Passing Out Parade 49 Years Ago

Below are the photos of the past: 22 Jun 1968 Passing out parade of Zojila Coy.

1. The Comdt inspecting the parade. Sashi standing tall in the front.

2. I can recognize some of them. Amal – tall handsome on the left side with Bajwa.

3. Jasbir, our Chhotu Sardar of the Coy in the centre and many more.

(Hope you all have joined the bandwagon of our GJ celebration.)

4. Then one photo with the then Asst Adjt, Capt & Mrs Vijay Singh I happened to be commissioned in his Bn 1/1Gorkha Rifles. We also served together later).


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Old Memories

I was writing about my old Bn 1/1 GR (pronounced one one GR) and needed some old photographs. While looking for them I found two photographs of our 2/Lt days with friend Tej Kaul (12 Kumaon). After commissioning we both joined our respective Bns in Sambha in the same Bde.
We both were detailed to attend a course at the 26 Div Battle School. Another offr is Tej’s Bn offr, Nanjappa, year senior to us and was our instructor in the Div Battle School.
The photos relate to time period of some time in Jul, Aug, Sep 1968.
Thought of sharing it.


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Absurdities of Present Day News

I had been thinking for sometime about the growing number of ridiculous, inane, and otherwise nonsensical absurdities that fill the daily TV news channels and print or electronic media.

Wondering if it was just me.

I think we started to simply accept them without much thought and the news media grew on to them.

The absurdity of this uncontrolled media is showing in the nation’s psyche. And if I may say so, the phenomena is world wide. The space for “Centre – Thinking” seems to be shrinking fast in all countries and not only in India. Trumpism started it openly, BREXIT followed it and now it has started to open and spread in many parts of the globe – Germany, Scandinavian countries, Spain and so on.

The absurdity when becomes disrupter is when it really becomes point of concern. Disrupters have found many ways to convince and attract people in all walks of life. I have been the victim of this disruption in thinking for many months, may be few years now. And therefore I have avoided to write anything lest my feelings show up in my words. But today I found the courage to overcome that fear and trying to find the root cause of the same. And I feel the root cause is these news providers – may be TV news channels and print or electronic media. Everyone seems to be taking sides instead of reporting the news these media reporters and anchors have been taking sides.

Your comments please.

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What’s the difference between pleasure and happiness?

Pleasure means something I want because it feels good at the time, so I want more, until that ‘want’ becomes a ‘need’.

Happiness means contentment. You feel good and are satisfied. You don’t want or need to buy anything. It is about connection with the higher being.

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नींद और मौत में क्या फर्क है…?

किसी ने क्या खूबसूरत जवाब दिया है….

“नींद आधी मौत है”
“मौत मुकम्मल नींद है”

जिंदगी तो अपने ही तरीके से चलती है….
औरों के सहारे तो जनाज़े उठा करते हैं।

सुबहे होती है , शाम होती है
उम्र यू ही तमाम होती है ।
कोई रो कर दिल बहलाता है और कोई हँस कर दर्द छुपाता है.
क्या करामात है कुदरत की, ज़िंदा इंसान पानी में डूब जाता है और मुर्दा तैर के दिखाता है…

बस के कंडक्टर सी हो गयी है जिंदगी ।
सफ़र भी रोज़ का है और
जाना भी कही नहीं।…..

सफलता के सात भेद, मुझे अपने कमरे के अंदर ही उत्तर मिल गये !
छत ने कहा : ऊँचे उद्देश्य रखो !
पंखे ने कहा : ठन्डे रहो !
घडी ने कहा : हर मिनट कीमती है !
शीशे ने कहा : कुछ करने से पहले अपने अंदर झांक लो !
खिड़की ने कहा : दुनिया को देखो !
कैलेंडर ने कहा : Up-to-date रहो !
दरवाजे ने कहा : अपने लक्ष्य को प्राप्त करने के लिए पूरा जोर लगाओ !

लकीरें भी बड़ी अजीब होती हैं——
माथे पर खिंच जाएँ तो किस्मत बना देती हैं
जमीन पर खिंच जाएँ तो सरहदें बना देती हैं
खाल पर खिंच जाएँ तो खून ही निकाल देती हैं
और रिश्तों पर खिंच जाएँ तो दीवार बना देती हैं..

एक रूपया एक लाख नहीं होता ,
मगर फिर भी एक रूपया एक लाख से निकल जाये तो वो लाख भी लाख नहीं रहता
हम आपके लाखों दोस्तों में बस वही एक रूपया हैं … संभाल के रखनT,

बाकी सब मोह माया है

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(A post received in my Whatsapp. Found a special piece of history interesting and thought to share with my readers.)

