Sanjha Morcha

Army to bring back remains of WW-I soldiers

Dehradun, October 30

A team of the Garhwal Rifles will travel to France in November to identify and bring back remains of its two soldiers killed during World War-I, an Army official said.The decision came after the French government recently found the remains of four soldiers, including the two unnamed Indian soldiers, at a construction site near Laventie, about 70 km from Dunkirk, in France.During World War-I, the now Garhwal Rifles regiment was known as ‘39 Garhwal Regiment’. The other two remains found from the site are said to be of British and German soldiers. — PTI

Arms rules eased for makers ‘Make in India’ push to attract manufacturing investment

Arms rules eased for makers

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 30

To give a push to the “Make in India” scheme, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today issued a notification liberalising and easing the rules for attracting greater investment in the domestic manufacturing of arms, ammunition and other weaponry.The MHA said the move would boost employment. As per the new rules, the licences granted for manufacturing would now be valid for lifetime and the system of renewal has been done away with.(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)Similarly, the practice of prior approval from the Central and state governments that the manufactured small arms and light weapons would be sold to them only has been done away with.The liberalised rules will apply to licences granted by the MHA for small arms and ammunition, and those granted by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), under powers delegated to it, for tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles, defence aircraft, spacecrafts, warships of all kinds, arms and ammunition and allied items of defence equipment other than small arms.Under the new rules, which came into effect on October 27, enhancement of capacity up to 15 per cent of the quantity approved under the licence will not require any further approval. The licence fee has also been reduced significantly. Earlier, it was Rs 500 per firearm. The licence fee will now range from Rs 5,000 to the maximum of Rs 50,000.

China mulls 1,000-km tunnel to carry Brahmaputra water

Beijing, October 30

Chinese engineers are testing techniques that could be used to build a 1,000-km long tunnel, the world’s longest, to carry water from the Brahmaputra in Tibet close to Arunachal Pradesh to the parched Xinjiang region, a media report said today.The move, expected to “turn Xinjiang into California”, has raised concerns among environmentalists about its likely impact on the Himalayan region, a Hong Kong-based daily reported. The proposed tunnel, which would drop down from the world’s highest plateau in multiple sections connected by waterfalls, would provide water in China’s largest administrative division, comprising vast swathes of deserts and dry grasslands.(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)The water would be diverted from the Yarlung Tsangpo river in southern Tibet, which turns into the Brahmaputra once it enters India, to the Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang. China’s longest tunnel is the 85-km Dahuofang water project in Liaoning province, while the world’s longest tunnel is the 137-km main water supply pipe beneath the city of New York.India, a riparian state, has already flagged its concerns to Beijing about various dams being built by it on the Brahmaputra, which is known as Yarlung Tsangpo in China.  Beijing has been assuring India and Bangladesh, which is also a recipient of the waters from the river, that its dams were of the run of river projects and not designed to storing water.Wang Wei, a researcher who helped draft the latest Tibet-Xinjiang water tunnel proposal, said over 100 scientists formed different teams for the nationwide research.  The team suggested to drain Brahmaputra at Sangri county in southern Tibet. — PTI

Commanders meet

  • Military commanders of India and China met at the Bum La (pass), north of the historic monastery town of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, on Monday
  • The Indian delegation was led by Brig MP Singh and the Chinese delegation by Sr Col Liu Jiang Xun
  • A defence spokesman said thaw in the relations was evident during the meeting as both delegations interacted in a free, congenial and cordial environment TNS

Rank-parity back on MoD table, ‘in detail’

