Sunday, October 20, 2013
The Army – The ‘Wrongs’ we thought were ‘Right’
Lt Gen Randhir Kumar Mehta, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, VSM (Retd)
Commenting on Karan Kharb’s article ‘The Army – What’s gone Wrong’, Lt Gen Randhir Kumar Mehta, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, VSM (Retd) has offered some more vital inputs that merit serious review sooner than later. The General, a military leader with an enviable career record of illustrious service in field and peace, has led from the front and inspired many through personal examples. His comments:-
I received your recent article on the IA from Turning Point. You have made very telling points, which I agree with. May I put down some landmark occurrences which to me require a full examination to set right the wrongs in the med term :-
1. The first cadre up gradation in 75/76. The second cadre review has further exacerbated leadership and inefficiencies at all levels of command and staff.
2. The introduction of authorised (free) rations to officers resulted in a cultural change with barter, exercising choices, ladies dealing directly with Q personnel, drop in mess standards.
3. With grant of Lt rank on commissioning ,removal of retention test, PartA and C exam, Part Band D being made easy, reduction in years for grant of substantive ranks, first selection rank being Col, re-employing Brigs (a flag rank) ,Col(TS) : we have taken away the challenges and in turn a sense of achievement from an officer.
4. Honours and awards are a dime a dozen. Ironically, even AWWA is awarding citations.
5. Money and the man. AWWA , grants which are large amounts and not correctly spent are terrible temptations involving the rank and file and civilians. We have to clip AWWA.
6. Fudging is a way of life rather than an exception.
7. You have covered ACR trends, there is similarly a trend in inflated course gradings.
8. Our approach to welfare issues needs a close examination vis a vis Operations, Training , Administration etc;.
9. We started overplaying the issue of national war memorial, Order of precedence, comparisons with PMF, Police services etc; and drew wrong conclusions. Have the others ever compared themselves with us?
10. Coming to retired personnel, I do feel our behaviour in institutes, clubs, canteens, ECHS and Service housing societies, ESM also requires to be as is expected.