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  1. Ravi

    Order of Precedencel from soldier to the Cheifs needs to be relooked and revised upwards.
    A lowly clerk in the cool environs of an office cannot be compared to a soldier in the front.
    Similarly for all ranks.
    Enough risking lives for dominance by arrogant babus.

    1. Rai Gujar

      1. I salute the ex IAF for putting across his views so courageously .
      2. Hope the worthy RM finds time to go through them which will serve him a valuable check list. The expectations from the RM are very high.
      3. Such endeavors should be taken by many other Veterans from time to time to share their unique and vast experiences. This will overcome the shortcomings of ground knowledge & experience of babua and politicians.
      Jai hind

  2. Nagarajan

    Well written open letter.
    Would RM mind to read such a letter !!!
    Hope so !!!!!!!
    Timely inputs to the RM !

  3. J Singh

    This letter typically states problems or hindrances faced by top echelons of Indian armed forces. This letter presents one sided view and appears to be focused on achieving near Monopoly on defence matters..
    This doesn’t speak of growing unhappiness amongst mid level officers and Airmen.This also doesn’t speak about opening up of decision making processes other than ops matters..

  4. Praadeep

    Very aptly summed up and put forward.

  5. Deekay

    Very well articulated views…should help RM formulate his action plan, if he is sincere to the job at hand.

    1. Raghu

      Would this former Air Chief have read a letter of a similar nature whilst in office, if written by a midrung officer ?
      You feed the beast and then the beast feeds on you.

  6. Phani Kumar

    Very well written sir. Regards

  7. Vinod

    Well written…but our senior most guy should also hav balls …..should not always blame babus….just 4 a rank a guy sidelined his superiors…wat about military history teaching us dat their were officers who told politicians straight away dat i ll not take over as xyz is senior to me…leave it…first of all we have to have balls ….pehle apna ghar thik karo den kisi aur ko blame karo…a governor rank is much more sought after …bahut kuch hai likhne ko but kya karen….atleast we can learn from ias/ips lobby…how steong dey r…dey fight 4 everything together…but us…sad

  8. Ashok Leekha

    An excellent brief open letter by an ex Chief Of Air staff, Air Chief Mshl PV Naik to our Hon’ble Raksha Mantri on his assuming command of Defence Forces as a Defence Minister. He is most suitable person for the job. We Veterans are sure as usual he will deliver. He is a doer and will do everything best for our AF.He will help in making all three services improve their professional skill and be strong to give a befitting reply to our adversaries across the border on two vital fronts. He needs to raise the morale of three fighting services by ensuring that they have the best fighting arms, ammunition and equipment and a highly motivated man behind the weapon/ machine. The morale of soldiers of three services needs a boost.He should get best equipment, status and pay and must feel pride in his service and motherland. He should be so motivated to lay down his life w/o fear and with total disregard to his personal and family safety and future.The nation is there behind him to take care of all his obligations towards his family and children. Adv ( Col) Ashok Leekha, Gurgaon-09

  9. Ashok

    An excellent letter/article on the maladies afflicting the Armed Forces & its relations with the bureaucracy. Hard hitting, brutally frank and to the point. Mr Rajnath Singh would do well to read this letter himself & take appropriate action if National security is paramount in his perception.

    1. Vinay

      Well said sir.

  10. Chandramohanan

    Hats off to Ex Air Chief.. Conveyed to the Point without any ambiguity.. We hope RM is wise enough to ponder over the problems and solutions suggested.

  11. Majakc

    Wish this ACM letter clears the bureaucratic bottleneck and reaches RM. The forces have been suffering too long. Time to heal the wounds given by bureaucrats.

  12. J.N.Mullick

    This matter has already been over delayed and it is high time to do justice.

  13. Inba

    The foreign affairs is assigned to a foreign secretary who just retired. In the same lines really at a loss to understand as to why defence cannot be given to an ex general or any one who has been with the Armed Forces for a brief period. Only then can some one understand the whole issue. Without military service one can’t just see,hear and read and understand the whole game by babus . Or just ask as to how and how much will MOD be held accountable if there’s a failure in war.


    A very relevant and informative letter covering what is ailing our Defence Forces today. It will pay rich dividends if R M will follow the advice rendered by the Ex CAS.