Sam & Turk

Brigadier John Randle’s personal reminiscences of Second World War in Burma in Durbar issue of Summer 2016 Volume 33, No. 2 was an interesting read.  He met Sam Manekshaw and Attiqur Rahman in Burma.  He notes that in India- Pakistan war, Sam Manekshaw was heading Indian army and Attiqur Rahman Pakistan army.  Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw called Sam was Chief of Army Staff of Indian army while Pakistan army was headed by General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan who was also Chief Martial Law Administrator.  Lieutenant General Muhammad Attiqur Rahman nick named ‘Turk’ was serving as Governor of Punjab during 1971 India-Pakistan war and didn’t command any military formation.

Sam joined the first regular course of Indian Military Academy (IMA) Dehra Dun known as ‘pioneers’ and commissioned in 1934. Turk was winner of sword of honor and commissioned in 1939.  Sam and Turk were commissioned in 4th Battalion of 12th Frontier Force Regiment (now 6 Frontier Force Regiment of Pakistan army).  Current Pakistan army Chief General Raheel Sharif also belongs to 6 FF. 4/12 FFR was old 54th Sikhs and part of the legendry Punjab Irregular Frontier Force and its members are nick named PIFFERS. 4/12 FFR was one of the Indianized battalion and Indian officers were posted to the battalion when Indians were allowed to hold the rank of commissioned officers.  A number of 4/12 FFR officers rose to general rank in Indian and Pakistan armies.  In addition to Sam, Suresh Misra, Harnarain Singh, Amreet Singh, Dewan Gupta and Naranjan Prasad rose to general rank in Indian army.  In Pakistan army, in addition to Turk, Mian Hayauddin, Khalid M. Shaikh, Altaf Qadir and Fazal Muqeem Khan rose to general rank.

In Second World War, Turk was the Adjutant of the battalion and Sam was commanding Sikh company when Brigadier Randle met them.  Turk did poorly at Staff College and Sam then instructor at Staff College helped him to pass the course.  In 1947, Sam opted for Indian army and Turk opted for Pakistan army although Turk’s younger brother Muhammad Attaur Rahman; also a PIFFER opted for Indian army.  In 1953, Turk was commanding a brigade that was moved to Lahore and Sam was commanding a brigade across the border in Ferozpur.  Sam invited Turk and another PIFFER then Brigadier (later Lieutenant General ) Bakhtiar Rana for coffee and they had a great meeting reminiscing about the past.  In 1971 war, Sam always asked about the performance of his old battalion that was now fighting against Indian army.  His Military Secretary Brigadier (later Lieutenant General) Depinder Singh noticed that ‘one could discern not a little pride when the briefing officer would recount some incident or action where the battalion had done well’.  When one of the battalion’s officer Major Shabbier Sharif (brother of General Raheel Sharif) won the highest gallantry award Nishan-e-Haider posthumously, Sam wrote to one of his old British commanding officer in England about the good show put by the battalion although it was now fighting against Indian army that Sam was commanding.

In 1973, Sam came to Pakistan for post-war negotiations and 4/12 FFR (6 FF) sent its silverware for the dinner hosted for Sam.  4/12 FFR (6 FF) was then stationed in Okara and cutlery of the battalion was carefully packed and sent to Lahore where Sam was entertained.  During his 1973 visit to Pakistan, Sam was given a lunch at Station Artillery Mess in Lahore.  Sam went around looking at the impressive array of trophies in the mess.  He stopped by a trophy and asked what a trophy of 54th Sikh (4/12 FFR) was doing in the artillery mess.  A Pakistani officer confided that the trophy was brought to the mess for the special occasion.

Sam and Turk considered battalion as their home and were attached to it throughout their lives. In 1947, when 4/12 FFR (6FF) was allotted to Pakistan, Sikhs and Dogras left for India while Pathans and Punjabi Muslims (PMs) remained in Pakistan.  When Sam was army chief, there was a standing order to all the staff, guards and sentries that whenever an ex-serviceman of 4/12 FFR came to the army headquarters, he should be brought to the chief no matter what chief was doing.  In Pakistan, Turk considered 4/12 FFR as his home and was involved in battalion’s affairs during his whole life.  He groomed many young officers of the battalion.  After retirement, he frequently visited his old battalion. Young officers would notice that after his usual rounds of the battalion, he would settle in a room in the mess.  Tea for two was served and old sweeper Charan walked into the room and the two spend some time together recalling old days of glory. Sam took care of Sikh and Dogra ex-serviceman of 4/12 FFR in India while Turk took care of Pathan and Punjabi ex-serviceman of 4/12 FFR in Pakistan.

