Thoughts that originate deep within

Archive for the month “September, 2016”

Was it Their Fault? #UriAttack

17 of my brothers have made the Supreme Sacrifice at Uri. It is with a heavy heart that I write this. Let me start by praying for their souls.


And then I ask – Was it their fault?

Our blood boiled when we heard of it on the morning of Sunday, the 18th of September.. We have been hit so many times before, but every time we have chosen to warn them, chosen to make bombastic statements; we condemned, but we did nothing. We voted for a new Govt thinking that the new one will walk the talk. But we have still been hit……repeatedly – at Gurdaspur, Udhampur, Pathankot, Herat, Mazhar e Sharif, Jalalabad, Pampore, Poonch and now Uri. Whose fault is it?

Many of us rightly ask: Why do not we go across the border, in hot pursuit, strike the camps, fire missiles, shoot from the drones…. very much like how the Israelis or Americans do. Why can’t a Nation that aspires to be a Super Power act? What is the million strong Army doing? Why do we have to have meetings after meetings, asking for options, after an event has occurred?

And the answer to all that is, WE……….Yes WE are our greatest enemies. We are in the game of one up-manship; trying to outwit the other man who knows his job. I am talking of the bureaucrats (or Babus), the politicians and a few self-serving top bosses in the armed forces.

If we have to respond quickly and decisively, we need to have fully prepared Defence Forces. Yet, we still have shortages of Officers, Equipment and Ammunition. Requests for modern equipment asked about 4 years back still remain not approved! Why? When we can spend crores of money on cleaning of the Ganga and building Bullet Trains and floating many other Yojanas, why can’t we spend adequately on the Defence Forces and make them 100% Fit for War? So that we can actually use the Sabre when required rather than mere sabre-rattling every time something happens. We keep cutting down the expenditure for the Forces on some pretext or the other. We lower their morale by not paying even the full OROP, but we have money multiple times over, to write off NPAs of banks. We try and brow beat the Armed Forces by pushing their status below CAPF, by not paying them their dues, by not equating them to the Gp A Services, yet we want them to deliver when the times comes. How should they? How can they? Why should they? And yet, despite all this, THEY DELIVER……. Every Time!

If 17 died due to tents catching fire, many rightly asked why were they in tents? Was it their fault that they were in a garrison that existed for many years, yet in tents? The answer to this is the apathy to the expenditure projected by the forces. The Babu’s keep pending it by asking frivolous queries and putting objections. This year the budget for such expense was passed almost 8 months after it was due. In every field area, the progress of these works is slow and funds available are minimal. Why?


There is a way out. Delink the decision of the Armed Forces preparation from the Babudom. A request by the Army formations must be provided on priority. No Babu should interfere unless there is financial impropriety. The men, machine and equipment of the Forces must be fully made up. If we can pay Swachh Bharat Cess when the country is still unclean, we can very well pay Def Cess to ensure the Forces prepare.

Fix the people responsible for this loss by sacking them and pin point responsibility. Make a few specimens if need be. Do away with the post of the Defence Secretary. Civil servants have are clueless about defence issues. Appoint a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to be the single point interface between the Government and the Armed forces. Keep away politicians from the Defence Minister’s job or appoint only a person with some background knowledge of defence as Defence Minister. Appoint a person from the retired plethora of Generals who know their business. Prepare and Train the Army. Provide them the equipment. Pay them the best. So that, when we ask of them to do their job, to put their lives on the line, they JUST DO IT happily and effectively.

Then and only then can the Armed Forces be truly able to deliver appropriate retribution. Only then, will whatever actions we do diplomatically in the International arena can be supported by a substantial threat of Force. Only then will Pak stop its mischief.

Till such time, let us launch General Arnab Goswami and his TimesNow shouting brigade at Pak and trend #DestroyPakistan on Twitter.

Which brings me back to my original question – Was it really their fault for being at Uri?