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 30

In an important development, the matter of the rank-parity is being looked into in ‘great detail’ by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), including the vital letter sent by the Prime Minister’s Office in December 2008. The letter mentioned setting up a high-powered committee to sort out parity issues.Top sources have confirmed that ‘no false equivalence’ will be allowed.  The rank-parity issue was highlighted by The Tribune in a three-part series recently.(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)A  three-member committee headed by an Additional Secretary-rank officer had been tasked to study rank-equivalence norms between the armed forces and the civilians employed in the Armed Forces Headquarters, called the AFHQ cadre.The forces had lodged a serious protest, questioning the veracity of claims in the report and the documents relied upon.Sources said the MoD was looking into all angles of the rank-parity issue. Discussions are happening in the ministry and in no situation will the ministry stand to benefit or side with any one of the two sides — the forces and the AFHQ cadre of civilians. “The idea is not to benefit one side at the cost of the other, whichever that is,” sources said.Meanwhile, the MoD, in a bid to promote domestic defence manufacturing, is mulling on formulating a method under which obtaining security clearance from the Home Ministry, if delayed, will be “deemed to be approved”.After a recent meeting between Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and representatives from the industry, the defence ministry is now discussing measures to help private sector industries get a final clearance, in case their request has been pending for a long time.The MoD has also asked the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to prepare a list of defence technologies it has developed and has not been given to any government or private sector for manufacturing. “Some technologies have already been given to private sector. We will work with DRDO to make a list of items which can be commercialised,” said a source.

DGMO to Pak: Your civilians now acting as terror guides

DGMO to Pak: Your civilians now acting as terror guides
File photo

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune news service

New Delhi, October 30

In a clear change of tactics, Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen AK Bhatt today told his Pakistani counterpart Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza that Pakistani civilians living close to the boundary were aiding and helping terrorists infiltrate into India. They are even acting as guides.The two DGMOs spoke over the hotline around 2 pm. The unscheduled talk was requested by Pakistan.(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)The Indian DGMO told his counterpart that Pakistan army has employed civilians at forward posts and accorded permission for their permanent location in the vicinity of its posts. These civilians have repeatedly been used for gaining information on Indian locations and providing guides to terrorists while crossing the Line of Control (LoC).The DGMO apportioned blame for collateral damage to civilians on the Pakistan side,  saying the “support provided to terrorists while crossing the LoC by Pakistan army is the prime reason”.

Army to help build foot overbridge at Elphinstone station

Army to help build foot overbridge at Elphinstone station
The Elphinstone railway stations foot overbridge where a stampede took place, in Mumbai. PTI

Mumbai, October 31

The Army will hep build a new foot overbridge at the Elphinstone Road station, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said as Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal visited the station, where a deadly stampede took place last month.Fadnavis, who accompanied Defence minister Sitharaman and Railway Minister Goyal, said the Army will also help in building foot overbridges at two other stations here.23 people were killed in a stampede on the Elphinstone Road station foot overbridge (FOB) last month.”We are taking the Army’s help in building a new FOB at the Elphinstone Road station and at two other suburban train stations in Mumbai,” Fadnavis told reporters at the venue.”I have been informed that the work on these bridges will be completed by January 31,” he said.After the stampede on September 29, railway officials posted police personnel to manage the crowd on busy platforms, evicted hawkers from suburban train stations and started speeding up infrastructure projects on suburban network. — PTI

Bringing around Kashmiris Required: a break from demagogy

Bringing around Kashmiris

A war of words has broken out among politicians from the mainland over the Kashmir issue just in time for the Gujarat elections. Kashmir is no stranger to being used as a pawn in politics being played out elsewhere in the country. Unfortunately, Prime Minister Modi and former Union Minister P Chidambaram have chosen to cross swords just when a delicate exercise is under way in the Kashmir valley; the first time that the Modi government has decided to break from the relentless security-led approach. But the appointment of an interlocutor is only the beginning of an attempt to unlock the Kashmir tangle. Three years of trying to strong-arm the Kashmiris may have temporarily depleted the ranks of the militants and dulled the appetite of the average Valley-ite to take to the streets. But there are several stark reminders of how the step-up in Army operations or of its chief’s tough talk has not been able to persuade the average Kashmiri to repose its faith in the Indian political system. The polling percentage in the Srinagar Lok Sabha election was below double digits while the government has avoided holding elections to the parliamentary seat held by the Chief Minister herself for fear of a repeat embarrassment. Pushed in a corner by their unyielding stand, the separatists will be hard placed to enter into talks after having earlier rebuffed Indian civil society’s attempts to reach out to them.The political mood in Kashmir can change with one stray comment from a high-level functionary in Delhi. If at this make-or-break juncture, when the Centre’s designated interlocutor’s first task will be to whittle away resistance because of three years of hardened attitudes, the attempt to use Kashmir to influence state-level politics elsewhere, whether in Gujarat or Karnataka, smacks of short-sightedness. This is the time for the actual stakeholders, the Kashmiris, to have a voice and be heard. That the Abdullahs held a large public interaction for the first time in 15 years should be welcomed. The demagogue-politicians in the mainland, meanwhile, need to take a breather.


