In an open letter, veteran Kameshwar Pandey, questions if the senior veterans who were outspoken on TV channels and other media, really understood the background of ‘controversies’ linked with former Chief of Army Gen VK Singh
To concur and side with newspapers, magazines and television channels, whose own credibility is dubious and questionable, is rather unfortunate. A large part of the mainstream media is known to have shady allegiance or some sort of backstage arrangement with political parties and vested interest groups. And concordantly, more often than not, it seems the so called experts and panellists who are called for interviews and opinions are nothing but pawns of either the government or someone powerful.
What is even more unfortunate is the fact that some of our own senior veterans have defaulted and turned over to the dark side. Knowing all along that their actions are against the very oath that they took when they first donned the uniform—to protect and serve the nation and its people.
I am not sure what honour and prestige of the institution is being talked about. What institution and what prestige? The masses of this country neither trust their government nor any other government agency. Judges, prime ministers, ministers, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the police and the list is endless. And so is the list of their infamous track records.
In these deteriorating times, Gen VK Singh is a true hero. He has shown all of us the true colours of the present government including its administrative officers, ministers, judges and even the prime minister. He has displayed the confidence and the courage to bring out the true state of affairs of this weakening administration, its corrupt departments and failing systems. And that deserves respect and admiration from the military community as well as from the citizens of this great nation.
If these so-called leaders, whom we are supposed to follow, are so apathetic to our emotions then it is indeed unfortunate for the country. In these changing times, we will have to adjust the sails according to the winds. None of our actions or policies should reflect that we are siding with this corrupt administration. In the name of honour, dignity and code of conduct, if we are indirectly helping those who are destroying the country, we are killing our own reputation as the military being last bastion and the protectors of the sovereignty of the country.
It is a well known fact amongst military ranks that the privileges of the military have been continuously going down ever since we gained independence. The current state of affairs is so pathetic that Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and ORs are meted out a treatment no more than that of labourers. The recruits that now join the military are well-educated and can think for themselves. They can understand the difference between serving the country and serving corrupt politicians who do not respect their generals, let alone respect them.
If future service chiefs are to deserve the respect of the forces they command, they have to show similar courage as shown by Gen VK Singh. If at all the future service chiefs get engulfed in controversies—it should be for the welfare of the men and women serving the military or for the nation itself and not for their personal gains. If the service chiefs do not fight for the dignity, respect and welfare of the men and women serving the military, a time may come when they will have no control on such a large force and that can be truly dangerous.
And some gentlemen who think Gen VK Singh is guilty of letting the army down are sadly mistaken. What is most important for all of us right now is our unity and awareness. Awareness is an absolute requirement for true freedom. The great martyrs like Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad and Subhash Chandra Bose are screaming right in our faces urging us to join this second battle for freedom and justice. To not weaken this movement with undue and unwarranted negative remarks.
What Gen VK Singh started—a fight against the cancer that is eating the army from the inside—was supposed to be followed through by the next chief but looking at the current scenario that may or may not be the case. The former army chief had the courage to point out what is right and what is not and that did not go down well with the government. With him gone, we have little hope unless the military community gears up to cast out the bad fish which are rotting the whole pond.
Gen VK Singh Sir! Hats Off To You!
This time the enemy is our own and that is why the battle is twice as hard.
"चले थे साथ मिलकर, चलेंगे साथ मिलकर , तुम्हें रुकना पड़ेगा ,हमारी आवाज़ सुनकर"
(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in the letter are the author’s personal views and has nothing to do with the general stance of any or all the organizations he represents)
According to the industry body, stalling of the growth process and policy inactions hurt the common people the most and what we lose in the process are valuable jobs and sources for generating income
Terming the economic situation as ‘grave’, industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Monday asked the Union government to go in for bold steps like allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, cut interest rates and halt funding of welfare activities to revive growth, reports PTI.
“India is in the midst of a grave economic crisis. The combination of low growth, high inflation, high fiscal deficit and the highest ever trade account deficit has raised a lot of concern,” FICCI president RV Kanoria told reporters in the capital.
Suggesting a 12-point agenda, Mr Kanoria said during the time of low growth and global uncertainties, all the political parties should strengthen the hands of the policy makers.
“There has to be a clear recognition on the part of ruling and opposition parties that we are in crisis situation and all parties need to stand united and strengthen the hands of policy makers to take bold decisions and act pro-actively and decisively,” he added.
He said that reasons like excessive monetary tightening, delays and uncertainty over key economic legislations, projects delays on account of factors including stalled environmental clearances have pulled down the country’s economic growth.
