Thursday, July 6, 2017


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m/user/travisretherford/media/sun_tzu.jpg.html?filters[term]=sun%20tzu&filters[primary]=images&filters[secondary]=videos&sort=1&o=1sun tzu photo: shun-tzu sun-tzu_resize.jpg                                                        Image result for suntzuImage result for suntzu                          KAUTILYA                                                                                                                                                         
1     Before we debate on the intentions of the Chinese and their recent  incursions in the Tri-junction (Chumbi Valley) area where the borders of India, China and Bhutan meet, we need to understand the  very concept of a ''Nation State'' and the need for a state to have an Army . A State is more than a government. All governments , whether democratic or dictatorial , are transient  but States endure. A State is the means of rule over a defined or "sovereign" territory. It is comprised of an executive, a bureaucracy, courts and other institutions. But, above all, a State maintains an Army to protect its sovereignty and when required, impose its will on other States if diplomacy fails. Wars start where diplomacy fails.

2        The Chinese are adept in Sun T’zu’s art of diplomacy and war and have taken their lesson well  Two important teachings of this great thinker ,who has influenced so much of military strategy , can be seen in the Chinese moves – firstly , ‘‘to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill’’ and secondly ,  ‘’Speed is the essence of war. Take advantage of the enemy's unpreparedness; travel by unexpected routes and strike him where he has taken no precautions.’’ 

          Surprise The Enemy And Keep Him Guessing

3     Not going into the debate as to what could be the Chinese intentions in their latest foray (and gauging these intentions does not require a crystal bowl),  what this article wishes to highlight is that without going into a full fledged war, which neither China nor India is keen on, India can very easily, with a mix of Kautilyan and Machiavellianism strategy , win the next round and take the initiative.

4     He who neglects what is done for what ought to be done, sooner effects his ruin than his preservation. It is a known fact that the political doctrine of Machiavelli  also denies the relevance of morality in political affairs and holds that craft and deceit are justified in pursuing and maintaining sovereign power. So what stops  India from doing all or any of the following---

·      Recall the Indian Ambassador for urgent consultations and advise the Chinese Ambassador that he needs to go and discuss the issue with his Government.

·      Sushma Swaraj  should immediately plan on quick visits to Indonesia , South Korea , Phillipines, Vietnam , Japan , Taiwan , Malaysia , Israel and Australia. Simultaneously the MEA should depute senior officials from the Military and the External Affairs Ministry to visit Nepal , Bangladesh , Bhutan , Sri Lanka , Burma , Maldives , Afghanistan and tell them –‘‘either you are with us or against us , and we shall remember’’.You will also come to know who your friends are. Pakistan will not interfere, its hands are full.

·      An advisory to Indians and Indian traders to be cautious in the whole gamut of tourism ,  education , economic affairs , trade and border movement etc. Trade to be put on hold.

·      Allow the Military to take necessary steps in the Northern , Middle (central) and Eastern Sectors to counter and pre-empt any more such like Chinese ventures. 

·      Immediate and credible mobilization of the Services, the Railways and the Nation in case, repeat, in case the Chinese flex their muscle or movement of troops across the T'sang Po is detected---the whole world is watching. America, Australia, Japan, Vietnam and Britain will back India – no debate warranted.

·      Let a hundred fighter sorties , fully armed , fly over the so called disputed area , without crossing , what we perceive  is the actual border . Maximum and visible use of a large number of rotary wing resources for logistics, troop movements  and reconnaissance. Move of frontline fighters and other aerial assets to forward bases along the Chinese frontier.

·      Aggressive patrolling and maritime reconnaissance by the Indian Navy extending from the Horn of Africa to the Western seaboard of Australia . Use your aircraft carrier , battleships and submarines on the high seas , which are as much yours as any other nations’ . Remember, China has most of its oil and other imports through the Indian Ocean. Do not , do not venture into the South China Sea at this time . Put Andamans and Nicobar Command on full alert. Invite the international media to cover the planned Malabar naval excercise. Aggressive patrolling in the Indian Ocean will help.

·      Occupation of all heights and other defensive positions along the Indo – China border by earmarked Infantry units and reserve formations , with  deployment of Artillery  along-with ammunition dumping. Invoke certain treaty obligations with Bhutan and with their concurrence, move troops to secure your vulnerabilities.

·      The Tibet card---our trump card , dangle it in front of the Chinese and play it close to the chest , atleast for now . Call the Dalai Lama to Delhi the day you recall your Ambassador from China. Xinjian , is also there , but in a later time frame. In case China raises Sikkim or Arunachal, remind China about Tibet.

·      Do not , repeat do not , take your territorial or ‘hot war’ disputes to the United Nations.That , unfortunately , is the recourse of a weak and un-sure Nation . Let the other party do that if they want. There would have been no ‘’Azad Kashmir, ‘’ but for such follies.

