भारतीय सेना – सड़क के गुंडे या संरक्षक और शहीद

170613 Indian Army

सेना के प्रमुख, भारतीय सेना के मुखिया, जो प्रमुख कमांडर (सेनापति) के रूप में भारत के राष्ट्रपति को वृत्तांत कहते हैं, का हमारी सीमाओं पर दुनिया की तीसरी सबसे बड़ी सेना का प्रबंधन चुनौतियों का सामना करते हुए करना बहुत कठिन काम है। उनका कार्य तब दोगुना मुश्किल हो जाता है जब दुर्भावनापूर्ण और अशिक्षित नेता और झंडाबदार करियर वाले पत्रकार मीडिया कवरेज प्राप्त करने के एकमात्र उद्देश्य के साथ उन पर और उनके संस्थान पर अपर्याप्त और गलत डेटा के साथ,निशाना साधने के लिए तैयार बैठे होते हैं।

पिछले सात दशकों में भारतीय सेना में कुछ भी नहीं बदला है। उन्होंने भारत सरकार की सेवा की है, भले ही कोई भी राजनीतिक दल हो। उन्होंने हमारी सीमाओं की रक्षा की, विद्रोह का शमन किया और जब राज्य सरकारों ने बुलाया दंगों को दबाने के लिए राज्यों का समर्थन किया है।

दिल्ली की पूर्व मुख्यमंत्री का बेटा संदीप दीक्षित, सेना प्रमुख को “सड़क का गुंडा”  कहता है और फिर माफी माँगता है। वह जानता है कि वह आरोप लगा सकता है और फिर बहुत तेज़ी से पीछे हट सकता है, यह कहकर कि उसकी बात को गलत तरीके से उद्धृत किया गया था या जब मामला बहुत गर्म हो जाए तो ‘विनम्रता से माफी माँगता हूँ’, ऐसा कहकर और विषय को बदल सकता है। उसके बोलने से जो क्षति हुई, उससे उसका कोई लेना-देना नहीं है। संदीप दीक्षित किसलिए जाना जाता है सिवाए इसके कि वह एक महत्वहीन दो अवधि का संसद सदस्य और अमीर घर में पैदा होने वाला है, जो अपने परिवार के नाम और शक्ति का उपयोग अपने निजी लाभ के लिए करता है? क्या वह उन “सड़क के गुंडों” में से एक नहीं है जो कांग्रेस के भीड़ भरे राजनीतिक परिदृश्य में प्रासंगिकता खोजने की कोशिश कर रहा है?

सीपीआई (एम) प्रकाश करात, अपने संघर्षरत राजनीतिक पेशे में संकर्षण हासिल करने के लिए कहते हैं, “शक्ति के उपयोग की एकमात्र निर्भरता के माध्यम से सेना प्रमुख मोदी सरकार के विचारों को प्रतिबिंबित कर रहे हैं और कश्मीर के उन लोगों को दबाने की कोशिश करते हैं, जो अपने राजनीतिक विरोध को आवाज दे रहे हैं” जब सीमा पार से घुसपैठ हो तो सेनाध्यक्ष के प्रमुख को किसे ख़ुलासा देना चाहिए?  प्रकाश करात के मर रहे और अप्रासंगिक दल को या मृत कांग्रेस पार्टी के नेता राहुल गांधी को?

फिर वहाँ अज्ञात और तुच्छ इतिहासकार पार्थ चटर्जी हैं, जो पश्चिम बंगाल में अपने स्वामी से लाभ प्राप्त करने के लिए भारतीय सेना प्रमुख की तुलना जलियाँवाला बाग नरसंहार के लिए जिम्मेदार ब्रिटिश सेना में अस्थायी ब्रिगेडियर जनरल एडवर्ड हैरी डायर, से करने के लिए धृष्टता करते हैं। उनके लिए, महिमा के कुछ सेकंड अधिक महत्वपूर्ण हैं न कि भारतीय सेना प्रमुख।

कांग्रेस नेता संजय निरुपम, जो महाराष्ट्र में नगण्य व्यक्ति बन गए हैं, सर्जिकल हड़ताल का सबूत चाहते हैं। दिल्ली पर शासन करने में असफल रहे अरविंद केजरीवाल और जिनके राज्य में गंभीर चुनौतियाँ हैं, वे ममता बनर्जी, अपनी आलोचनाओं से ध्यान हटाने के एक अवसर के रूप में इस तरह की आलोचना को देखते हैं। ये नेता चाहते क्या हैं? क्या वे हाथ में वीडियो कैमरा लेकर इन हमलों को फिल्माने के लिए सैनिकों के आगे (या भले ही पीछे )चलना चाहते हैं?

