A REPORT ON IESM AGM ON 27 NOV 2010 AT NOIDA AND ELECTION OF OFFICE BEARERS.

JHAJJAR VILLAGE NOT INDIA; INDIA NOT JHAJJAR VILLAGE !!! 1. IESM came into being on 13 Aug 2008 during the first All India Military Veterans Meet at NOIDA, organized by a team of dedicated & devoted Veterans led by Brig CS Kamboj, VSM, Col VK Sekhri & Cdr Sharan Ahuja. IESM on formation evoked strong & positive response and kindled in Ex-Servicemen across the Country that this Organisation, truly devoted to the Cause, can get them the long pending ONE RANK ONE PENSION (OROP). PART I : AGM 2. On 27 Nov 2010, I attended the AGM at Delhi as a founder member and Karnataka state convener of the IESM. The proceedings on 27th and 28th disappointed and pained me extensively, and therefore thought it fit to bring some facts to the notice of other members. 3. 27 Nov 2010 may go down in the annals of history of Ex-Servicemen of India as a poor day for Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) as the gathering wasn't at all an effective representation of pan- India ex-servicemen, as intended to be. 4. The moment the AGM was called to order on the morning of 27 Nov 2010, veterans assembled at the AGM were hustled and asked to cast their votes to elect Chairman for IESM which normally are scheduled to the end of day’s proceedings; where, people first take stock and discuss the merits & demerits of various events & activities organized during the past year; and then discuss & deliberate on various points & measures to further strengthen the Organisation. Brig OP Marwaha, the Chief Election Commissioner, Col VK Sekhri & Col KK Malhotra, the two election Commissioners nominated to oversee the Elections, as men of Honour, did their best within the constraints of the mandate in hand. They could, however, have queried if the process of Elections had the approval of the State Convenors, the back bone of IESM. Sadly, the State Convenors of IESM were never consulted on the Election process; thus rendering the Election of the Chairman & other office bearers and members of the Governing Body, unusual. 5 It was indeed sad to see Maj Gen PK Renjen, AVSM, VSM, Brig CS Kamboj VSM and Cdr Sharan Ahuja, men of Honour, Dignity, transparent Honesty and above all, impeccable Integrity, who till a few days ago did not wish to file their nomination for election to the IESM Governing Body, but being persuaded to file in their nomination papers and elected ‘unopposed’ along with the other Hon’ble members of the august Governing Body. It appeared strange that Veteran Brig CS Kamboj, who all-along had been the ‘Conscience keeper’ of the IESM Governing Body, suddenly deciding to join the elected group. 6. After all the Veterans present at the AGM had cast their votes; Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan was declared elected as Chairman with 539 votes cast in his favour; as against 12 votes cast in favour of Col Tyagi, VrC. The names of following veterans were then announced as Elected (unopposed) as office bearers:S No Mem no Rank NamePost 1. 003 Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM Vice Chairman 2. 013 L Wg Cdr CK Sharma Treasurer 3. 1161L Gp Capt VK Gandhi, VSM Gen Sec 4 0786l Cdr SS Ahuja Jt Sec 7. The names of following veterans were then announced as Elected (unopposed) as Members of the IESM Governing Body:S No Mem no Rank Name Post 1.1026L Col Chaturvedi RP Member 2 9607L Brig Harwant Singh Member 3 039L Maj Gen AJB Jaini, AVSM Member 4 041L Col Joshipura KiritMember 5 042L Brig CS Kamboj, VSM Member 6 0103L Sub Major (Hony Lt) Kameshwar Pandey Member 7 2249L Col TN Raman Member 8 0001L Maj Gen PK Renjen, AVSM Member