The Bonus Army was the name applied a group over 17,000 U.S  WW1veterans who marched on Washington, D.C. during the summer of 1932 demanding immediate cash payment of the service bonuses promised to them by Congress eight years earlier.
Most of the veterans marched on the Capitol in 1932 to protest against the World War Adjusted Compensation Act of 1924 promised to them, but not until 1945 — a full 27 years after the end of the war they had fought in. Something like the OROP and downgrading of the military protocol being junked by successive Indian Govts. False promises.
The World War Adjusted Compensation Act was passed by Congress as sort of a 20-year insurance policy  redeemable “Adjusted Service Certificate” worth a certain amount not  redeemable until their individual birthdays in 1945.
On May 15, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge had, veetoed the bill providing for the bonuses stating, “Patriotism, bought and paid for, is not patriotism.” Congress, however, overrode his veto a few days later.
While the veterans might have been happy to wait for their bonuses and so called promises, they had immediate needs for the money and for feeding themselves and their families.
The Bonus March actually began in May 1932 as some 15,000 veterans assembled in makeshift camps scattered around Washington, D.C.
where they planned to demand and wait for the immediate payment of their bonuses peacefully like Indian veteran soldiers at Jantar Mantar
The largest of the veterans’ camp was at Hooverville and housed about 10,000 veterans and their families in ramshackle shelters built from old lumber, packing boxes, and scrapped tin from a nearby junk pile. Including the veterans, their families, and other supporters, the crowd of protesters eventually grew to nearly 45,000 people.
Veterans maintained order in the camps, built military-style sanitation facilities, and held orderly daily protest parades.
On June 15, 1932, the US House of Representatives passed the Wright Patman Bonus Bill to move up the payment date of the veterans’ bonuses. However, the Senate defeated the bill. The veterans protested peacefully. On June 17 the D.C. police reacted violently, resulting in the deaths of two veterans and two police officers.
On the morning of July 28, 1932, President Hoover, in his capacity as commander in chief of the military, ordered his Secretary of War Patrick J. Hurley to clear the Bonus Army camps and disperse the protesters. At 4:45 p.m., U.S. Army infantry and cavalry regiments supported by six M1917 light tanks assembled on Pennsylvania Avenue to carry out President Hoover’s orders. This was the biggest mistake of his life.
With sabers, fixed bayonets, tear gas, and a mounted machine gun, the infantry and the cavalry charged the veterans, forcibly evicting them and their families from the smaller camps on the Capitol Building side of the Anacostia River. When the veterans retreated back across the river to the Hooverville camp, President Hoover ordered the troops to stand down until the next day.
 By the end, 55 veterans had been injured and 135 arrested.
In the 1932 presidential election, Roosevelt defeated Hoover by a landslide vote. Hoover’s militaristic treatment of the Bonus Army veterans had contributed to his defeat, Roosevelt had also opposed the veterans’ demands during the 1932 campaign. However, when the veterans held a similar protest in May 1933, he provided them with meals and a secure campsite.
On January 22, 1936, both houses of Congress passed the Adjusted Compensation Payment Act in 1936, appropriating $2 billion for the immediate payment of all World War I veterans’ bonuses. 
Ultimately, the events of the Bonus Army veterans’ march on Washington contributed to the enactment in 1944 of the GI Bill, which has since assisted thousands of veterans make the often difficult transition to civilian life and in some small way pay back the debt owed to those who risk their lives for their country.