  15. Brig Dinesh Mathur

    On PV Naik’s letter to RM, I hold contrarian views.
    What must happen is a joint ex Chiefs meeting with RM in person. If all ex Chiefs shed their egos and discuss all the points face to face is far better than than letters. We may have a negative response to individual letters of Chiefs. I would recommend Mr Rajiv Chandershekar MP be involved.
    Best wishes
    Brig Dinesh Mathur
    Ex 103 GD(P) Course

    1. Ashim

      I agree totally with Dubboo Mathur Sir. The only hurdle is will the Babus allow such a meeting to take place?
      The RM must take the initiative and have periodic meetings with former Chiefs of all three Services, without interference by the Babus (they must be present but only to note down the points to record the Minutes of the Meeting; that’s what they are actually meant to do!), so that there is direct exchange of information and views. The same Chiefs must not be called for every meeting. That will give the RM a well rounded perspective. Ashim

  16. sk Arora

    Would like to thank Air Chief Marshal for bringing out the facts adversally affecting the functioning of AF & the remidial measures. Ur contribution to AF by way of this open letter to RM will open many chapters to safeguard the intersts of AF in general & NATION in particular. I hope other ex & serving Chiefs also hold the initiative taken by the Air Marshal Naik. Good Luck AFs. Jai Hind


    A very well drafted letter, accurate and to the point. An eye opener and the illustrious new RM would do well to take note of matters mentioned by the ex Air Chief Marshal. Since I have also served with him at the Barrielly Air Base where he was Chief Ops Officer, I can say it comes from his heart. Hats off, PVN Sir, for a very well documented open letter to RM.

  18. Arun Bhaskaran

    Superb and well-thought out suggestions to our new Raksha Mantri by Air Chief Marshal P.V.Naik (Retd.)!
    It is high time, that besides providing the necessary “tools” urgently required by our armed forces to defend our country or fight a war, it is imperative that closer integration of the three services is worked out for better coordination in a theatre of war.

    The appointment of a CDS with adequate powers should be finalised immediately.

    And last but not the least, restoration of the “izzat” of the soldier, starting with the Warrant of Precedence, pay anomalies etc.

  19. D. K. Bhambri

    An excellent article. Brings out various malises the armed forces are facing today.
    I hope the honourable RM will spare time to not only read the letter but also address the various issues brought out there in at his earlest . I have great respect for Mr Rajnath Singh and was truely elated when l learnt that he is our new RM. I feel he is the most suitable person for the job. Being the second most senior cabinet minister the serving and retired faujis have great hope and expectations from him. I am sure he will live up to the same
    I convey my best wishes to him for a very successful tenure .
    With warm regards
    D. K. Bhambri, Cdr, IN(Retd)

  20. Murli Menon

    Super write up which the new RM would hopefully imbibe ..many of these aspects would have got addressed if our nation had a culture of periodic armed forces reviews as other leading militaries do!

  21. Col Pramod kumar

    A letter to the point. All imp issues very well highlighted. I feel RM will take pride in his work and military will get benefitted. Weldone Veteran Chief.

  22. Cmde VB Iyer, VSM( Retd)

    A very precise and unambiguous , open letter to the RM. I wonder who will open this letter for the RM and who will put it up to him – will it be put up at all or will the letter be pasted with a ‘post it’ giving the Air Chief Marshal’s biodata and saying, ” all issues will be looked into, reply letter is being drafted and will be put up to RM”

  23. Deepak Kher

    A well articulated letter which essentially covers all the facets that affect the Armed Forces. The interference of the bureaucracy in routine functioning has also been nicely brought out. Civilian supremacy and frequent use of Armed Forces for Aid to Civil Authority have also been well covered. Hope RM reads it, doesn’t give it to a Babu to summarise

  24. Major Arun Phatak

    I am so happy to read this article which must be read by RM personally and not given to a Babu to paraphrase and put up to him If he follows the sane advice in this document to the tee He will revolutionise the MOD entire Armed Forces ( serving & retired ) will feel proud that their prestige has been restored by this new bold ,strong and decisive RM who will go down the history as the Best RM who could not be manipulated by Babus for their own selfish desire to control AF Very well written article Pradeep Very proud of you Major Arun Phatak

  25. Colonel abhay patwardhan

    I hope RM will atleast reason the points put up by ex Air Chief.if it is left to babu’s to interpret, whole exercise is a waste.Preybetter sense prevails.Amen.

