ECHS, Paramilitary service pay & a normal Kashmir

Long live ECHS. The ECHS is dead, almost! If this exclusive report by CNN-IBN is something to go by, the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme is on its deathbed. Most of the reputed hospitals have opted to pull out of the scheme. There are mainly two reasons for their action: non-payment and delayed payment of bills and lowering of rates at par with the other government scheme for civil employees, CGHS.

The Army itself admits that the health scheme needs life support. It acknowledges that routine bills take two to three months for clearance. Bills over Rs 5 lakh require Defence Ministry’s approval, which takes a minimum of 6 months.

Only six lakh out of 20 lakh ex-servicemen have enlisted reflecting lack of confidence in the scheme.

The abysmally low payment rates of Central Government Health Scheme to which the scheme is tied rule out quality medical care.

“Hospitals have always been loathe to accept these rates. I can’t understand why army cant have its own rates,” says former MD, ECHS, Maj. Gen. Kuldip Sindhu.

One doesn’t know whether the Army, which is responsible for running the scheme for the three services and has a serving two-star general heading it, can redeem the situation. It is a difficult task to combat the vested interests of the bureaucrats. Given the supine nature of the military top brass, the situation seems rather hopeless.

One needs to realise that the sufferings of the ex-servicemen will adversely impact the recruitment and retention rates in the military as these former troopers are the biggest advertisers and ambassadors for the services. Treating them with dignity and care will do more for the health of the services than spending a few crores on hiring a top advertising agency to create glossy advertisements. Is it possible to drive such simple truths home in the prevailing environment of the services?

Many service members have believed, rather naively, that their battle for a better deal from the government over the SCPC recommendations will be fought by the mainstream media. They would be disappointed, if not horrified, by the media coverage given to the demands of the paramilitary forces.

Demanding “equal pay for equal work” vis-a-vis defence personnel, a group of ex-paramilitary personnel has – on behalf of over 7.5 lakh jawans and officers in CRPF, BSF, CISF, ITBP, SSB and Assam Rifles – sent a memorandum to the Union home ministry, asking it to end the “discrimination” which, they say, is quite “demoralising” for the forces fighting terrorism and Naxalism across the country.

In the memorandum to Union home minister Shivraj Patil and home secretary Madhukar Gupta, the All India Ex-Paramilitary Personnel Association said that there should not be any disparity between army and CPMF personnel as the latter had an equally hard job in violence-hit and insurgency-prone areas in J&K and the north-eastern states.

Putting the case of paramilitary personnel forward, the association has mentioned how the paramilitary force personnel were deployed without a concept of ‘peace posting’ and ‘hard posting’ (that is followed in the army) and moved from one operation area to another without being given any break unlike their counterparts in the army.

Pitching for a ‘Paramilitary Service Pay’ akin to the ‘Military Service Pay’ recommended for defence personnel, it said that army personnel were adequately compensated for their services but paramilitary personnel had to contend with inferior pay, perks, pension and insurance cover despite doing the same kind of job.[TOI]

It only reaffirms what this blogger has been saying all along. The discontent of the military will be clubbed along with the discontent of the IPS, paramilitary, IFS and many others. They will be dismissed under the usual “all these government servants are greedy and want more without any productive work”. It is likely that the committee of secretaries will bide its time and then offer some perfunctory sops to get the right media coverage.

It only leads to one conclusion. Despite all the self-eulogising, the services are not considered an exclusive entity and will not be provided any special treatment by the government. So, is the current state of the services– grieving, wallowing in self-pity and begging for more alms– the only way out? Shouldn’t the current crisis, if it is one, spur the services to seek internal reform and restructuring? That would certainly have many more long-term institutional benefits than the short-term gain of a pay commission largesse, likely to be negated by spiralling inflation very soon.

Meanwhile, San Francisco Chronicle has a story that answers the question– Has war worn itself out in Kashmir?

Meanwhile, tourists are trickling back to Kashmir. Government figures say there were more than 450,000 tourists in 2007, including some 25,000 foreigners. In February, the mountain resort of Gulmarg hosted national winter games, attracting thousands of athletes and spectators. A fifth world-class golf course is due to open this year in Jammu. And a bevy of discount airlines are docking at Srinagar’s shiny new terminal. According to the chamber of commerce, overall business investment has soared from $200 million in 2001 to $2.3 billion in 2007.