Indian Military Veterans should stop bringing disgrace to the country

Without reviving martial spirit of Indian State, Military Veterans can’t expect justice 

—- Many TV Channels showed on October 30, 2017 that the Indian Military Veterans (protesting for one-rank-one-pay, OROP) were humiliatingly removed from India’s capital New Delhi at Jantar-Mantar [ allegedly due to order of National Green Tribunal (NGT) which expects protestors to protest at Ramlila ground and not at Jantar-Mantar]. But protest venue (either Jantar-Mantar or Ramlila ground) is not the real issue. The real issue as generally mentioned at ( ) is the disgraceful manner in which Military (including its Veterans) is being treated in India and for this mainly the senior / top brass of Indian Military, the serving and Veterans, are to be blamed. The Indian Military will not come out of this disgraceful situation unless the following is done which, what to talk of OROP or any other legitimate demand of Military Veterans and serving Military men, but even respect and honor of Indian Military and (its Veterans) will rise to the exalted level:- 

(1)- Military Veterans should launch a new registered NGO (by giving its membership to other Indians too than merely to Military Veterans) which will carry out demonstrations at all the State Capitals and District headquarters for demanding the following which are exclusively concerned about the martial matters of Indian State. 

(2)- Martial Court (separate from Court Martial) should be constituted which will decide all the grievances of members of Indian Military. 

(3)- BJP came in Government in the State of Assam mainly on the issue of identifying, tracking and deportation of Bangladeshi illegal migrants in Assam. Hence Government of India and of Govt of Assam should immediately start the process of sending all the Bangladeshi infiltrators to Bangladesh from India as these illegal immigrants have become serious security threat to India especially in view of Rohingya crises 

(4)- India should immediately talk to Pakistan for the retrieve of PoK (even militarily if necessary) as mentioned at 

(5)- The dispute with China is legal (unlike dispute with Pakistan which is political) hence India should pressurize China to constitute a judicial commission (preferably through UN of which China is a privileged veto wielding permanent member) in order to settle Indo-China border dispute without any further delay. 

(6)- India should immediately recover Rs ~ 1,000 Trillion State capital as Income Tax as mention at (–1000-Trillion-income-tax-as-Delhi-Police-steps-in_a31456.html AND ) so that in addition to solving many of the problems of India (arising out of financial hardship) the Military power of India can also be buttressed further. 

Indian Military Veterans have already faced enough of humiliations and it is high time they use some common-sense and realize that ‘seedhi ungli se ghee nahi nikalta’ (without pressure nobody listens) especially in democracy where other interest groups have taken control of Indian State. 


Hem Raj Jain 
(Author of ‘Betrayal of Americanism’) 
Bengaluru, India

‘Mann ki Baat’: India is messenger of world peace, says PM

‘Mann ki Baat’: India is messenger of world peace, says PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation in his monthly radio programme ”Mann ki Baat”. File photo

New Delhi, October 29

Describing India as a “messenger of peace”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the country has always contributed towards global peace, unity and harmony through UN missions across the world.

He said India is the third highest contributor to UN peacekeeping missions, with around 7,000 of its security personnel deployed on various missions across the world.

Besides, the Indian forces have imparted peacekeeping training to their counterparts from 85 countries and have been providing medical services to people of a number of countries, Modi said in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)

In his 30-minute broadcast, he also talked about India’s tradition of respecting the nature through festivals like ‘Chhat’ and referred to the ongoing cleanliness campaign.

He mentioned the role played by Sardar Vallabhai Patel in laying the foundation of the country’s unity and urged people to participate in the ‘Run for Unity’ to be organised on the late leader’s birth anniversary on October 31, which also happens to be the death anniversary of Indira Gandhi.

