrat was chargesheeted for misdemeanor or corruption. The Armed Forces are doing fine. Do not blow up isolated cases which are in any case proceeded against, as the new normal. The massive majority of the Armed Forces still take pride in their Country, their Regiment and their comrades. Jai Hind.

  12. Politicization is one of the major threats to the army. It is an insidious disease that has made a lot of progress in recent years. But having said that, why do you want to quote the English case to denounce bad behavior within the army? What do we teach in schools? This is perhaps the place to begin to say that serving the public is not to serve itself and serve his loved ones!

  13. 34th NDA Gen Panag father of Gul Panag as ACA was Academy CDT Adjt responsible for 1500 costs discipline.There is a dichotomy where NDA Train to exterminate in war,Staff College Send the other guy calculating attrition,NDC CBM’S to avoid conflict.
    Ethical example has to roll in from the Govt setting the example for clean elections.Higher taxes for the super rich etc.
    War is unethical survival at times.Peacetime is for training for war.An autocratic armed forces therefore has to be there in democratic nations.
    The UK NAVAL OFFR’s is an error of judgement not punishable compared to an error due to negligence punishable.A warning would have sufficed.Here there is the Economic Demonstration effect seeing the Politicians & Bureucrats flogging govt vehd.In Doon my Lankan war no 2 VrC of Jaffna night ops leg,Air Cmde son of an army Brig,dropped me back in his personal car
    YouTube com/kopterkojak/airforceballad/soldier(LA Taxi Live)/Song Of The Siachen Queen (snippet)

  14. General you’ve been an army Commander in 2 commands. You’ve been a party to all that you’re criticising right now. Please all tell how many people were on staff strength at your house’s right from your days as brigade, division, Corp and an army Commander. What did you do to curb austerity that you are coming out in the open right now and spewing venom against the same organisation that you’ve been a part of. So sir it is a suggestion take or leave it is upto you. Don’t preach what you yourself didn’t practice and don’t make a fool of yourself on social media by putting up such stupid articles.

  15. Excellent article, it conveys the sentiments of vox populi and should not be taken as a criticism but a timely reminder to the Officers and men of the services that they are held in the highest esteem by their country men.

  16. I my view the relationship between an Army officer and the JCO and ORs be not cute and bold. So the more fraction be created in the family like organization.
    Indian Army has Two Golden Rules.
    RULE 1. “Senior is always correct”.
    RULE 2. ” When senior wrong see and follow
    rule 1″.
    All the rule for all, but the last line shows for any rule is ” depend on CO/OC”

  17. Upon reaching the rank of Brigadier, Officers consider themselves to be proprietors of all they survey!
    No wonder they strut around like proud roosters!

  18. Writer carries a poor reputation amongst service personals… mainly because of his own whims and fancies…

  19. Pl ask gen Panag whether or not he had a sahayak, his spouse and his daughter never used army vehicles to go to market cinemas and other places or his sahayak never walked his dog or a platoon of soldiers never went with him to see his comforts when he went for shikar. It is easy to blame the officers and other soldiers , you should punish the offenders not to stop the facilities .

  20. Gen Panag won’t have enjoyed combatants at his home as helping aid. I am very convinced with his integrity and moral turpitude . Is he ..????
    I believe he can do better than demeaning present day army post retirement if he is jobless.

  21. Why do all Generals talk about these issues post retirement. I don’t see any General
    while in Service, questionn how after installing seven (two tonne) ACs in his home he gets a Rs 700/- Electric Bill from the Garrison Engineer.

  22. When the author was in position of calling the shots how many things did he improve?
    It’s easy to point mistakes later on.

  23. It is a joke that The Print talks about probity. You are an incarnation of dishonesty in public life. Just remember you are a bitch. Rest of us know that.

  24. It is becoming the habit of retired officers to wash their dirty linen in public. If you have followed these cheap tricks in your days dies not mean that every serving officer today does this. Its ridiculous.

  25. Sir.. may I know why were these points not brought out…. While u were still in service..
    Why did it take u the tag of “Veteran” to bring out these points.

    I am certainly not favouring the malpractices in the organisation… But I am strictly against this norm of washing own dirty linen in public.

    What donu want to bring out here… and for whom…??
    What do u expect..??
    A media trial of all the generals and equivalent of the armed forces…..??

    I think the nation and the countrymen deserve to be told much more and much better things about the armed forces…. That they can be proud of…. And probably that will strengthen their will and decision to join the armed forces… Rather than spreading negativity about the organisation for own popularity….

