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Is Ministry of Defence anti-Military?
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Lt Gen Harwant Singh | Date:09 Sep , 2012 16 Comments
Lt Gen Harwant Singh
Former Deputy Chief of Army Staff. He also commanded a corps in J&K.

It has been the stance of the MoD to work against the interests of the military. This sustained attitude and practice of the MoD has created deep fissures in its relationship with the military. There is palpable mistrust of the Ministry amongst the armed forces. The adverse fall out of this relationship, besides on national security, has resulted in mistrust, despondency and demoralization.

There is palpable mistrust of the Ministry amongst the armed forces.

While the MoH fights tooth and nail to protects the interest of, say Central Police Organizations ( CPOs – inappropriately  called para-military, )  MoD operates in a motivated and deliberate manner against those of the military. This adversial stance of the MoD has been more visible in the case of successive Central Pay Commissions.

 Defence services personnel posted in, say Siliguri ( not an insurgency area )  are not entitled to any extra allowances, whereas CPOs are . While in insurgeny infested places army’s officers and men of  special forces get allowances from Rs 800 to 1200 per month, CPOs,( their special forces i.e. Cobrs, Grey Hounds etc) get Rs 7200 to 11000 per month. Central services officers when posted to North East get 12.5 percent of basic pay as special duty allowance, with double HRA and for IAS officers the allowance is 25 percent of basic pay and detachment allowance of 300 per day to all CAPF personnel.

There are no such allowances for the defence personnel.

There are no such allowances for the defence personnel. While many other disparities can be listed, but the case of  grant of Non Functional Advancement largesse to all central services officers granted by the Sixth CPC and not to the defence services officers is simply scandalous.

In every CPC, MoD, instead of promoting military’s cause, played a negative role to its disadvantage. Every case of injustice fought and won by military personnel in lower courts has been contested by the MoD in higher courts. So much so, that, in such cases, the MoD has been seeking review of judgments of the Supreme Court as well. Often it has compelled the army HQ to join hands with it in seeking such reviews from the highest court, i.e. the case of pensions of maj-gens.

During my briefing of the PM at the Chadigarh Raj Bhawan, besides other issues, I brought to his notice, making service HQ party in these review petitions and the dangers of this game plan. There is great bonding between the veterans and the serving, which is unique to the military alone. Any mistrust in this bonding will be deleterious and will play on the morale of the serving.  I followed this up with a detailed letter to the PM, highlighting issues raised with him, to which a wishy washy reply was received.

Every case of injustice fought and won by military personnel in lower courts has been contested by the MoD in higher courts.

The most wicked and despicable case is that of deduction of rank pay, as granted by the Fourth Pay Commission to officers, upto the rank of brigadiers. This was the exclusive machination of the MoD in collaboration with the CDA(O.) One gusty major fought the case right through to the Supreme Court to get his rank pay from 1986 onwards. All through, MoD opposed this case and now when some spirited officers took up the case on behalf of all the effected officers, MoD employing some rather low tactics, conveyed to the Highest Court that the armed forces HQs too were against grant of rank pay. When Service HQs told the Attorney General, in writing, that there was no opposition from them and on the other hand they fully supported the cause, MoD tried to arm twist service HQs. Now that the Supreme Court has settled this case, those who played this mischief need be identified and taken to task, including those who have since retired.

From Fourth Pay Commission onwards, services have been fielding their cases before this august body, but support from the MoD has been negative and that is how defence services were downgraded every time. In the case of Sixth Pay Commission, there are 39 anomalies that relate to the defence services, which are still to be resolved. If the career in the defence services has become the last choice for the youth of this country, MoD has played a sterling role in this degradation of the military.

Handling of simple case of age of the previous army chief is the more recent example of cussedness in the attitude of the MoD. While this issue of age was attracting national attention, somewhat mischievously were floated the cases of ‘ wire tapping,’ of RM’s office, military coup and the leakage of the Top Secret letter from the COAS to the PM: insinuating army Chief’s hand in this.  While the first two failed miserably, the last bounced back on the government. CBI is still to tell the nation as to who leaked this letter. Since CBI is completely free of government influence, we will never know as to who leaked to the press, this Top-Secret communication to the P.M!

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16 thoughts on “Is Ministry of Defence anti-Military?