  26. Ashutosh

    Dear Sir
    Very practical and important issues . Need to be understood and addressed by Raksha Mantri to have an effective and combat ready Armed Forces. National security is our collective responsibility .
    Regards Ashutosh

  27. Sanjay Sangwan

    Well thought out worthy advice for good of the nation, the ministry and the Services especially in the transition times the region is experiencing.

  28. Lt Gen .V.M.Patil

    Congratulations to ACM PVN. Professional approach with facts out across frankly and honestly from his vast knowledge, background and experience. Urgent need to carry forward from this letter to RM by all of us , who have national interests at heart. Nitin you will get one more view by Saturday . It will contain many issues which we 4 have had the privilege to share with late MP between 2014 to2016. Take it for whatever is it’s worth.

  29. Colonel Ram K Sharma

    An excellent initiative. May I request for Air Cheif Marshal Naik e mail and postal address to enable me offer my full support and dedicated follow up.

  30. Col Arun Mamgain

    The former Chief has spoken well.
    May The Lord bless the govt the ability to see the writing on the wall,it is too late already.
    Will his Babu put this up on file?
    An ageing AN 32 is down,many lessons to learn.RM ji should find time for his Def Forces.
    If this govt doesn’t then no other will.

  31. Gp Capt G Saxena, Veteran

    Kudos to Naik sir, for compiling all the complex & compelling issues the AF and MOD is beseeched with. Very well articulated. Question is whether they will be taken off the drawing board and dealt with on ground.
    Gp Capt G Saxena, Veteran. Lucknow

  32. Raky

    Hope the RM reads it in right earnest and adopts the suggestions and recommendations…

  33. Lt Col R. D. Sharma

    Most balanced, accurate and timely advice from a Chief who has gone through the mill. Hon. RM is a mature seasoned and capable leader. Hope, he reads every word of it with a free mind, free from bias and without leaning on advisers.

  34. R A Sharma

    What’s so ever suggestive important point written in the letter to R M, are repetetion of points conveyed to various athorties and PMO. One Babu will underline the points raised, which do not fall in line ofGovt policies resulting NFA remark and file it. All aspects of Armd forces are well known to burocrates and decisions are taken accordingly. Do not miss chances of Raj Matri/ Governor.Do not take my comments to heart but face the reality of the day. thanks

  35. Surinder

    Sh. Rajnath Singh ji, is a learned, seasoned & experienced heavy weight politician. IAFs & MoD are lucky. But, the anti- IAFs culture created & supported by the IAS & Civilian Officers’ Lobby, would be a Herculean Challenge for any RM or PM, to confront & still survive successfully. Veteran, Air Chief Marshal PV Naik’s recommendations are very articulately comprehensive & highly appreciated. Today’s, the most burning requirement in the Government, is to shift the mind set & focus of our MoD, to the “Singularuty of Purpose”, from “anti IAFs” to “in- favour- of IAFs”. It is not the Gun, but, the Man behind the Gun who works like a machine if his Morale is High. Thus, the entire focus is needed to be worked as to how the Indian Soldier’s/ Veteran’s sagging Moral can be boosted! If Sh. Rajnath Singh ji, passes this Acid-test, Indian Defence Forces can repeat 1971 on any war-front. Best Wishes & regards! Veteran, Brig SP Singh, SM

  36. Dhruv

    Excellent. Fortunately it is for the first time that a rational and considerably heavy weight politician has been placed at the helms of affairs of MOD, I only hope he listens to the advice of Generals, Admirals and Sir Sirf Mashal to set the MOD tight rather than be guided by bureaucrats in the mod who have no knowledge of what fighting the enemy within and outside involves. There would be a great hope in the new Raksha mantry if he listens to his own intellect rather than be guided by others specially the beaurocrats in his ministery.

  37. Dhruv

    Excellent. Fortunately it is for the first time that a rational and considerably heavy weight politician has been placed at the helms of affairs of MOD, I only hope he listens to the advice of Generals, Admirals and Air Chief Mashals to set the MOD right rather than be guided by bureaucrats in the mod who have no knowledge of what fighting the enemy within and outside involves. There would be a great hope in the new Raksha mantry if he listens to his own intellect and the experts in field rather than be guided by others specially the beaurocrats in his ministery.