  26. But sir, I wonder why werent these points brought out while you were still in service….
    Why did it take u the tag of “Veteran” to being out these issues…!!!
    Things weren’t much different even then… I am sure…

    And who are u adressing these issues to..??
    The indian media..??
    What do u expect… A media trial of all the generals of the armed forces…???

    I am certainly not in support of the malpractices.. but I think we should stop this practice of washing the dirty linen in public….!!! For gaining popularity on the behest of own fraternity…..

  27. It’s a fact that every Gen is corrupt living of the land in their flag staff houses all have have household staff attached at c the cost of units and I can say there is no exception incl the author when he was in service

  28. Sir tragedy of Indian Army is all Generals start preaching once they retire. During your service, to how many of your Seniors you stand and didn’t follow sycophantic customs..You would not have because u never pointed out to your subordinates when it was done for you..

    Rarely a general is gifted to organisation who walks his talk. You definable was not the one.

  29. With due respect,
    One who points a finger at other has three pointing three at him. Armed forces and its ethos are unquestionable and is being held by every single solider. One odd incidents of miss appropriation / miss utilisation doesn’t qualify to question to whole organisation and headlines as of this narrative is biased and ill motivated.
    If we go by the narrative then every single institution of our country is on declining virtues. For instance TASKENT FILES reveals the same.
    Hence a humble request by all means bring fwd the ills / vices but one can’t claim that an institution has become defunct .

  30. Indeed, it’s a sad fact that army standards have fallen so low as to cause a loss of respect for n pride in the force that had always inspired the youth to aspire to be a part of it. The onus lies on the officers to display exemplary qualities with regard to self-discipline n ethics.

  31. This is akin to comparing apples to oranges. The levels of public probity and individual ethics in UK and British Army, are only aspirational for Indians and the Indian Armed Forces. Never the less, the probity discussed is a worthy goal to achieve

  32. General Panag is taking a holistic view, putting onus of fair conduct solely on Army officers. He has conveniently overlooked root cause of this malaise. Use of apolitical institution by politicians for their personal goals.
    Also are legislators n bureaucrats not supposed to demonstrate integrity and honesty? Why leaders themselves not set up self examples?
    Only one part of state can’t be expected to uphold all the values all the times..

  33. There is no doubt that military must maintain highest ethical standards to maintain the honour & respect it has earned over decades after independence. However the prevalent socio-economic environment will always impact the quality of life and moral Fibre of Armed forces. Military these days is not as isolated as it used to be 15-20 years back. Gen may himself introspect if he has never misused any perks and privileges mentioned in articles.

  34. Did author do anything to stop all these such alleged activity under his command. We all get wise when we hang uniform. Easy to preach .

  35. Officers in the Armd forces also come from the same society as our politicians ,IAS,IPS and other central govt services officers .When corruption is the norm of day everywhere ,how can one expect armd forces be not affected by this menace.Corruption in armd forces gets highlighted because no one can get away from the strict disciplinary action . But curtailing the csd facilities does not stand to logic.For example as per latest orders one can not by a car through CSD for more than 12 lakh for upto 2500cc.Which car company in India is selling 2500cc car for Rs 12 lakh or less.This is a stupid order without any application of mind.

  36. Sir sorry to have a slightly different view point… recently had the privilege of enjoying hospitality in army messes as a serving Col…the guest rooms allotted were in shambles.. defunct ACs, termite, cockroaches, leakages signs…what not… surely you never faced these issues from being a Brig onwards…pehle woh toh sahi hona chaiye tha…taking a moral high after hanging up of uniform is ohh so convenient…by tbe way the same situation is in our flats…all facilities are for top brass only and this is an uncomfortable fact

  37. What did you do Sir in your tenure as GOC in C. When you were in service Why did not ensure no corruption Col and above. We know everything. Do not spread venom in the minds of common people let Gen Rawat handle it. Gem VK handled well and Gen Rawat handling well. Don’t spread lies

  38. One thing from Group as also Individual psychology, is certain. And that is a top-level rot in an organisation cannot be reason to punish rank & file. If our bureaucracy keep sheltering errant General Officers due to political pressures, it means actively fostering a benign and “ethically weak” organisational culture.
    To make all military personnel, serving and retired suffer for the follies of a few unscrupulous officers, it to put it mildly, STUPID ! Just another example of military incompetence and vertebral bankruptcy.

    Instead, follow the example of the Captain of the Carrier of the Royal Navy. Sack those who misuse privileges. The more senior the rank, more severe should be the retribution.
    Show resolve ! Don’t do CHEAP POLICING of the Indian Military. It has a TERMITE EFFECT on its foundation.

