Thursday, May 25, 2017

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Once upon as time there was a young Indian who wanted to serve his Country.   He took a decision ; was the man on the spot and he did what he thought was right. On the other hand, it would be incorrect if we expect the military chain of command to say, -- ' well done, keep it up, good show, shabash. Here's a Commendation Card for you.'
What the Army can do and is probably doing is; communicating to the bleeding hearts-- ' back off, we stand by the decision taken by the offr under the circumstances'.
As far as the Court of Inquiry , I am sure the Presiding Officer is serving in the same Army and is honest, dispassionate, has sufficient service and has operated in CI environment .
Now as far as tweets of Gen Panag or Gen Jaiswal are concerned, pl read between the lines. I don't think the Chief or the Army Cdr or the senior military heirarchy (serving or retired) or the RM ( or the PM of the nation for that matter) can thump the table facing national media and say 'bloody good show-- what'?!
As far as shooting on the knees is concerned, I think this kind of firing can be left for the police and other armed security forces. The Army is taught 'Ek Goli Ek Dushman' and it is drilled into a soldier day and night right from his recruit days. It is emblazoned on all the firing ranges of the Army. Neither does the Army use pellet guns, birdshot or blanks. So if you want the Indian military to police the Country, it will be done in the way a soldier has been trained to fight--- no holds barred, go for the jugular and any one who threatens the Indian Nation or its soldiers will be summarily despatched. The younger lot of soldiers and offrs have heard enough of that ' misguided countrymen' phrase mentioned in that dog eared, well worn-out, defunct and outdated GS pamphlet (Aid To Civil Authority) written by someone long since dead and when the Indian Military just required to show its presence and it's uniform to restore law and order whenever the civilians, bureaucrats and the politicians messed up everything. For the soldier of today, anyone who threatens him, his country or his fellow soldiers -- is an enemy.
Today every police force is putting on the same uniform and the Army has to actually identify itself with hand held placards to say-- 'We are the Indian Army'.
So the message must go to all these whining leaders, politicians, bureaucrats, human rights activists and those pseudo nationalist walk the talk type of media persons --' Put Up Or Shut Up'.
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 Samy on the Gogoi 'incident'. 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.

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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.
What about the rights of the men in uniform . 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. 
We have the nation whining and the media going beserk 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 thecourageo call a terrorist a terrorist or condemn theedings 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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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Lets Rock with Carl Hoffman !!

The  Site


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
Solid Gold Memories



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.

Sunday, April 12, 2015




Well , it has been finally proved what we the ‘mango people’ suspected since long!! Like in any other society , we have two types of media and journalists in this Country. The type who are ethical , know their facts , are not looking for cheap popularity and most of all , ‘cannot be bought’ . These are those 90% which VK Singh refers to. On the other hand we have Ruchir Joshi, Arnab Goswami and Shekhar Gupta who are in the wrong profession (actually if we count them in the ‘other’ 10 % , they may well be in the right profession!!).

I am appalled at the intelligence, ignorance and mediocrity along with a penchant for sensationalism displayed by some of these buyable types who more interested in TRP’s and retaining their jobs, rather than ethical reporting. Over the past few years the Indian media has developed a new bestiary of ways to get paid-for content directly into the media stream without provenance, some of which is directly attributable to the ‘hidden hands’ bankrolling them. I ask these so called defenders of free speech and protectors of democracy - - what are the ethical lines your paid-for content should not cross? The Country wants to know. And it wants to know now. As Shyamali Banerjee mentioned in her column, sometimes the border line between ‘news’ and’ cooked up news’ gets blurred. Herein lies the gist in what distinguishes gutter level reporting and ethical reporting which is the hallmark of a respected journalist and his paper / TV channel.

Recollect what Rajdeep Sardesai, the Editor’s Guild President had said some time back—‘’The Guild was deeply shocked and seriously concerned at the increasing number of reports detailing the pernicious practice of publishing paid news by some newspapers and television channels, especially during the recent elections’. Yes Sir , this type of scurrilous reporting is becoming a habit of late and the anchors and journalists who have made this their bye-line are well known!

Take the recent article published in the TOI, Bangalore edition by Ruchir Joshi. It is quite evident that Shri Ruchir Joshi requires a crash course in history and politics. Even a cub reporter knows that senior military men and those who have served in the military have many a time been among the most respected politicians in various countries— In the United States Of America for example, twelve American presidents were generals : Washington, Jackson, W. Harrison, Taylor, Pierce, A. Johnson, Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, B. Harrison, and Eisenhower. Europe , Russia and the United Kingdom too have had their fair share of military men who later chose to join the profession of politics.
Here I have a question for all our media people and journalists . Pray how many of you experts in wielding your pens and presstituting your voices have ever wielded a rifle to defend your motherland??