It doesn’t seem to be going too well for the military. If the Kashmir crisis is resolved, the nation will certainly rejoice; the services may not, as they will go further down the pegging order of government priorities. Not that it will happen soon!

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19 Responses to ECHS, Paramilitary service pay & a normal Kashmir

  1. sukhdev May 10, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    “If the Kashmir crisis is resolved, the nation will certainly rejoice”

    I(aam aadmi) won’t rejoice until each and every millimetre of our land is cleansed of the jihadi scum and Pukestan stops its sponsoring of jihadi terror. Borrowing your words “Not that it will happen soon”

    Extra-extra, read all about it,
    Heavy-firing-on-LoC-infiltration-bid-foiled

  2. PS May 10, 2008 at 2:48 pm #

    @pragmatic

    It only leads to one conclusion. Despite all the self-eulogising, the services are not considered an exclusive entity and will not be provided any special treatment by the government. So, is the current state of the services– grieving, wallowing in self-pity and begging for more alms– the only way out?

    [1] Very well said but not full true. They have given up begging. A tiny step further – now weakly protesting:

    Jantar Mantar on 07 May had a 1000 ESMs presumably wearing medals (as directed by the ‘morcha’ organisers) protesting low pensions. Keeping them company were Punjabi Farmers actually wearing garlands of Brinjals, protesting GM foods. Jai Jawan Jai Kisan ?

    [2] Don’t think the 4200 CSOI fellows are going to give in the the DSOI wallas. Best to emulate Mayawati’s Brahmin_Dalit combine and tie up General Service Gentlemen with PBORs. That leaves the middle class out of the party.

    [3] With Lt Gen (retd) Nirbhay Sharma being elevated to the UPSC after retirement, we now have 8 ex Fauji Ambassadors, Governors, CMs and the like proving Mahajan’s Satanic verses on the Indian Army.

    • Olivia August 12, 2014 at 9:38 am #

      Haejllulah! I needed this-you’re my savior.

  3. Pragmatic May 10, 2008 at 8:17 pm #

    @PS:
    Do these weak protests matter? Is the Indianisation of the services complete now?

    Still looking for a copy of Mahajan’s book. Very prescient of him to see all this so clearly and state it even more lucidly.

  4. Charlie May 10, 2008 at 8:54 pm #

    ECHS was dead before it was born. ECHS copied the CGHS model at a time when it was breathing its last. It did benefit certain set of people at the introductory stage. Now it is back to usual with all pressure back on fauji set up (to ease this pressure was the primary aim of ECHS).

    A much better idea would have been to upgrade the existing set up. RH into MH, MH into BH, BH into CH, CH into RR. It would have been a win – win situation for both the patients as well as the AMC/ MNS cadre.

    @ Pragmatic

    “Do these weak protests matter?”

    They do matter if you consider that it is the first time after ‘Mangal Pandey’ episode that open protests are being organised. I really do not know whether these protests will wet the pants of the netas & babus, but it certainly will give sleepless nights to ….

  5. HOWLER May 18, 2008 at 9:41 pm #

    PARAMILITARY SERVICE PAY vs THE MILITARY SERVICE PAY

    1) I think all the readers of this blog will agree to one thing atleast i.e. there has never been more comprehensive and acrimonious debate amongst the govt employees regarding their roles/functions/duties/service conditions etc. than in the context of the sixth CPC. I read a comment on a Blog (http://vivekspace.com/2006/12/19/sixth
    -central-pay-commission-iii/#comment-8133) regarding the aspirations and expectation of various groups of the govt servants from the sixth pay commission. It reads as “The public servants are gradually realising the limits of their own importance in the social structure – a harbinger of coaxial national development. Thanks to the blog owner. We are
    learning many things through this blog that we might not have learnt through face to face discussions”. I think it simply strikes the nail on the head in relation to this debate.
    There are services which have remained so egrossed in their self congratulatory eulogies that they simply refuse to see the scenario/ground realities that have emerged over the years. They wish to remain captive to the past even to the extent of developing a “frog in the well” syndrome. These remain afflicted with the quest for NON-EXISTENT exclusivity. Leading the pack are the IAS, IPS and of course the defence forces. At times, they also ridiculously cite relevant constitutional provisions where these services are mentioned to propagate the myth of exclusivity and supremacy!