  39. Instead of focusing on current issue the bygone old issues being highlited under the grab of some totally urrelated news..if want to raise settled issues then do hilight prompt action and punishment netted out within the forces..but what about hundreds of corrrupt beaurocrats never being booked found involved in large no of cases…do learn to relate issues in totality n not to settle score ..for whatever reason

  40. In that case, we should also talk about the innumerable favours that General Panag himself pulled from the military establishments at Wellington, TN while his son was attending Lawrence School at Lovedale nearby. Those would be grounds enough to have sent the General packing from service long back. Hypocrisy and shamelessness at its best.

  41. I don’t know why retired generals should preach their serving brethren. There is no point in repeating the history over and over again. The erring personnel have been punished and we shouldn’t be remembering them again and again. The article by the retired general reflects on his psyche of perceived victimisation.

  42. Well such incidents are the reality of Indian Armed Forces especially the Indian Army where a lot of corruption is going on but nobody is eager to put a step forward and try to stop these incident. Many officers misuse there powers and mostly the Sahayaks suffer the consequences. Take the case of Augusta Westland scam where the chief of Air Staff S P Tyagi found guilty and the case is still going on and on

  43. The above said GEN Panang sab is a very brilliant Def officer.
    Indian army should appoint just like this GEN sab for North ern command and DGMO operation cheif.

  44. Dear sir, do you remember the labrador puppies your better half sold in udhampur when you were army cdr. We do, so kindly don’t give advice.

  45. A perfect piece of literature affecting our great Army like a disease.Need introspection before mycelium affect the very texture of this unparralel organisation. Subordinates peep into pragmatic reasoning and just rationale in supervisor actions.
    Eyewash enquiries blaming juniur and hushing things to circumvent right processes might fall in the face with growing technology and mass media intervention.
    As fish rots from the head need to clean the system from up to down.

  46. Why should only armed forces be the conscious keepers of the country? What about civilians at highest positions? Are they rightfully allowed to abuse powers?

  47. Friends, military personnel including officers are first citizens of that country n men/women in uniform later. These people have always put the nation first n their own at last. Its good to judge them but then what about men/women in civvy streets.
    Politicians n bureaucrats have been embezzling unaccounted money forget about perks in terms of vehicles, manpower n many freebies across d country. But these all go unnoticed. These people should also be held accountable n severest punishment given.

  48. there will b bad apples and their always hav been. Only aspect which differentiates us from the other organisation and departments of the country is that here action is taken against them. We need to be ruthless internally but I can’t understand what would be achieved by writing this on the net. Should have done something when u were in the army no point trying to wash dirty Linen in public that to if there is any.

  49. Where were you when you were in service? Nothing went wrong then? Now defaming organisation in public.Visit AHQ with good suggestions but that you won’t cas aim is to gain fame. Ridiculous, remember chetwood saying

  50. Gen panag all these moral value lessons were needed even when you were working hard for higher ranks.where was your councils that time.Didnt you use sahayaks? Openly defaming an organisation publicly just for bit of fame will question your integrity as well.could have been better if the views were directly shared with AHQ at appropriate level.

  51. Valid points raised General.
    However, a nation which pays lip service to its Armed Forces and a politico-bureaucratic setup that has denied even basic parity in status with every other government service has hardly any moral right to expect better. We should be thankful that we have even these standards in the circumstances.
    How about writing a piece on this for a change?

  52. Forget about the military, Police in India use official vehicles after after duty to private and personal work and sometimes use their drivers to carry their official dress upstairs to the apartment and bring also down to vehicle while going for work . It is a Shame ! Look at US President he holds his Own umbrella and Russian President put petrol for his Own vehicle ,Here you treat this people like gods , Indiam mentality should change, we are 100 years behind because of this !

  53. Armed Forces are also part and parcel and reflection of the society from where the Officers and men come from. Before pointing out the abberations, one must find the extent of the problem on a comparative scale between the civil and armed forces and also compare the swiftness with which cases are dealt with. Let us not start finger pointing because all of us probably have scalatons in cupboard.
    What is the status of commonwealth games cases, what happened to vyapam, what happened to large scale diversion of food grains in Chhattisgarh, no one talks about these large amount cases but make a issue of small things in armed forces.
    3. If people have so much against armed forces let us take a decision to disband armed forces you can always hire shooters for the job.