वरिष्ठ पत्रकार जिनका स्पष्ट वामपंथी उदारवादी झुकाव है और वे अपने सुरक्षित स्टूडियो की कुर्सी पर बैठ मठाधीश बन अपने विश्लेषण पर विश्वास करते हैं कि भारतीय सेना को क्या करना चाहिए। और इनमें से कुछ पत्रकार वास्तव में अपना गुस्सा व्यक्त करते हैं कि ऑपरेशन से पहले उन्हें क्यों नहीं बताया गया था। क्यों दुनिया की किसी भी सेना को कहीं भी पत्रकारों को हर बात पहले बतानी चाहिए?

भारतीय सेना से ये सवाल क्या विपक्षी राजनेता और असंतुष्ट पत्रकार कुछ  व्यक्तियों को उकसाकर अपने संकीर्ण राजनीतिक एजेंडे के चलते भारतीय सेना को बलि का बकरा बना पूछ रहे हैं? भारत सरकार के निर्देशों के तहत काम करने वाली भारतीय सेना को ऐसे लोगों को कोई साक्ष्य या सबूत देने की क्या ज़रूरत है?  क्या इन लोगों को हमारे देश के सबसे ईमानदार और पारदर्शी संस्थानों में से एक को लेकर स्वतंत्रता लेने की अनुमति है? दस लाख से अधिक अधिकारियों और जवानों और हर साल भारतीय सेना में शामिल होने वाले हजारों युवाओं को क्या संदेश दिया जा रहा है?

ये राजनीतिक पंडित जानते हैं कि उच्च अनुशासित भारतीय सेना एक नरम लक्ष्य है, जिन पर इस तरह निशाने साधने पर सेना कोई प्रतिउत्तर नहीं देगी। इन तथाकथित पंडितों की हर आलोचना सीमा पार के चैनलों द्वारा उठा ली जाती है और भारत सरकार की आलोचना की जाती है। इससे कुछ अल्पकालिक राजनीतिक बिंदुओं को छोड़कर कुछ साध्य नहीं होता है। सेना प्रमुख की हर आलोचना पूरी सेना को हतोत्साहित करती है और आलोचकों को अपने मुँह से कुछ भी उगलने से पहले इसे समझने की आवश्यकता है।

कश्मीर ज्ज्वलनशील मुद्दा है जिस पर सभी राजनीतिक दलों और भारतीय सेना को साथ मिलकर ध्यान देना चाहिए। अगर मेजर लेटुल गोगोई अपनी जीप के बोनट पर एक ज्ञात आतंकवादी को बाँधते हैं और लोगों को अपनी कमान में बिना किसी की जान जोखिम में डाले सुरक्षित बाहर निकालते हैं, न तो खुद की ओर से कोई नुकसान होने देते है, न पत्थरबाजी से, तो उन्हें समर्थन और सराहना की जरूरत है और आलोचना की नहीं। यदि इस कार्रवाई में कोई संदेह है, तो केवल सेना अदालत उनसे सवाल पूछ सकती है। वे केवल इसलिए मीडिया द्वारा मुकदमे का विषय नहीं हो सकते कि कुछ चैनलों की टीआरपी गिर रही है।

ज़िम्मेदार पत्रकारों (उनमें से कई हैं), वे नहीं जो अपने धक्के खाते करियर और चैनल के लिए मदद चाहते हैं, को चाहिए कि वे इन टिप्पणियों को अनदेखा करना शुरू कर दें और इन आलोचकों नेताओं पर विश्वास न करें। इस तरह की टिप्पणियों को जितना कम महत्व मिलेगा उतने ही कम प्रासंगिक ये लोग बन जाएँगे।