(Thanks  Amarjot for reviewing this article in

Our Teachers: To Serve With Love

We were extremely lucky to have lived in an age where there were very few distractions. Add to it, it was a residential public school, and to top it, a boys ONLY school. So our class of 90 young boys hardly having crossed our 11th birthday, set out to evolve in this system of Gurukul, guided by our able Teachers at Sainik School Amaravathi Nagar, nestled in the foothills of the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu.

What we imbibed in those seven years, and how much we owed to our Teachers can be judged by the fact that when we planned to celebrate our 25th year of passing out from our school, we decided to honour our Teachers first and foremost. Our classmates took upon themselves to track down all the 36 teachers who were associated with us at school from 1981-1988. We traced them all, the oldest being more than 80+, invited them well in advance, assisted them to reach the school, made arrangements for their stay and local travel and celebrated our Silver Jubilee with our Gurus who toiled to make our future. For they had given their Yesterday for Our Today, and this was the least we could do to honour these towering personalities. Without them, we would have been nothing.


Smt Sheila Cherian being Felicitated during 1988 Batch Silver Jubilee : 29 Jun 2013


All our Teachers on the same stage where they used to be everyday 25 years back

I then notice my son and daughter and their friends as they go through their present school. How much do they revere their Teachers? Do they worship their Teachers, the same way we did? It is very difficult to answer this question. May be not to the same degree as we revered. But as they grew up I did notice that for them, a Teacher’s word was the Gospel truth. “My Teacher said this…..” and that, was final no matter what we told them. I started praying that they get good teachers.

Has the role of their Teacher probably reduced? May be the kids have much more distractions to divert their focus and many other places to learn from. The teacher as a content deliverer might have undergone a change with the availability of myriad number of online Education portals and many schools switching to Digital Classrooms. But the Teachers role can never change because no Digital Tech can ever replace the personalized touch of a Teacher. No amount of artificial intelligence can understand the sparkle in the eyes or a shadow of doubt in the students face and modify the content accordingly and ensure the child learns the best way.

Are the Teachers of today as dedicated as their predecessors? Are they a fountainhead of knowledge or do the students know more than them due to the availability of information at their fingertips? Now this is a question that the Teachers have to answer or the school authorities have to check. But one thing is sure, Teachers are a great influence on the student. One pat on the back at the right moment can spur a child to excellence. One right word can do a world of good, to raise the confidence of a child many times over. It is every Teacher’s responsibility to know more than the kids they tutor. If you are a teacher, your search and thirst for knowledge should never stop.

What ails the Teaching System? The quality of Teachers in school are not as we wish, because the best brains are being taken away from the schools to the professions that offer lucrative careers. Even the best teachers are being taken away to coaching centers that offer bizarre amount of money. The only way to stem this is to make it mandatory to pay the Teachers really well. Also no tutor or educator should be able to teach outside the system, unless they dedicate a definite number of years in a school. Govt interference of changing curriculum, assessments systems etc every now and then should stop. The CBSE has been an experimental Lab for some years now from Sibal to Smriti experimenting with kids future. The Teachers and kids have been suffering with changing patterns.

As a society we now need to review the status of teachers. A Teacher should be revered and given the highest place of honour in our society, only then will our children and future generations benefit. The scriptures have given this Stature long ago. And I quote-

Gurur-Brahmaa Gurur-Vishnnur-Gururdevo Maheshvarah | Gurure va Param Brahma Tasmai Shrii-Gurave Namah |

Which roughly translates to

The Guru is Brahma, the Guru is Vishnu, the Guru Deva is Maheswara (Shiva), The Guru is Verily the Para-Brahman (Supreme Being); Salutations to that Guru.

So to all Gurus, all you Teachers – all the Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s who are doing the real Nation Building today. Salutations to thee! Happy Teacher’s Day!

To the World You may be a Teacher, but to your students…….. You are a Hero!

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