Sam also had old association with Yahya.  In 1946-47, Sam and Yahya Khan had served together at Military Operations Directorate of army headquarters at Delhi.  Sam owned a red James motorcycle and Yahya fell in love with the motorcycle.  Sam agreed to sell it for 1000 Rupees.  In the chaos of partition, Yahya left for Pakistan promising to send the money but later forgot.  After 1971 war when East Pakistan seceded to become Bangladesh, Sam joked about the incident stating that “Yahya never paid Rupees 1000 for my motorbike but now has paid with half of his country’.  There is another interesting incident related to that time period.  Sam then Lieutenant Colonel was GSO-1 (Operations), Major Yahya Khan was GSO-2 (Frontier Defence) and Captain S. K. Sinha GSO-3 (Internal Security) at Military Operations directorate.  In 1971 Indo-Pak war, Sam was Indian army chief, Yahya Pakistan army chief and Sinha was head of pay and pension department at GHQ in Delhi.  Sinha sent a letter to Sam asking to be posted to a combat formation stating that “old G-1 is going to war with old G-2 and G-3 is being left out”.

Sam and Turk belonged to the last of the generation of young lads of India who were groomed in old British military traditions.  They emerged on the scene at the time of sunset of the Raj and sunrise of independence.  Their fathers fought First World War as comrades and they fought Second World War together as comrades under Union Jack. Later, fate brought them to represent two independent armies and got entangled in a prolonged conflict.  However, they maintained their professionalism serving proudly their nations while at the same time keeping old bonds of comradeship.

Hamid Hussain

Port Jefferson, New York


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Don’t Quit

John Greenleaf Whittier

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is strange with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

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Making of Gorkhaland: BJP’s Dilemma

BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) promised to GJM (Gorkha Janmukti morcha) in 2013 to create a separate state of Gorkhaland and included the same in the BJP Manifesto. Therefore GJM promised to support BJP candidate, SS Ahluwalia, in the Lok Sabha election. GJM had also supported BJP candidate, Maj Jaswant Singh, in 2009 election with the same promise i.e. to create a separate state of Gorkhaland if it came to power. Maj Jaswant Singh had won. But the NDA of which, BJP was part did not muster majority and did not come to power. UPA did.
The BJP never imagined that it will come to power in 2014 with absolute majority winning 288 seats in parliament. Therefore it continued with the alliance partners as part of the NDA. This feat of BJP surprised many including the BJP itself.

BJP’s sole game-plan was to make an inroad in West Bengal where the BJP was in a miniscule existence. BJP won two seats in 2014 parliament election –SS Ahluwalia and Babul Supriya.
But landslide victory of BJP in 2014 with clear majority has made Amit Shah and Narendra Modi in BJP and RSS in Nagpur to plan for even larger majority in Lok Sabha in 2019 and capture of more states for direct governance than present 10 single handedly by BJP and seven with the Alliance partners. (Total 17 states with the BJP presence. UPA with only 7 & others 7 with no NDA/UPA). In that game plan West Bengal and Kerela are in forefront in the radar of BJP for capture. BJP is trying hard to make its presence felt in both these states.
In this scenario Darjeeling hills with just one MP or North Bengal combine with 4 MPs are very low in priority as far as BJP’s expansion plan for establishing itself in pan-India is concerned.

All political parties resort to rhetoric during the election campaigns. Promises are for luring people to vote for them and not meant, necessarily, to fulfill them if the party comes to power. This has been said by the present Finance Minister Arun Jailey during the dialogue with the leaders of OROP (One Rank One Pension) in 2014 when he was also the Defence minister. So promises made by the BJP with the GJM are not sacrosanct to be honoured. The party will look in to the long term goal of its vision and not hesitate to sacrifice small promises made here and there earlier.

Therefore demand of Gorkhaland is expandable in their view in the larger game plan of establishing saffron flag in all for corners of India.

BJP General Secretary of West Bengal, Kailash Vijaivargiya has already said that Gorkhaland cannot be carved out of West Bengal. But he is ready to dangle larger carrots in front of the leaders of the Gorkhaland movement like Tribal status, more power, more funds etc. etc.. 

Bigger question is will the movement succeed in the lack of support of the state govt and Union govt? Answer will be negative. Therefore leaders of the movement need to change their tack according to the writings in the wall.

I support converting North Bengal as a Union Territory. Another state is not created and UT is directly controlled by the Centre. Ego of Mamta Banerjee will be satisfied. BJP vote bank will not be disturbed in other parts of West Bengal. Bhadra Lok of Siliguri and adjoining areas will enjoy UT and also vote for BJP.

Union Territory has its own benefits. Please read my blog of 2008 for more on this.