5  Whereas Carl von Clausewitz said that war is just an extension of domestic politics, Kautilya argued that diplomacy is really a subtle act of war, a series of actions taken to weaken an enemy and gain advantages for oneself . A nation’s foreign policy should always consist of preliminary movements toward war , if war is inevitable : “In this way, the conqueror should establish in the rear and in front, a circle (of kings) in his own interest—'

                      ‘’ROUND TWO - GAME , SET AND MATCH IS YOURS’’




The United States and the Soviet Union are standing eyeball to eyeball; I think the other guy just blinked"

(Secretary of State Dean Rusk,Cuban Missile Crisis 1962)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Why Blame The Indian Soldier??
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It was painful and physically revolting to read the thoughts and warped logic of these three: Mr Omar Abdullah, Mr Bandukwala and Mr Praveen Swamy on the Gogoi 'incident (Indian Express-The 'Funded' Newspaper)'. First there is Omar sahib who, between him and his father, have made a mess of the State of J&K resulting in the situation existing today. A man who is totally  confused as to whether he is for 'azadi' or he is for India. Oh yes, for enjoying the Indian democracy, largesse, freedom and for having a good time; India is definitely better, but for votes and popularity--- the Indian State and it's Army are demons, rapists and murderers.Then there are these other two self styled human rights activists --one, a Mr Bandukwala and the other a Mr Praveen Swamy, who have never been either in front of a rifle or behind it and are now trying to teach the Army and the Nation what is right and what is wrong. Have such people ever wondered why  are the soldiers doing policing in the first place?? It is because of the sickening , short-sighted , flawed , corruption laden , self centered policies of politicians and bigoted pseudo intellectuals like them that today a soldier is forced to face his own country men to restore law and order and prevent the country from splitting. But do politicians like Kodiyeri Balakrishnan understand this?? That their beef against the last bastion of unity of this Nation is wrong.

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Such 'holier than thou' armchair strategists forget that governance is not the job of an Army. They conveniently forget that human rights of soldiers are supreme and take precedence over the rights of terrorists and separatists. The problem perhaps is that these very men who thump their chests, shed crocodile tears and write unbalanced and putrid items to gain cheap popularity and political patronage, have taken the protection of the Indian Army for granted. These are the men who have no relatives, sons, brothers, daughters who have ever donned a uniform for this Country. But then these are the very dregs of society who are the first to criticise others who take critical and instant decisions under abnormal conditions.
Then we have Mr Kishalay Bhattacharjee (IE May 30, 2017), whose ignorance and utter lack of knowledge about the AFPSA and his skewed interpretation of it's provisions would put a Goebels to shame. Like many including the likes of Kapil Kak(the man is a slur to the uniform he once wore) and Harjinder Baweja (someone who has mastered the art of Yellow journalism)---the lot that very conveniently read out portions of the AFPSA out of context and scream their guts out ---' that the Act contains provisions that grant immunity to members of the Armed Forces who kill people suspected of being militants and that even an NCO has the power to fire upon or otherwise use force even leading to death's' !! How utterly descipable and shallow is the mind set of these people who have never served their Country or have known how the Military functions; it compulsions, it's beliefs and it's morals and it's leadership.
According to article 43, of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 “Any private person may arrest or cause to be arrested any person who in his presence commits a non-bailable and cognizable offence, or any proclaimed offender, and, without unnecessary delay, shall make over or cause to be made over any person so arrested to a police officer, or, in the absence of a police officer, take such person or cause him to be taken in custody to the nearest police station.”Going by the warped logic of these self serving intellectuals and 'freedom fighters' it means that this dangerous provision is tantamount to encouraging all Indian citizens to become vigilantes!! By the same logic does it mean that the AFPSA provisions in question are resulting in soldiers, NCO's and officers  of the Indian Army arresting, machine gunning, murdering and killing innocents with impunity and with no questions asked?? A failure at all levels? A rag tag Army without any discipline, accountability , command and control??
And what about the rights of the men in uniform . What about their right of self defence? Should not the soldiers also file hundreds of FIR's-- against mobs, stone throwers, separatists and terrorists and confused politicians who endanger them every day. And should not those people who were rescued from the polling booth by Maj Gogoi file FIRs for attempt to murder against the mob, against the CM J&K and the Top Cop of the State (dereliction of duty and failure to maintain law and order included). What about Article 21/Right to Life of the uniformed man?? 
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Following Operation Dragoon landings in southern France and the collapse of the German military occupation in August 1944, large numbers of Germans could not escape from France and surrendered to the French Forces of the Interior. The Resistance cold bloodedly executed a few of the Wehrmacht and most of the Gestapo or SS prisoners. No one from the allied side, no human rights activists, politicians or columnists at that time or later during the Nuremberg trials spoke of the rights of these murdered soldiers. Just as now many say that the rights of stone throwers and anti nationalists cannot be equated with that of Indian Army soldiers. But do the likes of Prakash Karat, Arunanadhati and Partha Chatterjee sahib(a pseudo-Indian if there was one) understand this??
We have the nation whining and the media going berserk because police stood by as six innocent men ('child lifters
'--- God help us)were lynched two days back. Maybe it would have been better for all if Gogoi too had stood and watched bloodshed and mob violence. In fact he should have given the mob bouquets and quietly walked off-- he is from Assam-- why the hell should he bother about what is happening in J&K. Like wise for the other soldiers serving there for nuts and peanuts. And pray why send soldiers for policing in the first place?? Because people like these three and their policies have failed. Do we want a situation, Mr Omar , Mr Swamy and Mr Bandukwala, where the soldiers will mutiny and refuse to go for police duties? Unfortunately we have paid media and willing 'writers'. What a pity.