  38. Raj Pargat Singh

    Absolutely on the target. Also needs relook in promotion systems. We need fit for war men and not arm chair administrators. Cantt and military station upkeep should not need fighting soldiers. MES and Cantt Boards require urgent revamping. Realistic training and preparation for operational task must be the key points.

  39. babu2cat1@gmail.com

    A very sane, in depth and practical hints from a guy, a through bred professional leader and ex chief who has an intimate and personal awareness and complexities of the issues involved.

    Hope it reaches trhe ears/ mind/so of Sri Rajnath ingh Jeee

  40. Ramesh Sharma

    Excellent article . The advice rendered should be followed by the RM, the Babus and Men in uniform. All have a role to play and contribute positively. The facts given by the experienced ex Air Chief are out of sheer experience . Should this advice be ignored , it’s at the cost of the security of the country.

    1. Col H S Singha

      A very comprehensive and future looking experience mentioned in the form of a very logical letter. I very sincerely wish that serving Generals should put up such notes to the RM as proof of their loyalty and dedication to service. Let us wait and pray that Chanakya’s advice reaches the P M. Col H S Singha @ hssingha@ yahoo.co.in.

  41. Dr V N Jha

    I know Air Chief Mshl Naik who hardly believed in talking for the sake of talk….but when he talked, it meant a lot, the heavens….
    Although the entire letter is fully relevant, two narratives touch the readers the most…
    1. “Do not concern yourself with routine. Nothing would please the bureaucracy more than to tie you up with routine and the mundane”.
    2. ” Try to clear the way for Private sector to participate in Defence production. Try to create a level playing field. They are ever so willing to contribute. I would urge you to view HAL and DRDO with more than a modicum of concern. They are monolithic and need critical surgery”.

    I sincerely hope RM and the PMO looks in to it seriously……for the good of the nation.

  42. Brig BU Kumar (Retd)

    A very apt, pointed and timely epistle- written in a true military fashion. RM must take time to read and analyse the contents, perhaps have a meeting with the author and ideally share it with the PM. RM ideally must call for a ‘chai pe charcha’ with maximum retired Chiefs of all three Services and find out the ills haunting the Military of late. Current Chiefs must put their heads down and ask themselves what each of them have done to make things better. In fact, ‘jointmanship’ must start at the Chiefs’ level. Perhaps this will be better facilitated by a CDS.
    A perfect initiative by a very senior eligible veteran.

  43. N R Kanthy

    Very well said Sir. I dont think the message could have been any clearer.
    Warm Regards
    Ranjan Kanthy

  44. Gulani

    If all this exist we bow our heads to forces that they still kept us safe. Mr RM will do get rid of f these. We want to see action sir

  45. Col N K Jain

    Show casing of the ailments of current system has been drafted nicely. I commend sir marshal of his deep understanding of the malaise and also having courage to pen it.

  46. Col V P Kapoor

    A very diligent,based on facts and the ‘ Us ve Them’ syndrome is very old. Right from Nehru till UPA-2 the Armed forces have been ridiculed ,illequipped and kept pace with modernisation the world Armies have gone thro.The Public Sector Def ordance factories though form part of Def Budget but their performance is Babu oriented. These be decentralised and industry be geared to meet the Armed forces demand. HAL is the biggest white elephant which has not given a single aircraft to The AF nor provided proper maint to the MIGs. Sir keep the tail short and take the white elephants of Ord factories from the back of Def.

  47. KMajumdar

    As Babus are ruling and are well trenched they will not allow the RM to function freely along with the 3 Chiefs.
    Many Chiefs and senior officers have written earlier too but of no consequence. Only hope a start can me made by the new RM of such a seniority. Decision making is a big problem with most Politicians but lot of expectations from Rajnath Singh. Only future will tell.

  48. Col V P Kapoor

    A very diligent and professional advice , my gratitude to Air Marshal Naik. The policy from Nehru to UPA-2 has been of degrading the soldier, not serious in regular modernisation and replacement of obsolete items of equipment. The Ord factories being Def Budget need to be privatised for better management and get out of ‘ sarkari damaad’ culture. HAL needs to be stream lined as it has not given a single aircraft nor carried proper maintenance of MIGs which was outsourced to them let industry care.