Talking about the upcoming Children’s Day, celebrated on the birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru on November 14, Modi expressed concern that children are nowadays getting afflicted by diabetes.

He said ailments like diabetes occur mainly due to lifestyle and exhorted the children to play outdoors more to be healthy and escape such ailments.

He also referred to the just-concluded FIFA Under-17 World Cup held in India for the first time and expressed happiness over the host team’s performance, saying it had won hearts, if not medals.

He also spoke about the upcoming Guru Nanak Jayanti, which falls on November 4, and hailed the first Sikh Guru, describing him as a “world guru” who thought about the welfare of the entire humanity.

Hailing the Indian armed forces, the prime minister mentioned his recent visit to Gurez near the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu Kashmir to spend Diwali with the brave security perosnnel.

Describing it as an “unforgettable” experience, he lauded the “struggle, dedication and sacrifices” of the armed forces personnel who work in extremely difficult conditions at the borders to protect the country.

He said the Indian forces are deployed not only on the Indian borders but play a role to establish peace across the world in the form of UN peacekeeper and make the country proud.

Referring to the UN Day celebrated on October 24, he said it is an occasion to remember the efforts of the UN to establish peace in the world.

“We are believers of ‘vasudev kutumbakam’, which means the whole world is one. And because of this belief, India has been an active participant in the UN’s key initiatives,” Modi said.

“India, as a messenger of peace, has always vouched for peace, unity and harmony in the world. It is our belief that everyone should live in peace and harmony and move towards a better and peaceful tomorrow,” the prime minister said.

He said as of August 2017, India has participated in about 50 out of 71 UN peacekeeping operations undertaken in countries like Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Congo, Cyprus, Liberia, Lebanon and Sudan. Indian women personnel too have contributed in this endeavour in an active manner.

In Congo and South Sudan, hospitals run by Indian armed forces have treated over 20,000 people and saved most of them.

Not only have the Indian troops saved the people of those countries but also conducted people-friendly operations.

The brave soldiers from the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Gautam Buddha have spread the message of peace and harmony across the world,” Modi said.

He said the peacekeeping operations are not easy and the Indian soldiers have to work in diverse nations and adapt to local conditions, requirements and culture.

While talking about India’s association with the UN, he noted that both the Indian Constitution and the UN Charter begin with the words “we the people’”.

He added that the UN Declaration of Human Rights had initially the wording ‘all men are born free and equal’ but it was changed to ‘all human beings are born free and equal’ after efforts by Indian representative Hansa Mehta.

This, he said, was to ensure respect for women.

During the programme, Modi also talked about Sister Nivedita, an Irish lady whose original name was Margaret Elizabeth Nobel, and recounted her service to the Indian people during the British rule.

“Sister Nivedita was deeply hurt by the atrocities committed during the British rule. The British had not only made us a colony but also tried to enslave us mentally. They continuously tried to deride our culture to create an inferiority complex among us,” he said.

He also said that khadi sale at just one outlet in Delhi on the last Dhanteras on October 17 was a record Rs 1.2 crore.

“The ‘Mann Ki Baat’ (programme) is praised and sometimes it is criticised. But when I see the impact of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, my belief becomes a conviction that the programme has forged an unbreakable bonding with the people,” Modi said.

He said an example in this regard was the sale of khadi and handloom, which he had been advocating strongly through the “Mann Ki Baat’ programme.

The sale of khadi and handloom witnessed 90 per cent increase during this Diwali against the previous year’s figure, the prime minister said.

“Earlier, it was ‘khadi for nation’ and we talked about ‘khadi for fashion’. But lately we realised that ‘khadi for transformation’ is taking the place of ‘khadi for nation’ and ‘khadi for fashion’.

The prime minister also referred to some recent sports events like the Asia Cup Hockey and Denmark Open Tennis tournament. He hailed India’s victory in the Asia Cup after 10 years and lauded K Srikanth for winning the Denmark Open after Indonesia Open and Australia Open. PTI