    2) I am a votary for the best compensation package for the govt servants that is available in the country. But when we talk about compensation packages, we entially
    discuss “who is getting what, for doing what and why.” All the reasons/justifications being forwarded for better pay,allowances and other compensatory facilities for defence forces/IPS/IAS are more relevant for the paramilitary forces and certainly with much more urgency. The discontent that you speak about in the defence forces is much more profound in the paramilitary forces.

    3) The defence forces predominantly harp on following reasons for grant of exclusivity and special treatment. While some of these may not be that relevant to IAF and Navy but certanly Indian Army has been bitterly crying loud about these.
    -securing the nation to extent of the peril of life.
    -restricted rights.
    -difficult deployment conditions.
    -extensive deployment in internal security duties.
    -disturbed famiy life.
    -short service span.
    -not being represented in the pay commissions despite being one of the largest group of central Govt employees.

    4) And defence forces cite following as the results of the denial of the exclusivity and “commensurate compensation” for the reasons in para 3 above:-
    - lower preference for defence forces as a career
    -shortages
    -increased disciplinary/court cases
    -suicides
    -fragging/fratricide
    -recruits opting for services rather than fighting arms within the force.
    -lesser time for rest/training in between deployments.

    5) Following are some of the assumptions they make & myths they propagate:-
    -every recruit at any level was a promising talent and would have been the future CEO in private sector if he had not joined the forces!
    -they are the most hard pressed service doing all the good things for nation while others are out to undo these acts!
    -They are exclusively involved in securing the nation making the “supreme sacrifices” at every step!!

    6) Now consider the factual position.

    a) Constitutional provisions & Restricted rights :-
    All paramilitary forces are raised under the constitutional provision by which the Central Govt can raise any Armed Force of the Union for security and ensuring integrity of the nation and the matters connected with these. It does so by acts passed by the parliament like the CRPF Act, BSF Act, ITBP Act etc. just like the ARMY Act. AirForce Act etc. In
    the constitution, and hence, in these acts also, the paramilitary forces are defined as the “Armed Forces of the Union”. Infact, if you go through these paramilitary acts like
    ITBP act, BSF act etc. you will find these are exact copies of the Army act. These acts define similar conditions of service including offences, punishments and justice delivery system for individuals subject to these acts as are stipulated in the Army act. At places even the language has not been
    changed! So, if there are GCM, PCM & SCM in defence forces, the paramilitary forces have corresponding GSFC,PSFC &SSFC where SFC stands for security force court and the rest including powers, composition etc are same!
    As if this was not enough, in addition, the paramilitary forces function under all the rules & regulations which govern the civil services and remain appliable to them too.

    b) Difficult service conditions, extensive deployment, disturbed family life & securing the nation:-
    There is nothing exclusive that Defence forces have done that has not been done by paramilitary forces too. Take the case of Army, Except Siachen, there is no other area where one paramilitary force or the other is not there with it. Be it the LoC, insurgency in J&K and north east. All the things ie field area, fidayeens, insurgency, LoC, hieghts of Kashmir, wars, kargil, assam, tsunami, floods, peace missions abroad, cyclones, earth quakes…. are being handled by these paramilitary forces too. Yes, i know, i left out siachen, that is the only thing that armed forces can claim to be their USP today which is not being handled by paramilitary forces. While after a stint at LoC,insurgency
    (hard area), the armyman goes for some swank cantt(peace area) with family as per well established and definite practice,the paramilitary forces remain committed to manning the regular boundaries of the country, tackling the naxalite problem, law and order, routine security arrangements etc.. etc… The list is much longer and totally unpredictable. Their peace areas are Rann of Kuchch, Deep jungles of northeast, high altitude areas. To say these are inhospitable is merely cracking a joke. But to paramilitary persons, especially the border guarding forces, these are also their “family” locations. The men stay at posts on the border/places of deployment while their families at these so called family locations which can be any thing upto 200 -300KMs behind or even more. Those men are lucky who
    actually get to spend even a couple of days in a month with their families in these so called family locations during the ‘family meet’ visit from their place of duty. And with no statutary provision in place for even such ‘family meet’ it is left to the descretion of the lowest level commanders to
    accord this ‘welfare’ to the men keeping in view the operational commitment. And these commanders are at their wits end to do so as the ‘operational committment’ remains perpetual & undefined with respect to the quantum as well as time and they are held responsible for any and every thing. It is thus not difficult to comprehend that even this family meet for few days remains a dream come true. With such a premium attached to few moments of family life, its easy to
    imagine that it is also the most vulnerable point for highest pressure. The family life is disturbed not only because one is not able to live with family but also because he is never aware when he will or if he ever will! Without any worthwhile system in place, family life remains so unpredictable, individual just cannot plan his routine
    domestic committments at all, leave aside emergency situation. That is the peace tenure that these paramilitary people “enjoy”. Most men prefer to keep their families back home rather than take them along to this horrible
    dispensation being sold to them as ‘family station’/'family life’.