  49. Lt Col RP Singh

    The letter suggest actions to be taken by The Govt for The Govt to strengthen the defence of The Nation Governed by them👌

  50. P L Choudhar

    Very well written….all issues addressed in brief….definitely some people laugh on it as norm in our country….but I m sure seeing the personality of Mr Rajnath Singh….he will definitely spent time on this letter and will restore the “Morale & Izzat” of Armed Forces….

  51. Lalita Law

    Loyalty long after an air warrior has folded his wings! Is further proof of devotion & dedication, commitment and pride in service to the Nation needed? Thank you, Air Chief Marshal, Veteran, for rendering service beyond the call of duty, in writing this thoughtful and constructive letter to our new Raksha Mantri.

  52. Sundeep Mehta

    A very apt and timely advise indeed. The Modi 2.0 is expected to be a fast moving juggernaut. There is a clear apprehension that services may loose out again in the renewed jostling for pecking order within the ministry, as has been the repeated story since independence, in every front.

    It’s easy to muffle the voices of service HQs by the entrenched bureaucracy. Even integration of MoD and Services HQ has not happened in a true sense, hence this apprehension. IDS has further been embroiled in CDS debate thus creating a rift amongst the Services. A great deal of maturity and statesmanship is required in implementing such weighted decisions and in taking the three services onboard in the process.

    ACM Naik is seized of the historical importance of this time. His advise stems from his vast experience. The advise at this crucial juncture is a caution indeed.
    Jai Hind !

    – Gp Capt Sundeep Mehta (veteran)

  53. Lav Chand

    At first – in reading the topic only; I felt oh! Yet another attempt to be critical. BUT THEN, once starting to read I couldn’t help but applauding the Ex Chief for a balanced and pragmatic article. So logical, honest, simple and effective.

  54. Mujib

    Very nice article but may I ask you sir were was you when all this happened in your tenure as Air chief. Why you didn’t came forward that time to resolve these issue why you had not taken stand that this is enough. Now it’s trend ever chief when retire then he start writing to gain game. Sorry sir but it’s bitter Truth

  55. VS Tewatia

    An excellent letter by Air Chief Marshal PV Naik. If the RM goes into the contents of this letter unbiased, this would immensely help him resolve various issues facing the defence services. This would also help him establish good relationship between bureaucracy and the military.

  56. Vinod

    Excellent. Straight forward. And so true illustration of affairs . Thankyou sir ……Babus need to be kicked out. It’s high time….

  57. Rajiv

    Well summarised by the ex air chief. If the alarm bells are still not ringing in the corridors of the power in MOD and they choose to ignore it once again then we as a country are doomed and will only learn when it will be too late.

  58. sudheer

    i agree with most of what he says but my question is why do the veterans only remember to give unsolicited public mails/advice to this govt but kept their mouths shut during earlier regimes , why did chiefs like him allow the denigration of the Chiefs office under their watch, was it for post retirement benefits or appointments & suddenly these gentlemen who KEPT QUIET WHEN THE EARLIER REGIME was scamming the nation by doctoring requirements of equipment etc .All these deficiencies did not happen suddenly but over a period of years if not decades….. my unsolicited advice is please give your advice but sparingly & confidentially & NOT make them public

    1. Sundeep Mehta

      Your statement is a standard muzzle used by many against the forces veterans.
      You should be aware that Forces are part of the establishment and soldiers have to follow the laid down protocol till their last day in service.
      To refresh your memory, it was ACM Naik who dug in his heels against use of offensive air assets against Maoist insurgency in Chhattisgarh. And went public with his views. It was a historic step that prevented what could have discredited the country across the world.
      Military leader grow through their experience at every level of hierarchy and clearly understand relevance of restraint, both by words and bullets.

      – Group Captain Sundeep Mehta ( veteran)

  59. Sudhir

    The country invests thousands of crores in defence forces.Every Indian places faith in the Defence Forces.Each of us must ponder whethether the confidence placed by nation in us has been reciprocated.