भारतीय सेना के सर्वोच्च कमांडर, भारत के राष्ट्रपति को सेना प्रमुख के बचाव में इन सभी गैरकानूनी टिप्पणियों को हमेशा के लिये दबाने के लिए दृढ़ता से सामने आने की जरूरत है। उन्हें इस तरह उकसाए गए लोगों को दूसरे सभी अनुमान लगाने से रोकना होगा, जिन्हें वे चला रहे हैं। अगर यह बोलने की स्वतंत्रता है, तो इसमें तुरंत कटौती करनी होगी। हमारे पश्चिम में पाकिस्तान जैसा एक दुष्कर पड़ोसी और हमारे पूर्व में चीन जैसा एक अशांत पड़ोसी है, हम चाहते हैं कि हमारी सेना अत्यधिक प्रेरित और तैयार हो। हतोत्साहित और लोग उनके कार्यों के बारे में जाने कब और क्या कहेंगे, इस बारे में अनिश्चित नहीं।

एक उच्च अलंकृत सैनिक, कीर्ति चक्र और एवीएसएम प्राप्त स्वर्गीय ब्रिगेड एम एल गर्ग, जिन्होंने सन् 1962, सन् 1965 और सन् 1971 का युद्ध लड़ा था, के बेटे के रूप में, मुझे सेना के खिलाफ इन राजनेताओं और पत्रकारों के एक तरफा संवाद को देखने से पीड़ा  होती है। मैं ईमानदारी से आशा करता हूँ कि बहुत से “सेना के बच्चे” इस अतुल्य संस्था के मजबूत समर्थन में आगे आएँगे, जिसके लिए उनके पिता ने काम किया था।

भारतीय सेना हमेशा अराजनैतिक रही है और दुनिया भर में इतनी सारी सेनाओं के विपरीत बैरकों में रहती है जिन्होंने राजनीतिक भूमिका तलाशने के लिए बैरकों से बाहर आने का फैसला किया था। सेना के परिवारों की आम नागरिकों के दैनिक अस्तित्व की चुनौतियों से दूर अपनी अलग दुनिया है, जहाँ वे अपने जैसे अन्य लोगों के साथ रहते हैं।

भारतीय सेना हमारी संरक्षक है, जो हमारी सीमाओं पर खड़ी है, तब हम शांति से सोते हैं। हमें उन्हें अकेला छोड़ देना चाहिए।

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लेखक गार्डियन फार्मेसीज के संस्थापक अध्यक्ष और ५ बेस्ट सेलर पुस्तकों – रीबूट- Reboot. रीइंवेन्ट Reinvent. रीवाईर Rewire: 21वीं सदी में सेवानिवृत्ति का प्रबंधन, Managing Retirement in the 21st Century; द कॉर्नर ऑफ़िस, The Corner Office; एन आई फ़ार एन आई An Eye for an Eye; द बक स्टॉप्स हियर- The Buck Stops Here – लर्निंग ऑफ़ अ # स्टार्टअप आंतरप्रेनर और Learnings of a #Startup Entrepreneur and द बक स्टॉप्स हियर- माई जर्नी फ़्रॉम अ मैनेजर टु ऐन आंतरप्रेनर, The Buck Stops Here – My Journey from a Manager to an Entrepreneur. के लेखक हैं.

  • ट्विटर : @gargashutosh                                      
  • इंस्टाग्राम : ashutoshgarg56                                      
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The Indian Army – Sadak Ke Goonde or Protectors & Martyrs?

170613 Indian Army

The Chief of Army Staff, the head of the Indian Army who reports to the President of India as the Commander in Chief has a very tough job in managing the world’s third largest Army faced with challenges on our borders. His task becomes doubly difficult when ill-informed and uneducated politicians and journalists with flagging careers decide to take pot shots at him and his institution, with insufficient and incorrect data, with the sole objective of getting media coverage.

Nothing has changed with the Indian Army over the past seven decades. They have served the Indian Government, irrespective of political parties. They have defended our borders, managed insurgency and supported states to quell riots when called in by state governments.

Sandeep Dikshit, the son of former Delhi Chief Minister refers to the Army Chief as “sadak ka goonda” and then apologises. He knows that he can make an allegation and then retract very quickly either by saying that he was misquoted or when things it gets too hot, apologise meekly and change the subject. He has no concern for the damage caused by his utterances. What is Sandeep Dikshit’s claim to fame other than an inconsequential two term Member of Parliament and being a part of the lucky sperm club using his family’s name and power for his personal benefit? Isn’t he one of the “sadak ka goons” who is trying to find relevance in a crowded political landscape of the Congress?

