Absurdness comes in various forms. In the stratified levels of the uniformed bureaucracy it seems to come in the form of a birth day, or more accurately, birth year. Decorated soldiers are usually expected to know when they were born so when the Army Chief thought his real birth day was on 10 May 1951, […..]


At a time when the Army is being accused of a gender bias in denying permanent commissions to women officers, two stories have symbolised the debate this week: Major Mitali Madhusmita becoming the first Indian woman soldier awarded a gallantry award (Sena Medal) for saving lives after the bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul […..]


Beijing passed a message last week when it tested the J-20, its new generation locally produced stealth fighter, from an airbase in Sichuan on the day US Defence Secretary Robert Gates landed in China to discuss resumption of defence ties. Intended as a direct threat to US carrier fleets in the region, the J-20 is […..]


The first thing every cadet passing through the hallowed portals of the National Defence Academy in Khadakvasla learns is its motto: ‘˜Service before self’. If the goings-on at Mumbai’s ironically mis-named Adarsh Society have even a kernel of truth in them, today’s cadets now know that at least some of their senior-most officers apparently couldn’t […..]

Give them their due

The hero of the Bangladesh war, Lt Gen J F R Jacob, once commented, only partly in jest, that today’s generals do not even enjoy half the authority that he had once enjoyed as a major. The general should know, having served as an army commander and much later as a governor of Punjab and […..]

Low pension makes soldiers rue their fate

How much do we really value our jawans? Very little, in terms of the pensions paid to them. The claims of those who say that they care for the Indian soldier would ring hollow if they stopped to consider the miserly pensions paid to retired soldiers. Naik Dharam Sharma, who was employed in the elite […..]

Army destroys terror base in Jammu

In an operation code named Sarp Vinash, the Army has destroyed a huge terrorist training and support base at Hill Kaka, south of the Pir Panjal range in Jammu. The heavily fortified terrorist base, built about 35 km inside Indian territory, was used by at least 20 terrorist groups for joint training and coordinating activities […..]