  60. Col. S JS Chatrath

    An excellent piece of advice explained with utmost clarity. If anything,I feel, our honourable RM should be happy to get such free and frank input/ advice from an experienced veteran soldier.

  61. GP.Capt. S.B.L.Mehta

    Letter written with all sincerity, fulil faith, and boundless expectations from new Govt. and from a seasoned well-meaning RM country got , this time. Unfortunately, post independence history points discouragesly towards any positive response from a Govt. All successive governments did nothing or further degraded the AFs.. Such a trend very likely to continue because of’ them’ . We don’t have Chandragupta here to implement well-meaning advices. Time will prove me wrong, so I wish.

  62. Lt Col J G Gogate, Veteran

    An excellent advice coming from a highly experienced and mature veteran. I am sure the RM will take serious cognisance of all the issues highlighted in this open letter. Let’s hope for the same.

  63. Col.N.Viswanathan

    Very well articulated . But is the RM listening. Or will it meet the same fate as the letter written by 10 ex chiefs.

  64. Capt Arun Samant

    I think the new RM is open to such advices and suggestions as written in the letter. The RM means business, PM Modi means business and India deserves the best amalgamation of the three services, procurements of weaponry and an impeccable standard of cohesiveness. More and more Officers and Jawans to be recruited, trained and the strength of our Defence Forces be increased. I might add here that in Defence matters, weightage to the three Chiefs should be given, thereby sidelining bureaucrats.

  65. A M Goyal

    The views of Air Chief need to be considered. It’s true that Bureaucrats who don’t have any expertise on defence matters and not exposed to ground realities have a larger say in decision making. The best way out is to appoint a serving General equivalent officer as defence Secretary to have a better coordination.

  66. Naiyer Iqbal Razzaqui

    The downward slide was noticeable for decades… With not even a token effort to arrest it…Armed forces were ruderless ships, floating aimlessly on turbulent waters.
    Pradeep sir,you have done yeoman service by highlighting in a forthright manner some vital issues.
    Hope the RM has the the maturity and courage that you have display in abundance..Jai Hind Chief..

    1. jo linn

      Razz, what a delightful surprise hearing from you. And a slightly belated Eid Mubarak to you,Nigar, Kashif &Sana(?) from Madhu n I. I hope the Angrezi meets with your approval. Regards, Pradeep

  67. col janakiraman

    excellant and very practical and very useful advise and i hope that RM takes this letter as a
    Advice and must implement for the betterment of mod+ FROM COL R JANAKIRAMAN(rtd)


  68. Rai Gujar

    1. I salute the ex IAF for putting across his views so courageously .
    2. Hope the worthy RM finds time to go through them which will serve him a valuable check list. The expectations from the RM are very high.
    3. Such endeavors should be taken by many other Veterans from time to time to share their unique and vast experiences. This will overcome the shortcomings of ground knowledge & experience of babua and politicians.
    Jai hind

  69. Col Sunder K Lalvani

    Col Sunder K Lalvani, Veteran
    Dear Air Chief Marshal Naik
    I daresay, you have done the AF truly Proud with your free, frank & constructive views; put across articulately; if may say, “hit the nail on the head!”
    I am sure, many of us have been nursing the thought of putting across many such uncomfortable issues. Thank you for taking the initiative.
    I earnestly hope that the RM will deliberate over our concerns & put them across most appropriately for timely implementation; time being of critical concern.
    May appropriate measures be put into action timely, to retain our prestige of being one of the finest armies in the World!

  70. Ak

    Ha ha ha, so the ex has spoken. Didn’t have any teeth when he was in chair. Wish he spoke when in chair, that time scare of chair. Could only laugh at such pitiable state. Be like admiral sushil who resigned rather than giving in to demands. What happened after that….. Nothing. So chill. Political masters will always enjoy the pakora and tea and we will be stewards that’s all.

  71. Arun

    A true professional writing an open letter to the most seasoned politician. I am sure, it shall have impact in his future decision making.

  72. Ajatshatru

    Brilliant letter.
    It’s time to call a spade a spade.
    And I am sure that Mr Rajnath will take cognisence of the fact.