India’s GDP (gross domestic product) growth has slumped to 6.5% in 2011-12, the lowest in the last nine years.
The chamber has suggested that the timely implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) would be a major landmark reform that could alter the dynamics of Indian industry and exports. “It would add 2% to our GDP. Tax administration and tax collection will also go up,” he said.
Besides, he asked for immediate easing of monetary policy and lowering interest rates by two percentage points and CRR by one percentage point. Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) is the portion of deposits which banks are required to keep with the RBI.
“It is acknowledged that inflation in India is largely a supply side problem. To deal with such a problem using monetary tools may not be the right approach,” Mr Kanoria said.
He also asked to revisit the Land Acquisition Bill, as the bill restricts the use of irrigated multi-cropped land for infrastructure development.
He recommended providing fiscal stimulus for investments across sectors.
“The government must ensure that these proposals (allowing FDI in multi-brand retail and allowing foreign airlines to take stake in domestic carriers) reach their logical conclusion as both these measures would enhance overall growth in the economy,” the Ficci president added.
Mr Kanoria also asked the government to decontrol the prices of diesel and other oil products and “the government can also consider imposing a higher duty on imported diesel cars”.
Mr Kanoria said that repatriation of black money immediately could help in mitigating the balance of payment situation.
“The White Paper brought out by the government on the issue alludes to a scheme whereby some governments between themselves have entered into special administrative agreements for revenue sharing,” he said.
The government should urgently hold discussions on this subject and arrive at a methodology in a time bound manner to enter into similar agreements, he added.
Further, he said the government should “eschew the temptations of a premature welfare state and announce an immediate moratorium on any additional expenses on doles”.
The sums already allocated for welfare schemes should be distributed in an efficient manner as envisaged under the 'direct transfer of subsidies' programme linked to the Aadhaar platform, he said.
Mr Kanoria urged the RBI to cut repo rate by one percentage point in the forthcoming monetary policy review.
On Land Acquisition Bill, he said if the conditions in the Bill come into force “we will find it extremely difficult to achieve the targets that we have set for ourselves for investments in infrastructure and manufacturing. The consequent impact on job creation will be devastating”.
Besides, he said the slowdown in growth in investments is deeper in case of the private sector and this trend must be reversed.
“We urge the government to look at measures such as providing accelerated depreciation and scrapping MAT for infrastructure projects as all of these would give a fillip to investment activity,” he added.
Here is the 12-points agenda by FICCI for stimulating Indian economy's growth...
Home Ministry had no objections on removing the roaming charges but wants roaming facility to be restricted in certain regions and circles due to security considerations
New Delhi: The 'one-nation-one-number' provision, which exempts users from paying roaming charges under the National Telecom Policy 2012 (NTP-2012), will not be applicable in areas like Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast where Home Ministry has imposed restrictions on providing roaming facilities to pre-paid mobile subscribers, reports PTI.
In a slew of objections over the NTP-12, which was passed by the Union Cabinet last week, the Home Ministry has also asked the Department of Telecom (DoT) to ensure that in all policies related to number portability, law enforcement agencies are consulted.
On 'one-nation-one number' policy, the Ministry said it had no objections on removing the roaming charges but restrictions on roaming facility may have to be imposed in respect of certain regions and circles on security considerations from time to time.
The policy will not be applicable in restricted areas like Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast as Home Ministry has imposed restrictions on providing roaming facilities on pre-paid mobile subscribers.
Among the nine issue pointed out by the Ministry in its note about the NTP-12, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) also figures prominently.
"Enabling and enforcement of VoIP facility, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and law enforcement agencies should be consulted suitably at implementation stage," the note said.
Mushrooming of unregistered VoIP or Internet Telephony has become a security problem as the origin of caller and time of call cannot be ascertained prompting central agencies to ask service providers to come up with a solution within a month.
There have been series of meetings of security agencies with DoT, National Technical Research Organisation and service providers have failed to come up with any solution to block the unregistered VoIP, who operate from outside the boundaries of the country.
Now under NTP-12, the service providers have to work out a solution for real time interception and providing exact information of its origin of VoIP, the sources said.
Central security agencies have expressed concern over the lack of real time monitoring of communication exchanges taking place over the Internet and that telecom operators were not providing them the real time data of these conversations which is a security risk, they said.
The Ministry also informed the DoT of its previous note where the Telecom department had agreed to the Home Ministry's stand that long term security lies in an increased production of critical components (both hardware and software) in India.
The MHA also asked DoT to set up national test bed capabilities where all tests of imported components to check malware can be done within next two years as agreed in earlier meetings.