    Few people Know, that apart from the normal peace time role, parmilitary forces have an active war time role too under control of defence forces. So, the actual situation is
    that the paramailitary forces remain carrying out peaceful elections, maintaining law and order, guarding vital installations of the country, fighting insurgents/ militants,
    tackling naxalites, catching veerappans etc..etc.. And of course they remain manning the borders without any worthwhile system of relief. They also fight the wars alongside the army whenever they happen in between. They are the ones taking the first brunt of hostile onslaught and repulsing it and continue forever even after the hostilities are over.While the Army goes back to the barracks for rest amidst all the adulation and self congratulatory boasts once the war is over, their poor fledgling cousins are left behind carying on with their usual guarding the sanctity of boundaries of India, maintaining of law and order, guarding vital installations of the country,fighting militants/insurgents, tackling naxalites, catching veerappans etc..etc.. And ofcourse, without any worthwhile system of relief. The poor guys are again ever busy ensuring the security and integerity of the country at all times i.e. pre, during and post war situation. They have their long lists of MVCs, VrCs, KCs, Shaurya Chakras, SMs, PPMGs,PMGs etc. yet they remain unsung heroes, rather, condemned to suffer silently.

    c) Short span of service:-
    The defence forces crib the short service span of their men. Remember it is a well announced and well explained procedure which every prospective recruit is well aware of
    at the time of joining the defence forces. An officer joining as SSC knows pretty well what his/her service span will be like and certainly with all the geniuses that are recruited by the defence forces they can plan it out. Incase they cant the defence force have a respectable exit mechanism with
    statutary system of session preperatory to the final exit where the individual can opt for a multitude of courses/training programs best suited to his capabilities for start outside. This also includes tailormade courses in institutions like IIMs, Xavier’s etc. for which probably they wouldnt qualfy even the entrance exams in normal course.
    This is further strengthened by the well established network of rehabilitation boards with a dedicated brief for resettlement of these released faujis. And ofcourse dont forget the all pervasive ex-servicemen quota! And the life-long CSD/Exservicemen facilities. Any person not able to utilise
    this largess, probably, deserve to remain the way they are.

    Now think of the situation in the paramilitary forces. Its all flawed from the very beginning! The recruits are not clear
    what they are joining from the very beginning. More so in the case of the border guarding forces. Those who join thinking them to be an offshoot of defence forces get the
    rudest of the shocks. They realise that despite the similar training and worse service conditions they are not treated any where even closer to the “elite” defence forces. Even though they may be operating shoulder to shoulder at places! Not to say, they are deprived of even the most basic
    amenities which the defence force are disregarding so matter of factly. While a paramilitary constable deployed in the remotest corner of the country, say the rann of kucch or keylong or lunglei, has to buy his soap, salt , food etc from the open market paying all the taxes to the govt and hefty premium to the guy making these things available to him at these god forsaken places! At the same time an army jawan/airman/sailor walks in to the swankest of the malls/stores( which they like to refer to as the CSD canteens) to shop for his needs in the comfort of climate controled environment even in the heart of the national
    capital! Ofcourse he doesnt have to be bothered about the taxes etc, his uniform is excuse enough for the grateful govt to waive off( or sucking it out of the hapless paramilitary chap in the rann to subsidise this jawan’s indulgences) to the maximum.