 But again, no one is bothered about the sniping and beheading of Indian soldiers and these apologists and peaceniks are more worried about a stone thrower who was tied to a jeep.  Soldiers are generally considered easy game .

 We are fast hurtling to a Vietnam like situation where the unwilling, demoralised and demotivated US soldiers were not being backed by their Country. See what happened. If  politicians, leaders , writers , media and so called activists start vilifying soldiers as such, be prepared,  the day is not far off  and then you can call  O' Dwyer back.

People find Army a convenient, soft target as it is trained to exercise restraint but these people do not have thecourage to call a terrorist a terrorist or condemn the beheadings of Indian soldiers .
A terrorist or a stone thrower is not constrained to follow any rule of law, but a soldier who sees his brother in uniform being targeted  or blown to smithereens is required to show restraint!! It is high time the Nation rose to call the bluff of the so called ‘human rights protagonists and the pseudo-intellectuals’ who seek to promote their politics at the cost of Armed Forces.

Those who have never saluted the tri colour draped coffin of an Indian soldier, have no right to point a finger at Armed forces jawans because of whom they are in a position to conveniently sit in their drawing rooms and issue lofty statements.

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If you see merit in this, please pass it on----

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Lets Rock with Carl Hoffman !!

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Culinary Tribute to the Beatles

Hello There!!  --some people are born famous , some become famous, and others work to become famous. Starting from a simple and inexpensive family owned small scale industry worth a paltry $ 80 million making Jeepneys for the discerning Indian puppi's and yuppi's,  Sarao Inc has now diversified to Event Management and the Music Industry (Bakelite 78 rpm's are our speciality).

Film Making( including an exclusive 5 year contract with George Clooney and Boy George), marketing of an improved version of Brut after shave (feels like Old Spice and Afghan Snow --- shaken not stirred,mmmmm ) and our old family forte of Wine Production(sales had dropped in the last financial year because of family embezzlement and in house wine tasting) WE HAVE NOW STARTING MAKING JUKE BOXES, from discarded parts of Jeepneys, Vespa / Lambretta scooters, old Gramaphones and discarded Chocklate Boxes.The Sarao family  guarantee's that this music  will put a smile on your face and your feet will start tappin'. 
 What a way to start the whether at (no) work,(all) play or whatever you may be doing or generally not doing!!!

You can also listen to the great music of the50s60s, & 70s 

 All your Requirements under One Roof
(We Also Run the World Famous SARAO Chain of Hotels and the SARAO Aircraft Company-Planes on Charter , Anywhere Anytime)

You can also listen to the great music of the 50s60s, & 70s at all links in blue with arrows !!!




Daily Oldies Fix - Jukebox

Enjoy the great music of the 50s60s, & 70s at
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Specially for you--keep clicking!!!

Solid Gold 50s


Friday, January 29, 2016


My first visit to Deolali was sometime in 1978 as a subaltern, nominated for the Young Officers course at the School of Artillery. While on a 'surreptitious outing' , which all YO's indulge in --- I with a couple of friends noticed a road sign near a cemetery which mentioned something like 'buried here are 11 Turkish soldiers' or words to that effect. My curiosity was piqued, but with gun-drill , ballistics, tactics, course-shootings and exams always on my head, I could not investigate further. Subsequently I made more than a half a dozen trips to Deolali over the next three plus decades, unfortunately, there was never time available. But I never forgot. Next time--next time ; and next time was always carried forward!! This time I was again at Deolali in October 2015 and it was ordained that I visit the cemetery.

