Friday, August 19, 2016
JUSTICE DENIED TO ARMED FORCES PERSONNEL - BY LT COL NOEL ELLIS (RETD) (A copy of This will be handed over to Justice Reddy on 17th in Manekshaw Audi Chm)
I think this discussion has gone far too long, that who deserves what, how much and why. While most people agree that the armed forces have always been on the wrong side of the receiving end though they deserve the best. However, when it comes to implementation of such commissions, it is Justice XYZ delivering his verdict. It is such honourable men like Justice Mathur who are ensuring that the future generation refrains from joining the Armed forces of India. Choice and justice delivered is yours dear sir, I wish you good luck. I will still like my child to adorn the Olive Greens, present controversy notwithstanding.
Well, justice sahib, we need real justice. Justice from this discrimination of pay parity, justice to get back our Izzat, justice to be able to serve this country longer, justice because we look after humanity during natural calamities and disasters, justice when it comes to looking after our families when we are at the borders, justice when we restore law and order due to the incompetence of the civil administration and mishandling by politicians, justice to deliver during war and bring victory to the nation, justice to live in peace, if there is peace.
Can justice be delivered to the armed forces fraternity by a person who has no clue which side should a rifle point if I use a term “Shikari” position? Can you do justice to the time spent without our families? Can you do justice to the ache in our hearts to meet and be with our better halves and children while you are with them every night? Can you do justice by depriving me of seeing my child take the first steps and walk for the first time? Or for that matter blabber the first words? Can you do justice, when I miss the funeral of my father as I missed my flight due to bad weather, and due to over congestion of troops at the airfield? Can you do justice by cutting short my leave as I am recalled to operational area for a call of duty? Can you do justice by not being there with my ailing parents and pregnant wife who has to go to hospital for her delivery, without my presence and moral support? Can you do justice to my children who go astray due to lack of supervision by the father? Can you do justice by guaranteeing me suitable re-employment when I have to leave the armed forces in the prime of my youth, without a secure future? I still guarantee you that you will find my shoes shining and my dress neat and crisp, an envy for many a civilian counter parts. I guarantee you I will work as hard and with as much dedication as I worked in the armed forces. I guarantee you that I shall prove to be an asset to the organization I get to serve in, by bringing in the best values taught to me. I assure you, still I shall make myself available for the country, whenever the need be, but do justice to my very existence while in service and after I am told to hang my uniform, PLEASE.
Can you justify giving me the disease called hypertension? As I always have the fear of the unknown while operating in tense insurgency areas? Can you justify the diseases I pick up like BP, diabetes, arthritis, high altitude pulmonary edema etc? Can you justify my lost hand, fingers, foot, leg eye, or scars which I get for no fault of mine? Can you justify not giving me the basic requirement of food in difficult terrain? Can you justify the vagaries of the inclement weather I have to face, which ranges from extreme cold, to extreme heat, to extreme humidity. Can you justify the leeches I have to pluck off my body at the end of the day? Can you justify plucking off the ticks which cling to my private parts during night patrols in the thick jungles of J&K? Can you justify to me why our letters should be censored and read by many before it reaches my wife? Can you justify not providing me a facility of a basic phone to speak to my beloved anytime I want? Can you justify my absence from birthdays, harvest and weddings in my own family? Where as you attend all. Can you justify presenting me with bullets from the enemy, and also from the unknown enemy which is within the country. Can you justify not catching and punishing the bribe takers & corrupt. Can you justify people who won’t sign the attestation of my child needing admission in college without greasing their palms? Can you do justify not providing me proper accommodation in every military cantonment? Can you justify to me the availability of a sarkari vehicle with driver to you while you make me walk for miles on end where there are no roads and I have to make my own pathway to walk? Can you bring back my comrades who are still buried in deep snow due to avalanches? Can you bring back the prisoners of war who still rot in Paki jails?
I want to ask you Mr Justice that can you do justice by doing little something to keep my morale up. Can you define in any justice system the high degree of discipline we the armed forces have to maintain? Can your imagination fathom the way we bear loyalty and allegiance to the “Nishan” and the National flag, Can you justify the body which comes draped in the tri-colour? Will you do justice by giving glory and emoluments in time to the NOK of such deceased? Can you do justice to the thousands of young widows who could never imagine that the husbands shall never return? Can you do justice to the orphans of such martyrs? Can you do justice to the veterans, who till now are fighting valiantly, peacefully, in a disciplined manner for their rights which is being denied to them, courtesy insensitive, misinformed, Justice’ like you. You may deny it, but we know we deserve it and we shall get it. Period!
Mr Justice, come with us, sit behind in an Army truck, drive with us in a convoy from Jammu to Ladakh. Acclimatise, and stay at Bana top post for just 3 months, after your 3 months of induction training. Come down thereafter to base camp and stay for another 3 months. Believe you me on seeing the first carrot or cabbage in the market at Chandigarh you will run to touch it to see how it feels. Tell me the taste and smell of fresh chapattis and dal fry at the first dhaba that you come across. Tell me the taste and smell of “chai” at the railway station. Tell me how it feels to see the first good looking girl on the street when you have only seen bearded men, with stinky outfits all these days. Tell me how you react when the first smell of perfume hits your nostrils. Do tell me how it feels to hold a crisp news paper after ages, as you are used to reading such news papers in which you packed your chappals ages ago. Tell me how the first blast of FM radio echoes in your ears, after having heard the fauji radio sets constant whining and whistling. Tell me how the air feels in your lungs when you land at Delhi, It feels kind of heavy and smells like air. Tell me when you catch hold of someone’s mobile to call up your wife that darling I have landed and shall be home soon. Tell me when your little girl hugs you and screams on seeing you. Can you express the feelings that at times when she refused to recognise you when you came on leave? Tell me if your wife had to make up stories to reply to the child when the child would have asked that why papa has not come for my birthday. Tell me how it feels to see “I love you papa” scribbled in the corner of a letter written by your 5 year old daughter/son.
Kindly also do justice to the soldier by just ensuring that he doesn’t go in an unreserved second class compartment packed like cattle. At least give him a berth in a 3rd AC as he would have descended from -20 to + 40.
These things are beyond imagination of yours Mr Justice. We don’t want to compare ourselves with any IAS, IPS, or IFS but we want justice to be delivered to us.
Can you deliver it to the armed forces sir, I think you can, but with your mindset will you deliver the desired justice, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Source- Via e-mail from BHARAT BHUSHAN GHAI, Vet),_.___