    But there are also those who join these paramilitary forces thinking that being ruled by the IPS they are joining a clone of police force. They are disillusioned from the training itself. They simply cant fathom the connection between the type of training, the role and tasks, copy of army act governing them vis-a-vis the khaki they are required to don or the IPS which rule them. For both the categories the only way to leave is to resign with out any benefits or sulk and live out the ordeal till one reaches pensionable service which incidentally is at least 20 years. No doubt the rate of those seeking VRS is one of the highest in PMFs as a group in the central Govt.
    Its a classic case of affliction with what can be called “third-gender” syndrome. Whatever may have been the vision of raising these PMFs, These forces have become nothing but the impotent cross of the Army and the Police just like the mule. It works the hardest, gets kicked the hardest and in the end suffers in silence cause it was created for being so.
    Does any one quitting the defence forces will actually like to join these. Answer is no. The fact is even the existing quota of exservicemen remains unutilised fully. those
    exservicemen who join seek to complete the remaining time for pensionable service after counting their defence service and leave. Though 6th CPC in its wisdom has recommended the lateral shift from defence forces to PMFs, but it most certainly will have few takers. How can you expect those running away from a way of life with all the present benefits to them to join some thing much worse off and deprived of any benefits therein. The dismal enrolment figure of exservicemen in the PMFs speaks the point aloud.
    Its no surprise the that there is a virtual exodus from the PMFs and persons even with the slightest better capabilities are leaving. The shortages are more acute in percentage terms than probably even what the defence forces claim.Not to speak of the suicides, fratricides, fragging and what not.

    Worst part is that while defence forces are sensitive to the problems and bargaining for better deal, the same problems which are more acute in PMFs are just brushed aside in the routine manner and even under the carpet.
    After all, when COAS speaks for his organisation, its actually a GC which speaks, a GC who has risen to be the Chief facing all the rough and tumble of his organisation. The conviction just gets built in on its own in whatever he says. And who submits the case for the PMFs? Usually a person, probably shunted out of his parent cadre to a
    retiring room, and at times with no prior experience of the organisation with absolutely no sense of belonging. And he knows very well what mules are meant for!

    PMFs demand “equal pay for equal work” is really unjustified cause that would mean downsizing the benefits of the defence forces! And no one wants that for sure!!!!!!

  6. trusty May 19, 2008 at 8:12 am #

    @HOWLER
    pretty hard hitting. the only point which is berating is that you seem to advocate ‘similar poor conditions’ for the armed forces as well.
    there is a blog post by pragmatic ” Crumbs versus Pittance” which is about the relative state of the two forces.
    Fact is, dont rue others….ask for your own. You definitely deserve it and must get your due.

  7. asdf May 21, 2008 at 8:23 pm #

    @
    howler

    i am not much aware of the PMF but only interaction which i had a with a platoon and its coy cdr i would like to share it with you.
    for security purpose they used to stay with army. they used to have best food as the coy cdr used to get direct cash unlike army and their only task was ROP. offcourse they were supposed to go out for night also but then you can imagine yourself what used to happen. he only told me that he will be
    DIG in 16/17 years of service. that time i thought i should have joined some
    PMF only.

  8. Veeru May 21, 2008 at 9:28 pm #

    @ Howler

    I tend to agree with asdf. Your battle begins at very senior levels. Our battle starts at Lt Col level followed by life long imprisonment. Shall we switch places?

  9. pradeep July 1, 2008 at 12:16 am #

    there is one more fact need to be considered :

    pay commission is of the view that delhi police and CISF personnel are entitled only 30 days of leave annually, hence they should be given 13 month’s pay in an year. CPC furthur says that men serving in other CPMF’s like BSF, CRPF, ITBP etc are entitled 60 day’s leave annually, so h=they should be given 12 months pay in an year.

    food for thought is Delhi police and CISF are working in cities, where they are very much living with their families and enjoy sundays and gazetted holidays mostly throughout the year. Therefore the overall period of their leave entitlement goes to : 30 days annual leave plus 12*4=48 sundays and min 10 gazetted holidays, ie more than 80 days leave. on the other hand, there is no difference between a sunday and a monday during active duty hours during border guarding, Internal Security duty like fighting insurgency or election duty etc. Any festival is as good as any other working day… Now thats not fair.
    The point is : its very good that Delhi Police and CISF are getting 13 months pay…But why discrimination with others??