CPI(M) Prakash Karat, to gain traction in his struggling political career states “The army chief is reflecting the views of the Modi government which seeks to suppress the people of Kashmir, who are voicing their political protest, through the sole reliance on use of force.” Whom should the Chief of Army Staff brief when there is an intrusion from across the border? The dying and irrelevant party of Prakash Karat or Rahul Gandhi the leader of the defunct Congress Party?

Then there is the unknown and uncelebrated historian Partha Chatterjee who, to gain favours from his masters in West Bengal has the audacity to compare the Indian Army chief to the temporary Brigadier General Edward Harry Dyer in the British Army who was responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. For him, a few seconds of glory are more important that the Indian Army chief.

Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam, who has become a non-entity in Maharashtra seeks proof of the surgical strike. Arvind Kejriwal, who has failed in governing Delhi and Mamata Banerjee, who has serious challenges within her state see such criticism as an opportunity to divert attention from their own problems. What are these leaders looking for? Are they willing to walk in front (or even walk behind) of the soldiers, video camera in hand filming these attacks?

Senior journalists who have clear left liberal leanings and believe that as armchair analysts sitting in the security of their studios pontificate on what the Indian Army should do. And some of these journalists actually express their anger on why they were not briefed before the operation. Why would any Army, anywhere in the world brief journalists in advance?

Are these questions being asked of the Indian Army by a few motivated individuals to meet a narrow political agenda of opposition politicians and disgruntled journalists by using the Indian Army as a scapegoat? Why should the Indian Army, acting under instructions of the Government of India, be required to give any evidence or proof of its activities to these people? What permits these people to take liberties to one of the most honest and transparent institutions of our country? What is the message being given to the over one million officers and jawans and the thousands who are joining the Indian Army each year?

These political pundits know that the highly disciplined Indian Army is a soft target, which will not react to these pot shots. Every criticism by these so called pundits is picked up by channels across the border and used to criticise the Government of India. Nothing is gained except a few ephemeral political points. Far more is lost. Every criticism of the Army Chief demoralises the entire army and critics need to understand this before shooting off their mouths.

Kashmir is a flashpoint and has to be addressed by all political parties and the Indian Army together. If Major Leetul Gogoi ties a known terrorist to the bonnet of his jeep and drives out the people under his command to safety without risking any lives either from his side or from the stone pelters he needs to be supported and applauded and not criticised. If there is any doubt about is actions, only the Army courts can ask him questions. He cannot be subject to a trial by the media because some channels have falling TRP’s.

The responsible journalists (there are many of them), and not those looking to support their stuttering careers and channels, should start to ignore these comments and not give credence to these critics naysayers. The less importance such comments get in our media the less relevant these individuals will become.

The President of India, the supreme commander of the Indian Army needs to come out strongly in defence of the Army Chief to quell all these nonsensical comments once and for all. He needs to stop all this second-guessing that is going on amongst motivated individuals. If this is freedom of speech, then it must be curtailed immediately. With a difficult neighbour like Pakistan on our west and a restless neighbour like China on our East, we want our Army to be highly motivated and ready. Not  demotivated and unsure of what people will say and when about their actions.

As the son of a highly decorated soldier, Late Brig ML Garg, Kirti Chakra and AVSM, who fought in the wars of 1962, 1965 and 1971, it pains me to see this one-sided communication from these politicians and journalists against the Army. I sincerely hope that many more “Army children” will come out in strong support of the incredible institution their fathers worked for.

The Indian Army has always been apolitical and has stayed in the barracks unlike so many armies around the world who chose to come out of the barracks to seek a political role. The Army families live and socialise in a world of their own, away from the challenges of the daily existence of the civilians.

The Indian Army are our protectors who stand guard at our borders as we sleep peacefully. Let us leave them alone.

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The author is the founder Chairman of Guardian Pharmacies and the author of 5 best-selling books, Reboot. Reinvent. Rewire: Managing Retirement in the 21st Century; The Corner Office; An Eye for an Eye; The Buck Stops Here – Learnings of a #Startup Entrepreneur and The Buck Stops Here – My Journey from a Manager to an Entrepreneur.

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Planning your Time in Retirement

 170115 Retirement Plan

As a wise man once said, if you must work, you must retire.

How you define your retirement will obviously differ based on your own imperatives and your personal reality. For sports persons, retirement comes early, once the body starts to age. For Government employees, retirement happens at age 58. For the private sector, it happens at age 60. For some like Judges, retirement is at 65. The only category which can possibly select his own retirement would be a businessperson or a professional and even these people speak about “hanging up their gloves” to do something else. Politicians are in a class of their own and never retire!