  73. Augustine JohnSingh

    Pradeep Vasant Naik, retired Air Chief Marshal’s letter to the new Raksha Mantri, who I hopefully presume has been placed in that position by PM Modi to sort out and streamline the Ministry of Defence for India to exist and survive as a Nation State with all its requisites including a Military Doctrine, which it currently does NOT possess, is apt, both to give the new occupant of this pivotal post, a good understanding as a greenhorn, though experienced in other fields in handling other ministries and portfolios, a different take on the queer functioning of the Ministry of Defence on the basis of some archaic and scheming policy used by the bureaucrats in the absence of good oversight by politicians, and to educate the nation the importance of the INSURANCE GUARANTEE offered by the SOLDIER’S to the populace in keeping the peace, so that all people can live, function and prosper as a nation and pursue happiness in a Democratic country in which the Military functions, not under bureaucratic control, but under political control as defined by that wise, able, crafty, thinker-philosopher, teacher, jurist, author of ‘Arthashastra’ , a political treatise, and was the royal adviser to Chandragupta Maurya.

    The feet of DRDO and the likes should be held to the fire, as was Von Braun and his team in Nazi Germany, in the quest of V2 rocket. Not his fault for sure, as he was trying hard in difficult circumstances, but still. Failures are a part of development of rocket and missile technology. He later, after WWII, became Director of NASA in the US helped to put the Americans on the Moon under more favorable environment. GTRE only produced ‘Gas’ as I told them when being trained in Flight Safety – Sad at how these organizations functioned as ‘white elephants’. This is the same country that excels in Space. Confidence has to be given to the soldier that these weapons will function as needed and as designed when needed in the conduct of future wars, which hopefully no adversary will launch based on the substantial deterrence that India possesses and the knowledge that India will use these elements of VIOLENCE when needed without hesitancy. The ability of the use of ‘controlled’ ‘violence’ as part of the existence of a Nation State has to be understood by one and all, as otherwise it a goner and India will be a subject of ridicule and be a subject of other powers near and far. The Himalayas will no longer be a barrier against aggression as we were taught in Geography, as one of the three main advantages of this Great Mountain Range, the other two being blocking the cold Siberian winds and keeping the Monsoon bearing clouds within India watering the fertile Indo-Gangetic Plains.

    Pradeep Sir, I salute you for this action by you to advise the new Raksha Mantri. Just to let you know, I am a still hunter for food and will drink ‘Goat’s Blood’ if needed to survive.

    Air Chef Marshal PV Naik , Retired, is from Natiional Defence Academy, one course senior(33NDA) to me(34NDA), but of the same age. We underwent Flying Instructor’s Course as Flying Officers in Jan 1975.

    Brigadier Dinesh Mathur Sir, it caught my eye, when I saw under your description, ‘103 Pilots Course’ – Our Senior Man in Mohammed-a-bad Bidar, when at Elementary Flying School. I am AJ Singh, Retired Wing Commander and Gnat Pilot. Proud to have served India honorably for 23 years as Officer and Fighter Pilot.

    Jai Hind.

  74. George

    Let me ponder on one aspect, selection of Service Heads. It should strictly follow the seniority of the guys lined up.
    Reasons . Firstly, all are equally competent and loyal. Most importantly , favouritism is eliminated !
    Jai Hind ka Sena

  75. C N Anand

    There is an interesting article which makes an attempt to look within:

  76. Major K.Narasimhan

    Very well explained. This point of view was many times brought out by a number of
    senior officers from Defence Services. But, I am afraid, all the points may be
    viewed from Political Angle. This has been going one over a long period of time.
    The letter is a guidance from Defence angle. I only hope the Defence Minister
    should take as “National Defence Point of View”. I am 80 yrs old Veteran…

  77. Col Kanuri

    Very well written sir. All points plaguing Armed Forces have been addressed in brief.Its for the RM to take the call and his advise to foster confidence among the three services. Most importantly, the beaurocratic influence on RM must be eliminated at all cost. Secondly,the RM and the Government must get rid of the likely coup
    phobia about defence forces.
    If they ever have such intentions, no power on the earth can stop such a coup. Neither NSA nor the Police Forces coùld ever match the might. Why fear them for no reason. Its the Beaurocrats with their dirty mind injected this poison in to political system to beat the Forces for their personal gains.
    I even recommend RM to transfer the command and control of BSF,SSB,ITBP PMF to Army for better command and coordination. This will creat additional posts at higher echelons as there is very little scope for expansion in AF. Hope RM will head the advise and act accordingly.