  1. MoH looks after CPOs because they enjoy a “Live and let eat” policy with each other as the moral fabric of CPOs/IPS cannot be commented upon. On the other hand services can still boast of upright officers whose moral fabric is still strong and therefore they can never connive with the babus/politicians.( though this degradation has started and speeding up). This is also to do with leadership and exposure at officers level. Rarely we hear that any officer of CPO/IPS has laid down his life in face of any anti-national element or dacoits etc. On the other hand more than a dozen officers of Services are killed/incapacitated every year. The CPOs/IPS do not lead from the front and leave the leadership element in hand of Inspectors. And if they do so they demand a hefty allowance.

    See the French Police who is handling the anti -terror operations itself. can Indian Police handle such a situation? They find a easy way of summoning the Army through their bumchums sitting as DC/Commissioners. And then they enjoy the Poor fauji doing their job.

    • You comment is not just ridiculous but also boast of what the classics call ‘licking behind the back’. The problem with those of people like you is that, you think only you are moral and upright. Well there is no doubt that corruption is rampant in civilian administration, Army is no exception to that.
      Officers have been caught selling MT supplies in the local markets and the kind of treatment that is given to Jawans by your so called ‘mems’ is well known to world.
      Before you pass any scathing to others please look into the mirror and I’m sure that would detest you from doing that.

  2. Instead of blaming m o d I request all Army Cdrs and above to kindly look into their own frailties and improve upon those and gain boldness to call a spade spade while in service and not to compromise for sake of their self progression. The day they learn to be upright, MO D will automatically fall in line.

  3. Ministry of Defence is always against its Soldiers and Officers, it showed from its preceding act and events of filing appeals and appeals on speaking orders of our AFTs, High Courts by filing SLPs only to abuse the process of law and cause hardships to great Veterans, poor Soldiers and Officers. Whereas the Union home ministry always shields its men and Officers even though they does excesses by taking the law into their hands according to their whims and fancies and in respect of their service matters MHA is always favorable to their men and Officers, never files appeals over appeals and SLPs.

  4. Till MOD is ruled by Babus no hope. MOD must have Service officers manning important portfolios. What is so good about these Babus that they are taking whole country for a ride. Politicians and Babus are glove in hand. There is a big money involved in every deal. They know if it goes in the hand of forces they will not get there share. Mr Modi must clean up this mess created by Nehruvian policy. Nehru never wanted to have an Army. He wanted to run country with Police only. His dear friend Chau en lai has taught him a lesson in 1962.

  5. Injustice has been done MOD,under UPA 1 & 2. Right from 4th centray pay commission to last 6th pay commission ,problems have accumulated to the extent that it will take at least couple of years from now to address them to the satisfaction of the Armed forces.It is because 7th central pay commission ,which has got another see to this fact that parity is now onwards maintained between civil & Military services and other Organs of central services with all transparency manifested their in.Defence forces should also understand ,that haste also takes some time for the 43 years problem OROP,plus huge anomalies let festered by previous dispensations at the helm of affairs in Government.Today’s attitude of confrontation looks like black mail,when some hot heads leading the agitation call to vote against NDA,who have already delivered to large extent on OROP.That is arm twisting not behoves of patriotic forces of our country.

  6. Sir, Please stop misleading the government and general public. Jawans are badly treated by none other than higher echelons of the defence force only. Living condition, promotion aspects, privileges are different for Officers and Jawans. Jawans has bear minimum. If you compare the strength of the Officers to Jawan ratio for the past decade, Jawans strength is depleted never before, increase of Officers strength means, less work for officers, higher promotion aspects and more comfort. If you see promotion of officers, in 13 years he becomes Lt Col / Wg Cdr (4 promotion) whose pay pay band is in PB-3. Promotion is totally based on time period, but if you see in Indian Air Force, by 13 yrs 06 months one jawan becomes Sergeant (one promotion) after writing various exams. For eg.. A logistics of any any air force organisation / station was once looked after by a warrant Officers, now 4-5 officers were posted for one logistics section. You are cheating the government and public that officers strength is less, but if someone audit the ratio of officers to PBOR, then you all will in be ditch. You are comparing officers with civil service officers, it is ridicules. Whole country knows the selection process of Civil service and Defence Officers. Civil service selections are based on real talent, but officers selections are based on influence and kith and kins of defence officer can only get selected. If we audit the officers who came from defence background, it would be more than 70%. This is the biggest scam going on in recruiting officers. Does a kin of bank employee get preference in Bank employment? Answer is big No. But again you are cheating our nation by giving more privileges to your sons and kins. India is land of Karma, Please stop using jawan as buddy who does all personal works of officer, Stop blaming ministry, if you would have given more power, you would have taken half of the welath of country to your home. I am serving soldier writing this…