In "Pick up your Parrots and Monkeys - The life of a Boy Soldier in India" by William Pennington there is a description of 'Doollali'. British soldiers who wanted to escape the hardship of service in India used to feign madness (Doollaly Tap---sunstroke), and were sent to 'Doollali'. As the war progressed,from a small peacetime garrison of two or three hundred, Devlali and the surrounding area eventually became an enormous Transit Camp holding at its maximum 70,000 men. Deolali also housed the Homeward Bound Trooping Depot (HBTD) for British/European soldiers waiting to embark on the journey home from Bombay, a large Military Hospital and many sanatoriums. Soldiers came from Australia and New Zealand ( as also West- Indian/African soldiers of the empire), only to be quickly on their way again to the deserts of North Africa. Regiments came from England to go always further east to Burma or Malaya.

During WW2 , Axis prisoners of War from the East African Campaign fronts (mostly Italians) were escorted to India to be held in POW Camps at Ahmednagar and Deolali.
Incidentally we YO's were billeted in the old Italian POW barracks, laid out in neat rows having toilets on either end, with barbed wire fencing all around the complex, known as 'Hampden Lines'. Eerily similar to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp I had visited a few years back. It now houses the Army School, Deolali.

Apparently Turkish POWs (including wounded Turk prisoners) were also stationed in Deolali during WW1, sometime between 1915/16, and out of that lot, eleven had died , probably of natural causes or wounds and were interred in the 'Deolali Muslim Cemetery'.
The Ottoman Turks had faced Indian and British soldiers in Kut-al-Amara and Mesopotamia. I learned from the care taker that a Turkish Colonel had come two years back and had got the graves of these ten soldiers repaired as is visible, previously they were plain mounds of earth. Names of only one or two soldiers are known and others are simply numbered (Turkish Martyr 1, Turkish Martyr 2, Turkish Martyr 3 etc). The graves have inscribed on them 'Sehit Turk Askeri' (Turkish Troops) and  'Ruhuna Fatiha' (in the spirit of Al-fatiha).

Coming on to Barnes School, Deolali and Dilip Kumar. The name Barnes School, Deolali conjures up images of a grand building and the famous BST (Barnes School Tower), which was the aiming point of many an Indian and British Gunner whether in shooting, YO's, survey, LGSC or aviation days not to forget the 'Camels Back' annual play at Barnes which many of us have attended (many a time!). Barnes School was established in 1925, primarily a boarding schools for Anglo-Indian boys and girls, mainly belonging to the Anglican Church. Later on with the passage of time, boarders and day-scholars of all castes and creeds were admitted and became alumini of BS with so many joining the Indian Armed Forces.

Yusuf Khan - - Born at Peshawar on December 11, 1922, he was brought to Deolali at age 6. His father Ghulam Sarwar Khan was a successful fruit trader and had 12 children, of which the child at number 3 was named Yusuf Khan. "In more ways than one it is Maharashtra that holds the roots of my life and career. I had my schooling at Barnes School in Deolali, Nashik, as a day scholar. The moderate climate, especially the cool summers attracted my parents to stay in Deolali since my mother was ailing with asthma. Years later, after I became known as actor Dilip Kumar, I revisited Deolali in the course of my search all over Nashik District for an ideal location to film Ganga Jamuna's outdoor scenes''.

Dilip Kumar has another connection with Deolali.
Without going into too many personal details and with all due respect to privacy , when I visited the cemetery (kabristan actually) in Deolali researching some WW1 historical facts, the care taker took me to a secluded corner where there were three neat plainly marked graves with a space between the second and third graves.
Very quietly he told me that the first grave is of Dilip Kumars 'Ammi', the second is of Dilip Kumars 'Abba' and the third one is of Dilips 'bhai'. The care taker told me that as per Dilip Kumars wishes, he desires to be interred alongside his parents (and brother) when he leaves his earthy abode. The empty space is for him as per his wishes.

Now the Tobruk Gun story. Many of the old timers will recollect that British 4.5 inch gun with a 'jugad' kind of carriage which was placed near the Commandants Office in the old School HQ building. The carriage looked as if it been modified, welded and put together by the local EME unit. It had a plaque under the barrel--'This British 4.5 Inch Gun Was Used In The Seige Of Tobruk ' or words to that effect. I often wondered about the story behind it. Recently I found this gun among the vintage guns displayed at the S of A during the ROAR 2015. How did it reach the School from Tobruk ?? I did hit upon a picture of a damaged  4.5 inch gun with British gunners atop it after the seige of Tobruk had been lifted. The Axis siege of Tobruk began on 10 April, when the port was attacked by a force under Generalleutnant Erwin Rommel and continued during three relief attempts, Operation Brevity (15–16 May), Operation Battleaxe (15–17 June) and Operation Crusader (18 November – 30 December). 390 Battery (British Artillery) had 4x4.5 inch guns, the only guns of this caliber in that theater.  One of the four guns is now with the School, probably retrieved by the returning 4 Indian Division.