  78. Col Govind Pant

    A decent advise but would it penetrate the system ? Nobody is bothered about 4 decades of yeomen military service rendered by the Chiefs.
    In certain ways our chiefs too are required to be blamed for obious reasons.
    Its time for actionable introspection.Merely writing blog would not suffice.All of us should become party to it.

  79. Teji singh

    Every retd person can write such letters but they do not say when in service. Why? Remember armed forces are “cash eaters” does not give votes to ruling govt during peacetime, that is why it is remembered after war that too for a short time.

  80. Aruna Sareen

    Hi Pradeep,I read your open letter to the Raksha Mantri ji with great curiosity and interest and I have to say honestly it left me thinking deeply about the precarious and complex situation the Armed Forces are going through today-what with the increasing interest in our Cantonments,canteens and God forbid in the Medical facilities provided to us.I as a thinking citizen of this Great Country who has a tremendous faith in our Present Leadership have a full confidence that your open letter will be received ,read and acted upon in the spirit it has been written,My Very Best Wishes to you for your Health and Happiness.Aruna Sareen.

  81. Lt Col J W Danday

    I have been reading such advice from the veterans for the last 25 years. What strikes me is when the RM reads and always calls for the comments from the Babus who control the Def Ministry. When the RM wants to implement any of the remedial measures the Bubu will raise a ‘Red Flag’ to caution for unknown repercussions for the reason being the bubu knows in-and- out of the whole issue. This makes the RM to keep it ‘on hold’for an idefinite period. I have seen many times such replies saying the matter is on active consideration to keep our morale high and in due course the matter is coolly forgotten. Unless we have the CDS no matter will influence the Def Min. And the Govt is scared to appoint one for hypothetical reasons. Example is our agitatation for OROP.

  82. Wg.Cdr Gurmail Singh (Retd) Veteran

    Kudos to ACM PV NAIK (Retd) former CAS for his bold and scintillating letter to RM. In his letter he listed Golden Tips for the resuscitation and improvisation of Armed forces which have undergone huge denigration our the years, Let his letter be taken as a Doctrine for the restoration of Aan, Baan, Shaan of AF.

  83. Maj Gen MK PAUL(Retd)

    Great. No one dared earlier. Time for serving Service Chiefs to take up firmly. For the sake of the good
    of the Services, they may for a change forget the temptation
    of post retirement goodies. In the past serving Service Chiefs acted in support of Govt of the day, thereby ruining the cause of the Services.

  84. Wg CDR Jagdip Singh vet

    In the interest of defence and security of the country, I strongly urge the RM to pay heed to ACM Naik’s suggestions.
    The very fact that the ex chief had to write such a letter , means that there is a lot of work needed to be done in this we vs them mentality. The RM would do well to restore the izzat of AF which has eroded with time. Given the present state of affairs, this izzat will cease to exist. Then it would be too late to even think of Chanakyas advice

  85. Gp Capt ( Dr) Umesh Chandra Prasad 73 Batch Elect , New Delhi

    Respected Naik Sir
    You were my AOC-in-C in CAC.and Chief there after. Your boldness and straightness is well known but your to-the-point advice to RM is above all , and is required for Armed Forces of the Day.

    I feel that You are required to asked for interviews of RM to handover the letter and if required clear the objections put by Babus. I am sure by now babus must have prepared objections to the letter and you have to discuss them one by one in person to RM.
    Sir , remember my words to you in front of Air Marshal Mukherjee that you are CEO of Billion Dollar Company(This is applicable to all AOC in C and chiefs of three services) , so your advice is much more important than babus dealing with paper & policies.
    Hope you will ask for one to one Interview of RM.

    Dr ( Gp Capt ) UC Prasad , Veteran

  86. Rakesh Kapoor

    Rajnath is khassi. Modi has sidelined all. Since Modi doesn’t want therefore it will not be done because he is stubborn and dictator. Though I am a member of RSS and a registed member of BJP but don’t take bjp in its stream as I am a staunch jansanghi till now. BJP has become like any other political party in india n there is no difference now. He should increase the pension n perks of veterans at all levels and give pension to all.


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