  54. About 12 years ago, a very very senior army commander and his wife flew in an army helicopter. The general officer was travelling from Delhi to Nabha to attend his school reunion (On official duty, no less!). While the General and the lady sat in the first helicopter, the reserve helicopter flying behind was full of shopping bags of exclusive, premium international brands. IMHO, it is highly unlikely that the General and his wife had time to have gone shopping in Delhi. They had come straight from Udhampur, after all. But what do I know…

    Incidentally, the same General managed to get seniority amongst the top 10 allottees in the then much anticipated AWHO Sect 20 project, Dwarka. THROUGH A SUPPOSEDLY RANDOM COMPUTERISED DRAW, amongst some 18,000 plus applicants. He was also in the managing committee of AWHO that time ( though there may not be a link between the two). I remember that list because I was in the last 1000. Talk about random.

    Sir, I agree with most of what you said except One thing. The fall in standards is not new. That Oak was felled by your generation, and even before that. Please take the blame.

    Atleast today’s generation knows when to quit gracefully before they become absolutely corrupted by the system. Only aberrations misuse the privileges these days. Corruption today, thanks to the stringent procedures, transparency and digitisation, is much much less. I agree that you saw a much more darker system, but then you were very much a part of it. Did you genuinely focus at rectifying it, or just worked towards creating your own image?

  55. Never surprised when x defense personal find fault in the system only after retiring but do absolutely nothing ,when they could make a difference, while in service. The armed forces canteen services, perks and benefits are the largest consumer base in the country. Discounts are passed on with no taxes levied for all persons who ever served.

  56. Baat niklegi to fir door tak jayegi. Author is acting milky white. Maybe has a short memory or only has capability to judge and criticize others but can’t see own follie’s. Does he need to put all this across through the Media. Is he being paid for this ? Maybe penning a letter to the Chief will not have same effect. Total all surviving ex Chiefs of the three Services, Army Cdrs and equivalents. Then if they all decide to put their views across via the Media what a grand spectacle that would be. People would enjoy at Def Ser expense, Media will get its daily masala, sales, adverts, TRP’s and Eyeball’s but what will the Def Ser gain. Have one ever read such an Article by an Ex Chief Seretary or DGP or even some Neta Ji about their own Set Ups. After doing so much, sacrificing so much, with most no of dedicated, honest, hardworking cadre still why it is always the Def Ser in the firing line since advent of Social Media. Maybe everyone can’t bear a relatively clean shirt on Holi or want to instinctively spit pan on a cleaner than others clean wall or maybe just to remain relavant. Apna ho ya paraya sab hi pechey pad gaye hain. Itna morale to militants aur terrorists ney bhi kabhi down nahi kiya hoga. Apno ki bat bardasht nahi hoti gairo ki to goli bhi seh jatey hain. Dont wash dirty linen in public. By the way Gen Sahib is Fond of Dog’s and always kept many at any one time. Who paid for tgeir upkeep is another matter altogether for Mr Clean Pants.

  57. Failed to see the ‘connect’ between being denied purchase of high end cars from CSD and incidents of financial irregularities by a few senior army officers unless the author wants to convey that an army officer can only buy a high end vehicle if he has ill-gotten wealth.
    The General’s concern for maintaining highest standards of financial probity is well appreciated. However, since all the defaulters mentioned by him have been taken to task, there’s no point in beating the same old drum again and again. May I assure the General that this isn’t an alarming concern as there is no change in the zero tolerance policy on issues of moral turpitude and financial impropriety that existed when he was in uniform.
    Thus it would have been more beneficial to hear his considered views on the govt decision of putting a cap on purchase of cars from CSD

  58. It the people that make a country. It will be as good or as bad its human resource. Don’t expect anything else, whether its the politicians, military or others. The politicians and military personnel are also people like u and me.

  59. Jitna corruption Armed Forces me h itna to civil services me bhi nahi h. I’ve both served.
    Niche se upar jao utna hi jyada badhta jayega.

    • Rathore sa, Iska matlab Aapne Zindagi zyaada Nahin dekhi. I retired after 29 years of service . I Drive a Maruti car. Here local muncipilaty clerk has given his wife an Audi car to drive. Most peons have upwards of 50 Lakhs in cash in their house. Councillor and MLA ki baat nahin kar raha. Kaunse corruption ki baat ho rahi hai samajh mein nahin aaya. Jai Hind

  60. I know a case of retired chief , who got personal staff allocated to his residence, by getting their postings in a nearby unit, the CO of the unit had terrible time accounting them on his books, this retired chief was in news recently and is a darling of peace nicks

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