    • Point by point reply to the misinformed:
      1. No the ranks are not mistreated, there has always been special emphasis on officer-men bonding. If this fails there are often times dangerous revolt like situations in the unit/regiment.
      2. Living condition, promotion aspects, privileges are different for Officers and Jawans – Yes we need more funds and proper processes to deliver this; please provide the funds and it will be done
      3. Officer strength has constantly depleted. Wherever there is authorization of say 30 officers you have only 7 available. So the officers are effectively doing about 3.5x the work. Please get the facts right.
      4. The recruitment of ranks has never been a challenge. Infact the baseline/bar (education level) for ranks has been raised in the past many years. Still no shortage of men! Again please get the facts correct.
      5. Yes the government has classified it as central services officers.We have always been asking for a separate categorizations.
      6. If it were true, the army wouldn’t be one of the only few institutions in the country constantly delivering. Be it floods, internal disturbances… google the list
      7. without good leadership the army is nothing (so the fear if not having enough and quality men leading) Read military history and the consequences of bad leadership.
      8. No reservation/favoritism in selection. Its more of “family tradition”. Just like a doctor’s kid follows his parents; a business man; politician :P? you get the drift? Also there aren’t enough takers for the tough life.
      9. Its been generations of tradition but now its breaking. Reason, I don’t know how our parents did it but we don’t want the thankless job. Enough of desh bhakti. We are not slaughter animals for a thankless country. research on this and you will find it to be true.

  7. Unless Politicians realise the importance as they have no idea about armed forces and their conditions et al, Babus will always have a upper hand. Indian politicians does not learn also. It is absolutely important for Chiefs to make it clear that nothing will be taken lying down. May be few will lose their job but it cannot go on , if every Chief puts his foot down for important issues. If we are so scared of Babus and cannot get things done, how are we going to get things done in War ? Message of no respect for Armed forces will have long term effect as people will not join. In fact there used to be a joke – for marriage Armed forces men are preferred fifth or Sixth a few decades back

    • The Cost of Defence: ASPI Defence Budget Brief 2012-2013Page 50As can be seen, over the past fifteen years the nubemr of civilian senior executives hasincreased by 69% and military star rank officers by 70%. At the same time, the civilianworkforce grew by only 27% and the military workforce by only 11%. Over a similar timeframe, the nubemrs of civilian and military senior officers have grown by 94% and 42%respectively. Although the budget papers show a reduction in the nubemr of civilian seniorofficers in Defence and DMO in 2012 13, such predictions have been made in the past andnot occurred.At every senior level in the civilian and military workforce the nubemr of managers andexecutives has increased at a rate well in excess of the growth in the size of the overallworkforce. However, as might be expected, the fastest rate of increase has occurred at thelevel of Deputy Secretary and 3 star military officer (Table 2.5.12) where much of the growthis very recent, including as a result of the 2007 Defence Management Review.P54Third, the actual remuneration of civilian personnel has increased much more quickly thanfor the military workforce, in part, through the level enrichment’ shown in Table 2.5.13.(Civilian senior officers make up 28% of the civilian workforce while military senior officersonly account for less than 3%.

  8. Just today, Arun Jaitley of the BJP has threatened the CBI with dire consequences if it furthers its investigation into the Gujarat Riots cases, calling the officers as Congress Conspirators.
    This clearly shows that even if he BJP govt. comes to power, the general attitude
    of the political mafias will not change towards the security establishment- which politicians see as a threat to their unbridles power . It is also to be noted that the Courts have not taken any notice of such extra constitutional threats.
    Today it is the CBI officers being threatened, then in 1999 Admiral Ramdas was summarily dismissed by Brajesh Mishra (again the BJP govt.), for Honesty!!!

    The experience of the Army has been quite bad too, as you have mentioned in your article- VK Singh has also been dismissed Extra-constitutionally recently by DOB juggling(during the Congress govt.) for Honesty.
    So it is clear that the powers of the Executives, combined with those of Legislatures in the same persons, have far overreached the levels as were perhaps originally envisaged by the Constitution framers and the Founding Fathers.
    The purpose of the “civilian/bureaucratic” supremacy was to prevent Democracy from being subverted.
    But that phase is over. Now the defense/security establishment must upgrade itself to its appropriate place and provide security to India. ie Indians.
    Defense esrablishment has not taken care of its own rotten apples so dont expect the Political mafia to relent.
    This phase is your (Defense/Security establishment’s) baptism by fire – for the sins of your rotten apples…


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