8. It is noticeable to Veterans across the Country that there is hardly any outstanding / outspoken state Convenor, as part of the Governing Body. I, like many others, believe that the State Convenors form the backbone of IESM; and, a Governing Body without the State Convenors is not clearly representative. It has been recommended time & time again on induction of State Convenors in the Governing Body. Some of the veterans presently heading the IESM, to my mind, may be similar to, and comparable to IAS Bureaucrats, when it comes to stone walling any positive recommendations to further strengthen IESM. 9. Speaking to the august audience at the AGM, I mentioned that “Even today there are families in Punjab where all the four sons have been soldiers in the Army. The eldest son joined the army and retired as a Naik; the second retired as a JCO; the third retired as a Col; and, the fourth & youngest brother rose to become a Div Cdr and retired as a Maj Gen. And today when all the brothers live under one roof, the eldest brother who retired as a Naik does not salute his youngest brother, retired as a Maj Gen. It is Indian culture & Dharam that the younger brothers pay obeisance to their elders irrespective of ranks held by them while in service”. This aspect was greatly appreciated by the gathering, nodding their heads in approval. As majority of ExServicemen gathered were aged and definitely elder to me; I paid obeisance to them by way of Saashtaang Pranaam before introducing the following points: (a) Strengthening of IESM. The august gathering is there to strengthen IESM; and, to my mind, the only way of achieving this was by spreading IESM to all States of the Country. With a 6’ by 6’ map of India displayed, all of them agreed with raised hands in support to the position that IESM has a long way to go to achieve this. (b) Creation of autonomous State Units to make IESM truly federal in structure. IESM can be spread all over the Country, only if the States play a positive role; with IESM structured state wise as autonomous state units, intimately governed through localised ethos. The gathering again raised their hands in agreement. (c) Uniform Membership Fee Structure. Ex-Servicemen, after retirement, are identified & referred to as such by the public, not-with-standing the ranks held in service, except the few repositioned at national level responsibilities. That being so, the different levels of Membership Fees for Officers, JCOs, NCOs & OR appear irrational. The gathering agreed with my point and raised their hands in agreement. (d) Rs.10/- as uniform Membership Fees. With IESM Membership of just 9000, achieved over a period of two years, the Govt. has not identified it nor engaged in discussions with it. And since we ought to increase our membership in terms of lakhs; it would be prudent to opt for Rs.10/- as uniform Membership Fee; to which the gathering nodded approval and raised their hands. 10. No sooner the gathering raised their hands for the fourth time, a few Jhajjars came and stood next to me, interrupting my speech and talking loudly on the mike that uniform membership Fee of Rs.10/- was unacceptable. Soon the Ex-Servicemen who had only a little earlier nodded their approval for uniform membership Fee of Rs.10/- appeared to change, being openly egged on by some leaders, an unusual display of indiscipline, never expected in a meeting of ex-servicemen. Patently being obstructed and not being able to talk further, while withdrawing I pointed out to the gathering that any one village is NOT India, and India is NOT a particular village. PART II : EX-SERVICEMEN RALLY AT JANTAR MANTAR ON SUNDAY, 28 NOV 2010 11. On the Ex-Servicemen Rally of 28 Nov 2010 org by IESM at Jantar Mantar, as against the earlier ones of 8 Feb 2009 & 12 Apr 2009; I observed that: (a) Attendance. The attendance was comparatively thinner, not exceeding 1000, as against the claimed 5000 Ex-Servicemen having taken part in the Rally. It is necessary that we all realize that until & unless IESM spreads its wings all over the Country, ONE RANK ONE PENSION will only remain a mirage. And, our presumption that 1000 Ex-Servicemen rallying at Jantar Mantar would coerce the Govt. of India to grant ONE RANK ONE PENSION, is badly misplaced. (b) Signing of Petition in Blood. At Jantar Mantar, the venue of the Rally, on Sunday, 28 Nov 2010; around 10.00 AM, I saw a Nursing Asst. draw blood from Ex-Servicemen and store it in a bottle. When Col Himmat Singh Kaushal from Ambala and Lt Cdr Mayil Vahanan from Tanjavur (Tamil Nadu) went the table where Ex-Servicemen were busy signing their names in blood and

stretched out their hands for blood to be drawn; they were told to dip a quill in the bottle of blood kept on the table and affix their signatures. It is felt that drawing of blood from Ex-Servicemen and their signing the Petition in blood ought to be done more visibly, in full glare of the Media to enable photographs of the same to appear in leading media, on the next day. 12. Finally, considering that the elections for a pan-India organisation were conducted without enabling any serious level of participatory credibility; with immense pain, I hereby choose to resign from the primary membership of IESM, an organisation of which I had the privilege of being one among the Founder Members. 13. JAI HIND. Regards, Col SS Rajan

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