  10. pradeep July 1, 2008 at 12:23 am #

    There has been some misunderstanding about the use of sahayaks in CPMFs. Rather it is something similar to “orderly” in Indian Army. CPMFs don’t have ‘Field’ and ‘Peace’ tenures similar to Army but they move from “Field: to “Field” throughout their career. For an officer of CRPF who is deployed in the Kashmir Valley or elsewhere, it is necessary that he should be available on telephone 24×7 so as to apprise him of any untoward incident as well as to take further orders. Similary officers of BSF and ITBP must be accessible all the time as anything happening in the border must be reported to higher HQrs timely so as to avoid any escalation of situation. Do the commission thinks that such an important duty should be outsourced to civilians who neither understands the confedentiality of the information received on phone nor had any idea of various terms and terminology used in the Forces. Needless to say outsourcing will create a big mess in the whole issue. Unlike Army which is deployed at unit level CRPF is deployed in a scattered manner. One Bn of CRPF may have its companies in three to four states. Same is the case with other CPMFs which are more frequently used for IS duties as well as Election duties. Moreover CPMFs also need to maintain regemental institutions like Officers Institutes, SO’s Mess, welfare centres where no outsourcing is possible due to location of the deployment. Needless to say where no birds and inhabitation is available at Indo Tibet border from where these outsourcing will be sourced. Can anyone think that personal security to a company commander or for that matter Battalion commander is being provided to him by a civilian outsourced, when he himself is commanding a company or a Battalion. A company commander of CRPF, deployed with his company in remote areas to fight naxalism or of BSF or ITBP deployed at high altitudes where only tinned food is consumed, do not have an officer mess for himself and eats from the same langer where food for whole company is cooked. Do this commisssion wants him to go to the langer with a plate in his hand and collect his food himself by withdrawing his sahayak. The job of CPMFs has ben taken very lightly by this commission. CRPF – Area of operation in most inhospitable terrain, uncertainity in deployment. In the morning they are at Imphal and by the evening they are airlifted to Gujrat to control roits. BSF- Deployed together with Army in Line of Control, Less calories of food sanctioned by the Govt, Inhospitable terrain of Thar and Rann of Kutch, fighting insurgency in North East, Successfully contained militancy in Kashmir by paying very heavy price in its men. ITBP- Whole life dedicated to snow bound mountains. What this commission wants to prove. Are they not Armed Forces. Aren’t personnel of these Forces human beings and have a family behind to look after. Commission has not got deep inside the facts to find out that whether pers of CPMF are ever posted to “Peace” Locations in their career or not. On the other hand such recommendations (like that of Surksha Sahayak) only demoralise these Forces Too much is there to say but problem with these CPMFs is that their top brass comes from IPS for a fixed period of deputation, where as COAS of Army is a very own officer of Army and fight for their cause till his retirement.