Keeping your mind and body healthy, throughout your life is essential, as you get older.

Here are a few questions to ponder over as you look ahead to your retirement years. Remember that the answers to each of these lie within yourself. The best time to start planning for your retirement is a couple of years before your date of superannuation. However, if you, like millions of others, did not want to face your impending retirement and brushed it away with the common statement “I will address this when I reach the age of retirement” then there is no better time than now to start planning how you will choose to spend the remaining one third of your life. This are decisions that should be taken based on several discussions between you and your partner.

It is important for me to state that my points below assume that you have saved enough to be financially secure and do not need to look for full time work and get back into the “yoke” once again. Even if you are financially secure, remember to include time in your routine to manage your finances on a regular basis.

What meaningful activities and new interests could you add to your routine?

Throughout your working life, you would have asked yourself why you did not seem to get the time to pursue your interests. You would have questioned why you were in the so-called rat race. You would have expressed frustration of working endlessly for someone else.

Several people I know have decided to give their time to a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) working in an area of their choice. Hundreds of NGO’s are looking for your expertise and will welcome you warmly. Then there are the Think Tanks. You could consider using your vast experience with such institutions. Finally, your Resident Welfare Association would gladly accept your time to manage the housing or condominium complex that you live in.

What were you passionate about when you were younger?

Are you a closet writer, composer, actor, singer, dancer, musician or artist? Were you a great sportsman?

I enjoyed writing when I was younger and I have picked this up in the last few years. A friend was a great musician but his strings went silent for three decades. He has picked up his instruments again. A banker friend has started painting and has just held his first solo exhibition. Another friend who had carefully built a library of films and television series has pulled out his saved treasure of films. Yet another friend who has always been a voracious reader initials every book he reads in his local library so that he remembers which book he has read! My wife enjoys bridge and she has invested in making several new “bridge” friends.

People are playing golf or tennis every day. Someone I know has taken to running marathons and is now running competitively around the word. There are so many interests that you must have wanted to pursue but did not have the time. Now is the time to make a new beginning. Now is the time for you to pursue the interests you may have been forced to put aside while working due to a lack of time?

What will your lifestyle be at age 70? At age 80?

As you plan the final three decades of your life, break these up in to three distinct phase. Your sixties, seventies and eighties will be very different and you need to keep plan carefully. Look back and think of what you could achieve in your twenties is not what you could do in your forties. Every passing decade will gradually change your body and slow you down. Slowing down is inevitable. Accept the ageing of your body gracefully. There is no point in fighting the gradual ageing process and getting frustrated by what you can no longer do.

If you continue working into your sixties, you will have to change tracks in your seventies. If you are playing a good game of tennis in your sixties, you will slow down in your seventies. If you do not watch television now, it may be a good idea for you to start getting interested in this “companion” sooner than later!

What are the shared interests between you and your partner?

Very few couples develop common interests through their working lives. Each individual is busy in his or her respective careers. On retirement, when much more time is spent together than throughout the working lives, individual interests start to clash with one another. What piques your curiosity need not necessarily interest your partner? Where you wish to spend your free time may not coincide with the plans your spouse has made. This leads to unnecessary dissonance. It is generally advisable to continue with your individual interests as both of you adjust to spending 24 hours of each day together. Some couples decide to travel extensively while others socialize much more and fix one day a week to entertain every week.

Finding too many common interests between spouses is generally a challenge and those couples who have found compatibility in their post-retirement interests are blessed.

As you plan your time for each day, the question to ask yourself is what you would choose to do if you had no other commitments on your time. Build a combination of work, hobby, leisure, exercise, siesta, social connections and personal space in your daily routine and you will be surprised to find that retirement is actually a phase in your life that you will enjoy.

There is no right or wrong answer on how you should use the time in your day. Use your time the way you are comfortable and happy with but remember that a daily routine is always good. It will help you to plan your day as well as to look forward to your next scheduled activity.

Live your retirement with your own plan. Not someone else’s. You have earned this right!

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The author is the founder Chairman of Guardian Pharmacies and the author of 5 best-selling books, Reboot. Reinvent. Rewire: Managing Retirement in the 21st Century; The Corner Office; An Eye for an Eye; The Buck Stops Here – Learnings of a #Startup Entrepreneur and The Buck Stops Here – My Journey from a Manager to an Entrepreneur.

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