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GorkhaLand:Now or Never


Solidarity March in Dehradun for creation of Gorkhalnd

Gorkhas of Dehradun took out a solidarity march through the roads and bye lanes of Dehradun on 25 Jun 2017 in support of Gorkhaland with due permission from the Civil Administration.

More than 5000 Gorkhas from far & near, men & women, old and young congregated to march to support creation of Gorkhaland in solidarity with the Gorkhas of Darjeeling hills and plains of Dooars and North Bengal.

There is a growing support from all Gorkhas living in various parts of our country and also living abroad. It is now for the people of the Darjeeling hills to take it to the logical conclusion by selecting good, intelligent and selfless leaders to lead the movement this time around.

It is NOW or NEVER

Here are some of the photographs of the march.

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Gorkhaland: Now or Never

#Now OrNever
#BJPpromiseIn2013Election Manifesto

I saw Anubha Bhonsle’s programme “CRUX” in which Swaraj Thapa says that Gorkhaland is not a possibility before 2019 because BJP or NDA do not have majority in Rajya Sabha (Upper House of the Parliament). Thereafter many people have taken that as a gospel truth. And I even read in few of the posts that Bimal Gurung has come out of the hiding after that statement by Swaraj Thapa.

Why did Swaraj Thapa make that statement which has sown the seeds of doubts in the mind of many people, I am not aware. But let’s have our numbers right in the Raajya Sabha before we can make any analysis whether it will be possible for the BJP to bifurcate West Bengal to carve out Gorkhaland or whatever name the state may have.  

BJP has clear majority in lok Sabha. So passing any bill therein is no problem. UPA still has majority in Rajya Sabha therefore BJP/NDA have had problem in getting their bills passed such as GST and Land Reform Bills. Let us look at the position of NDA, and other parties in Rajya Sabha as of now.

Rajya Sabha has 243 seats and half way mark to pass any bill will be 123. NDA has 77 seats (56 of BJP). UPA has 84 seats (59 of Cong). And other parties have 82 seats mainly among them being; SP – 18, AIDMK – 13, TMC – 11, CPM & BJD – 8 each and total of various other parties with lesser number of seats is 24.

But there will be significant change in number of seats of various parties in Rajya Sabha in Apr/May 2018 due to retirement and reelection. Huge assembly victories in UP, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur in Mar this year will have impact in Rajya Sabha representation.
Let us now look at the position that will be in Rajya Sabha in Apr/May 2018 after the reelection.

NDA will have 95 seats (69 of BJP). UPA will have 66 (44 of Cong & 8 seats of JD(U)). And other parties will have 84; SP – 14, TMC – 12, AIDMK – 12, CPM – 8, BSP – 5, BJD – 7, TRS –5, and other smaller parties 21. This will be the scenario in Rajya Sabha in May 2018.
NDA needs the support of other parties to reach the magic figure of 123 to have any bills passed in the Rajya Sabha. So let us see how it can be worked.
Let us analyze which all parties can support the demand of a separate state. SP – NO. TMC – NO. CPM – NO. NCP – NO with 4 seats.

Those who can support (keeping in mind the recent support for the BJP Presidential candidate Ramnath Kovind and those who support smaller states) are -  AIDMK – 12 (Supports Presidential candidate), BSP – 5 (Mayawati supported the smaller states within UP during her tenure as a Chief minister of UP). BJD – 7 (Supports Presidential candidate). TRS – 5 (Supports Presidential candidate). Besides JD(U) is likely to support (8 seats) though part of UPA as it now supports the Presential candidate. That makes 132 seats in favour – 9 more than the required to pass the bill.

All depends on how our leaders of Darjeeling hills can play their cards in lobbying for separate state of Gorkhaland. Here one needs to be proactive in approaching the various parties for support rather than waiting for BJP to garner support for them.
If it happens it will be win-win situation for the BJP. BJP at present has 2 seats in Parliament from West Bengal. After creation of Gorkhaland, it should have 4 seats for sure; one each from Darjeeling, Siliguri, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Bihar. 100% jump from the present 2 seats.
Therefore I said it is “Now Or Never”.

Who knows what will be BJP tally in Lok Sabha in 2019 election? Will they have majority? Your guess is as good as mine. We must strike the iron when it is hot. It is right moment now. Let the momentum build up to summer of 2018. And by then BJP will have gotten in the mode of election 2019 – new election, new manifesto, balance sheet of old manifesto etc.

PS: I had given links to my blog of 2008 yesterday to see what is in the name. And why not demand UT (Union Territory) instead of a separate state and encompass whole of North Bengal.
It may be wiser to settle for a different name than Gorkhaland. RSS had hinted it recently. I had said in 2008. Links to my blog are here. 

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