  11. A BSF OFFICER September 30, 2008 at 7:35 pm #

    DEAR BROTHERSS AND FRIENDS.
    I WENT THROUGH ALL THE COMMENTS. I WANT TO CONVEY THE FEELINGS OF THE PARAMILITARY FORCE LIKE BSF IN THE FORUM. I AM A SERVING BSF OFFICER AND HAVE PUT IN AROUND 20 YEARS OF SERVICE IN PLACES LIKE KARGIL, COUNTER INSURGENCY OPS IN J&K, NE AND REMOTE DESERTS OF RAJASTHAN. BSF IS OVER 2 LAC STRONG FORCE WITH IMPECCABLE RECORD IN GUARDING THE BORDERS APART FROM FIGHTING WARS IN 1971 AND IN KARGIL AND COUNTERING INSURGENCIES IN J&K,PUNJAB,NORTH-EAST AND THE NAXALITE MENACE WITH FULL DEDICATION AND ZEAL IN A SILENT AND STOIC MANNER WITHOUT A WHIMPER OR COMPLAINT. BUT IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT PEOPLE HAVE NOT GIVEN DESERVED DUES TO THIS GREAT FORCE WHICH HAS SACRIFICED MAX NO OF OFFICERS AND MEN IN ALL OPERATIONAL FIELDS. TO GIVE EX- ONLY ONE UNIT OF BSF WAS DEPLOYED IN KARGIL DURING 1998-99 DURING THE HOSTILITIES BUT IT NEVER ALLOWED THE PAKISTANIS TO TAKE OVER A SINGLE INCH OF INDIAN LAND IN THEIR AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY. FOR THIS ACT OF BRAVERY THE REWARD WAS THROWING OUT BSF UNCEREMONIOUSLY FROM THE AREA WITHOUT ANY RECOGNITION OF THE VALOUR BY THE SHAME FACED ARMY AUTHORITIES. PROBABLY THEY COULD NOT DIGEST THE FACTS. SIMILIARLY IT IS A VERY LESS KNOWN FACT THAT DURING THE INITIAL PHASES OF MILITANCY IN J&K MOST OF THE AREAS WERE HAD BECOME LIBERATED ZONES( WHERE EVEN THE “GREAT ARMY” FEARED TO ENTER) WHICH WERE CLEARED BY BSF AT A GREAT COST OF BLOOD OF ITS OFFICERS AND MEN. AFTERWARDS ALSO THE FORCE KEPT ON FIGHTING THE MILITANCY RELENTLESSLY AND MAINTAINED ASCENDANCY OVER THE TERRORISTS IN ALL RESPECTS. ON AN AVERAGE AROUND 400 OFF & MEN LOST THEIR LIFES WHILE FIGHTING MILITANTS IN J&K EVERY YEAR FROM 1990- 2005. THIS FACT HAS AGAIN REMAINED UNRECOGNIZED BY THE CITIZENS OF INDIA.
    IN SHORT WHATEVER TASKS WHICH WERE GIVEN TO THE FORCE WERE COMPLETED IN MOST PROFFESSIONAL AND HUMANE MANNER POSSIBLE IN THE LIMITED RESOURCES WHICH THE FORCE HAS. BUT VESTED INTERESTS HAVE ALWAYS SHADOWED THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE FORCE. THE FORCE IS WORKING WITHOUT ANY REPRIEVE CONTINOUSLY AT MOST HAZARDOUS AND REMOTE CORNERS OF THE COUNTRY, SINCE THERE IS NO PROVISION OF PEACE TENURES. THE PROBLEMS ARE COMPOUNDED BY PRESENCE OF DEPUTATIONOSTS IN THE FORM OF IPS OFFICERS WHO ARE MOSTLY IGNORANT AND LEAST BOTHERED ABOUT THE FORCE AND ITS LACK OF BASIC AMENITIES AND PROMOTIONAL AVENUES OF MEN AND OFFICERS.THE FORCE IS WORKING CONTINOUSLY IN FAR FLUNG AND REMOTE AREAS AND THEY COME HERE JUST TO ENJOY. JUST FIND OUT WHERE ALL THESE BRILLIANT AND BRAVE IPS SAVIOURS ARE SERVING THEIR TENURE IN BSF- U WILL FIND THEM COOLING THEIR BOTTOMS IN ALL THE CUSHY PLACES AND MAJOR CITIES WHILE THE SENIOR CADRE OFFICERS ARE CONTINOUSLY POSTED TO REMOTE AND EXTERME HARD AREAS. ON TOP OF THAT THESE SHAMELESS IPS OFFICERS HAVE THE GUMPTION OF TEACHING THE BASICS OF BORDER GUARDING AND SECURITY TO THE CADRE OFFICERS WHO HAVE BEEN CONTINOUSLY SERVING IN THE TOUGH AREAS ALONG WITH THE TROOPS. MOST OF THEM ARE CORRUPT AND A HAVE BEEN THROWN OUT FROM THEIR OWN CADRE STATES BECAUSE THEY WERE EITHER FOUND USELESS OR COULD NOT BE ADJUSTED DUE TO POLITICAL AFFLIATIONS. THIS HAS RESULTED IN DEEP FRUSTRATION IN THE RANK AND FILE AND WHICH HAS NOT BEEN SUFFICIENTLY ADDRESSED BY THE PAY COMMISSION AND THE GOVT TOO.
    WE HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR ARMY AND TREAT IT AS OUR ELDER BROTHER BUT IT ALSO LOSES NO OPPERTUNITY TO SHOW THE FORCE IN A BAD LIGHT ALTHOUGH ON THE PERSONAL LEVEL THEY ACCEPT BSF AS AN EXELLENT FORCE. IN THE PAY COMMISSION TOO THEY ARE UNNECESSARILY TRYING TO MAINTAIN “RELATIVE PARITY” IN THE PAY AND WANT THEIR LT-COL TO BE UPGRADED TO THE PAY BAND 4 WHICH HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THE COLONELS OF ARMY AND COMMANDANTS OF BSF BEING OF EQUAL RANK. THIS IS PATENTLY UNFAIR AND HAS BEEN RIGHTLY CORRECTED BY THE PAY COMMISSION. NOW THEY ARE CREATING A PRESSURE SITUATION AND PRESENTING INCORRECT JUVENILE SITUATIONS AND PRESSURISING THE GOVT ON FALSE PRETEXTS WHICH SHOULD BE RESISTED STRONGLY.SOMEBODY SHOULD TELL THEM THAT COMMAND AND CONTROL AND PAY ARE NOT LINKED. EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT WHEN A CPMF GOES UNDER ARMY OPERATIONAL CONTROL NO ONE ASKS ABOUT THE PAYSCALES ETC BEFORE OBEYING LEGAL AND GOOD ORDERS AND I DONT AGREE THAT JUST BY BRINGING OUT THE SHORTCOMINGS OF ARMY ONE BECOMES UNPATRIOTIC SINCE I HAVE PUT IN MORE THAN 12 YEARS OF SERVICE WORKING ALONG WITH THE ARMY AND HAVE FOUND OUT THAT THE HIGH IDEALS LIKE JUSTICE ,FAIRPLAY AND HONESTY WHICH WERE HELD SACRED EARLIER HAVE BEEN REPLACED WITH MEANNESS AND A LOVE FOR POWER AND HUNGER FOR STATUS AND MONEY.
    I WOULD REQUEST MAX PEOPLE TO COMMENT.

