Citizens' Issues
Open letter to Defence Minister Parrikar from a Veteran

The 'deeply hurt, bruised and wounded conscience of ex-servicemen of India's Armed Forces', are expressing their anguish towards the bureaucracy, who they feel is responsible for the step-motherly treatment meted out to defence forces all the time


Cdr Ravindra Waman Pathak (Retd), a member of the Governing Body and Pension Cell of Indian Ex Servicemen Movement, wrote an open letter to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. In the letter, Cdr Pathak has raised several issues like the long-standing demand of ex-servicemen for ‘one rank, one pension’ (OROP).
In the letter Cdr Pathak has expressed deep anguish regarding the bureaucracy, which he feels is responsible for the step-motherly treatment meted out to defence forces. "It is this specially empowered bureaucracy which, without even a shred of any commensurate knowledge, over the past 67 years, has mastered and honed the craft of repeatedly hurting the pride and morale of the soldiers' right from the Chiefs to the sepoy. 'Jai Jawan' is handy only at crunch time or prior to elections, where after the Armed Forces are routinely relegated to the status of a 'necessary evil' type heavy baggage that the nation, perforce, has to be burdened with. This bureaucracy has been successful in contouring the political thought process in the same mould," he said.
India's defence budget is in the region of $46 billion or about Rs3 lakh crore. The OROP would cost 1.3% or Rs4,000 crore of the defence budget. China's defence budget size is $126 billion i.e. more than Rs8 lakh crore. Manpower wise, India has 13.25 lakh active military personnel and 21.43 lakh active reserves compared with China's 22.85 lakh active military personnel and 23 lakh active reserves.
Here is the letter sent by Cdr Pathak to the Defence Minister:




2 years ago

It is shocking news for me that Maj. Sandeep Unnikrishan who has sacrificed his life for the nation has been given only Rs.1 lakh as compensation. It is the shameful act on the part of the then Govt. of India for giving negligible amount as compensation to his family members. All the rules of Indian Army which were framed earlier should be scrapped and ONE RANK ONE PENSION SHOULD BE INTRODUCED immediately BY THE PRESENT GOVT. OF INDIA. By doing this, it will enhance the moral of Bharat Army i.e. I mean Indian Army.

Sreeramulu Seethepalli

2 years ago

How do we make the Raksha Mantri read it?

John Philipose

2 years ago

The biggest enemy of Good Governance in this unfortunate nation, is the Government. This is applicable to all ministries. The only way to root out this evil, once and for all, is to scrap the IAS, lock, stock & barrel. Let this nation be ruled by Technocrats-who have some knowledge of the topic on which decision needs to be made. Today's scenario - Imagine a cobbler giving you a haircut, or a Piles surgeon operating your Brain!


K M Rao

In Reply to John Philipose 2 years ago

There is a need to revamp the administrative set up. The "steel frame" has simply failed our country. There is absolutely no hope unless the present administration system is changed from the roots. Unless something is done on this important matter, we can only construe the so called "Good Governance" is yet another empty rhetoric. What is good governance without setting right the basic flaws!


3 years ago

Ex-servicemen are getting raw deal from the very own ministry (Defence Ministry) in an unpatriotic way. It is hard fact that these decision makers never ever felt hardcore defence life, even for a day. Servicemen sacrifices goes unheard and silently make them voiceless. If this trend is not corrected by Defence Minister and Prime Minister, their morale will be down. Will this Govt stand on what they preach to practice ? Only time will tell.

Suketu Shah

3 years ago

The BJP govt needs atleast 5 yrs time to clean the mess done by congress of the last 60 yrs.Anyone expecting them to produce results in any lesser timke frame is either unrealistic or pro-congress.


3 years ago

The only cold comfort that the Armed Forces can, perhaps, look for is that they are not alone. All Indians excluded from The New Imperium created by the Nehru-Gandhi-Ambedkar dispensation of Neta-Babu-Cop-Milard-Crony Kleptocracy and those privileged to claim more resources than others by India's iniquitous Constitution vary from step children to orphans under the Indian State. However,the Armed Forces feel the pinch almost as badly, perhaps, as the former "uptrodden" whom the Republic down trod to establish the supremacy of the New Imperium. The Armed Forces have also been qualitatively stripped to ensure that they cannot defend India from its primary enemies, the ruling kleptocracy.

Inside the Firewall: Tracking the News That China Blocks

The Chinese administration is famous for blocking out inconvenient news, dissent and sensitive topics.  This is done not just for Chinese sources, but also when people access international websites


Every day since 17 November 2014, ProPublica has been testing whether the homepages of international news organizations are accessible to browsers inside China. Of the 18 in our test, 9 are currently blocked. Below are the results. To test, we use, a censorship monitoring service in China that launched in 2011.
To see the chart click here
The automated tests run shortly after midnight U.S. Eastern Time, which is 1 p.m. in Beijing. They run on up to eight servers in separate locations in China, and can return one of four results: Blocked, Inconclusive, No censorship detected & No Data.
Read full article here


5 Worst anti-consumer settlements of 2014

If a company is called to task for false or deceptive advertising by federal or state authorities, or through a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of consumers, the outcome should certainly benefit consumers


Here’s the list of settlements in which consumers are getting a raw deal:
1. Coca-Cola’s vitaminwater: A proposed settlement pending in federal court in Ohio would give nothing to consumers who bought the drink under the mistaken impression from the marketing that it was a healthy alternative to soda. Nor would the company have to change some of its key misleading marketing. But the attorneys make out well, pocketing  $1.2 million for suing the company. That’s a nice holiday gift for the firms and an empty stocking for consumers.
2. Glucosamine: Under this pending settlement, consumers in the U.S. who purchased a variety of glucosamine supplements sold by Walmart, Supervalu, Walgreens, and stores owned by them — will have to agree to allow the companies to continue marketing the products in misleading ways if they want to get some money back on their purchases and that’s if they even hear about the settlement since notification methods were flawed.
3. L’Oréal: After making well over $1 billion in net sales from misleadingly selling its Lancôme Gènifique and L’Oréal Paris Youth Code cosmetics line as products that could enable consumers to “grow young” without any substantial proof, the company only had to promise in a settlement with the FTC that it would never do that again. Consumers, who paid upwards of $100 for the skincare products that were advertised as being able to manipulate genes in the skin to reduce signs of aging, got no redress.
4. Vapex LLC  e-cigarettes:  Vapex and two other e-cigarette companies that admitted  guilty to violating Utah consumer protection laws by repeatedly charging consumers credit cards without appropriate consent and deceptively advertising the vaping products as safer alternatives to tobacco cigarettes had their fines reduced by 98 percent by the state of Utah. Utah, which received close to 100 complaints against the companies, cited them this summer following a investigation. The state agreed in separate settlements with Vapex, Sinless Vapor LLC and OZN Web LLC to allow the companies to pay just 2 percent of assessed fines totalling more than $1.1 million. Here’s a case where consumers truly got smoked.
5. Jimmy John’s Restaurants: In perhaps the silliest agreement worthy of a collective eye-roll, a judge approved a class-action settlement stemming from allegations that the restaurant chain advertised sandwiches with sprouts when the sandwiches did not in fact contain sprouts which gave consumers in the class a $1.40 voucher to purchase any side items. The side items?  Pickles, a cookie, potato chips or soda — all not quite as healthy as sprouts.


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