This again the Country wants to know. My dear friends in the media , be true to yourself and to your profession . If you do not have the aptitude or the knowledge for the same, find another job. Or do you want us, the public, to call Tarun Tejpal and Nira Radia once again??

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. We will remember them.''

 Victoria Cross and other medals awarded to Sub-Maj Aagan Singh Rai, which were auctioned in London recently for £115,000
Victoria Cross and other medals awarded to Sub-Maj Aagan Singh Rai,indian Army, which were auctioned in London recently for £115,000 ----a shame!! 
Neuve-Chapelle Indian Memorial
Pas de Calais, France
TO THE HONOUR OF THE ARMY OF INDIA WHICH FOUGHT IN FRANCE AND BELGIUM, 1914-1918, AND IN PERPETUAL REMEMBRANCE OF THOSE OF THEIR DEAD WHOSE NAMES ARE HERE RECORDED AND WHO HAVE NO KNOWN GRAVE. On October 31, 1914, at Hollebeke, Belgium, Sepoy Khudadad Khan from 129th Duke of Connaught’s Own Baluchis, was in the machine-gun section of his battalion and was working one of the two guns. The British officer in charge of the detachment had been wounded and the other gun was put out of action by a shell. Sepoy Khudadad Khan, although wounded himself, continued working his gun after all the other five men of the detachment had been killed. He was left by the enemy for dead. He later managed to crawl out and rejoin his unit. For his heroic deeds, he was awarded Britain’s highest medal for valour, the Victoria Cross (VC). Sub Khudadad Khan Sub Khudadad Khan

The battles on the Western Front in which the Indian Army took part: La Bassee 1914, Ypres 1914-15, Givenchy 1914, Aubers, Bazentin, Morval, Messines 1914, Gheluvelt, Neuve Chapelle, Loos, Delville Wood, Armentieres 1914, Festubert 1914-15, St Julien, Somme 1916, Flers-Courcelette and Cambrai 1917--- ''They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
A moment of contemplation

Photo:The Mayor lays a wreath on behalf of the people of the city
The Mayor lays a wreath on behalf of the people of the city
Remembering their sacrifice
At midday on Sunday 26 September, a new war memorial, built by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, was unveiled in close proximity to the Chattri Indian Memorial in Patcham. It is designed to pay tribute to some of the one and half million Indian soldiers who fought for the British Empire during the First World War. The new memorial bears the names of 53 Indian soldiers who died in Brighton and were cremated on the site of the Chattri memorial. 
In memory of those Indian Soldiers who who fought and

 died so far away from their Country----




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Inline image 6Sikh and Hindu cremation memorial - Keren Eritrea.
Sikh and Hindu cremation memorial - Keren Eritrea.


Inline image 5DSC07303  ''WDSC07252                        -                 ''What struck me about the Gaza War cemetary was not the ‘unlikeliness’ of its tranquility, nor the variety of nationalities and faiths buried there (over 3,600 soldiers of different countries, including India, Egypt, Canada, France, Belgium, Russia, Scotland, England, Greece…), but the craftsmanship of Ibrahim Jeradeh, the 72 year old retired gardener and caretaker who tended and nurtured the cemetery for over 50 years before passing the task on to his sons.''----visitors remarks.


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POPPIES IN MEMORY OF THE BRAVE-----And finally , a tribute to a man I never met. I am including  a picture and a letter that I recieved pertaining to Sgt D S Sidhu,  a cousin of my Dad,  whose plane  had been shot down by the Germans on a mine laying mission off the coast of Denmark in 1944. The Stirling bomber ( W7513 )was lost with  the entire crew on board.The plane and crew were never found.His name is on Panel 147 on the Runnymede Memorial in London.
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27 June 2012
                                                          News articles by date
                A national Memorial to commemorate the tragic loss of 55,573 young Bomber Command airmen in the Second World War will be unveiled at a ceremony in Green Park, London, at 1200 tomorrow, 28 June 2012.
During the 30-minute ceremony, Her Majesty the Queen will unveil a nine foot high bronze sculpture depicting seven Bomber Command aircrew. A Bomber Command veteran will read an exhortation before the act of remembrance. The ceremony will end with a flypast by five RAF GR4 Tornado bomber aircraft crewed by today’s Royal Air Force. This will be followed by a flypast at 1230 by the RAF BBMF Lancaster Bomber, PA474, which will drop poppies over Green Park as a message of remembrance for the 55,573 Bomber aircrew lost.
And that is how I recieved a poppy petal----------------

Stirling W7513 crew - Sgt. David Church on extreme left, Sgt. Patrick Torre Hunter 2nd left, Sgt. Devinder Singh Sidhu 3rd from left, centre Sgt. Keith Halliburton (the three on the right of Sgt Halliburton most probably are Air/Bmr Sgt Thomas Scarfe , Air/Gnr SgtCharles Henry George Boxalland Air/Gnr Sgt Alexander Clunie Howell