  12. menon September 30, 2008 at 8:11 pm #

    @ A BSF OFFICER

    I am conversant and familiar with the area having flown extensively and also carried out cas evacs and air maintenance from BSF posts in that zone. Things are far from what you are trying to project. I understand that there is always a complex when a comparison is made. It is like a Nurse or a Doctor – who is superior?
    I had on an earlier post requested PMFs and ancillary organisations to avoid jumping on the bandwagon in the hope of getting more. If you want more say so, don’t try this. The Army has in no way tried to prevent you from getting extra benefits. The parity that the Armed forces are demanding is not with the BSF etc so why pop in?
    Have you found any Army person on this blog calling the BSF unpatriotic? Your problems are that your cadres are restricted by IPS officers on the top and since they are your bosses you cannot vent your frustration on them, so, cry foul against the Army.
    Incidentally the BSF is structured for limited defensive ops and that is why we have terms like re-organised BOPs. The task of the BSF is to man the borders so that the regular Army can train and practice offensive and defensive ops of war without gaping holes in the border. That is why the name Border Security Force is given commensurate with the task. Now that Politicians use you for elections etc is another issue which is not recommended. There is no doubt about the Patriotism or Courage of the BSF. They are as brave and courageous as the Armed Forces. In fact in today’s electronic spectrum gone are the days when surprise is easy to achieve and the attack come on unprepared defences. It is a done thing to re-org beef up defenses with regulars many days before hostilities commence especially since visual and electronic maneuvers are difficult to mask.
    I don’t mean to be rude but someone once asked me “Can the compounder and the Doctor be in the same grade?”
    Let’s not do what the Bureaucrats want. Get the uniformed forces to fight and then sort them out one by one. Suggest you speak for the ills of your organisation. It will just result in trading of accusations.

  13. One more BSF Officer October 1, 2008 at 6:42 pm #

    HOWLER… That was the most realistic note on our service condition.. Really speak volumes about ur versatile experience in the force… Khudos..

    PRADEEP… Our Defence friends will surely agree with us on the issue of Security Aid… and hope the recommendation is not implemended… after all its only “hope” that we can rely upon (No COAS for us)

    A BSF OFFICER… Sir I am completely with you on the “Command and Control” issue, but i still hold the Forces Chief in high esteem… they are fighting for the cause of their men, so what if a false issue is made a weapon…

    ASDF… I dont know how to become a DIG in 16/17 years.. I dont see myself reaching that rank in my service time… least present conditions prevail and too many of my seniors quit (God save the force then)…

    Menon… Rightly said that BSF is structured for limited defensive ops.. And in war time re-organised BOPs come in place… Are BSF guys sent on leave then… They will be very much present in these re-organised BOPs fighting shoulder to shoulder with u guys… And when do you think has India gone for a offensive ops.. Its always been and will be defensive…

  14. menon October 1, 2008 at 7:57 pm #

    @ One more BSF Officer

    —They will be very much present in these re-organised BOPs fighting shoulder to shoulder with u guys…
    We will & join us shoulder to shoulder in this fight. You guys also need to have a top cadre not from the IPS.

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