10 Jul 2017

How It Came To Be: Wiki Loves Uniformed Services

I'm User: Krishna Chaitanya Velaga from English Wikipedia; fortunately and unfortunately my user name and my real name share the same text. I have been contributing to Wikipedia and its sister projects since December 2014. I work primarily on Indian military history related topics and articles. Initially, I was focused on creating articles rather than assessing them. My wiki journey can be best described in two parts, before and after Train The Trainer 2017.

The latter part of 2016 proved to be a critical period of my Wiki journey. I was credited with my first good article, first featured A-class article and list, first featured list and, several Did You Know credits on English Wikipedia. Later on, I was awarded the “Military history newcomer of the year" for 2016. I was the first Indian to receive the award. Additionally, I was selected to be the “Featured Wikimedian of Month for January 2017” by Wikimedia India.
As of January 2017, I have been contributing for nearly two years, and as far as I have observed the military history topic area of India is one of the most neglected areas. With two well known military historians from India, Srikar Kashyap Pulipaka (User:StrikeEagle) and Colonel Ashwin Baindur [retd.] (User: AshLin) on a semi Wiki break, I was left to be the only regular contributor. In an attempt to encourage more Wikipedians to work on this area, Indian military history work group emerged as an initiative by the Military history project. The work group closing in on a year since its inception, has more than twenty-five members at present. As the founder of the group, I aspire to incubate the group into an independent task force under Military history project. One of the major problems I faced while working on the military history articles was ... to continue reading, please visit: https://cis-india.org/a2k/blogs/how-it-came-to-be-wiki-loves-uniformed-services.

The article was published in July 2017 on the official blog of 
Centre for Internet & Society - Access to Knowledge
जय हिन्द

1 Oct 2016

Chief of the Defence Staff :: A strategic need

After fulfillment of One Rank One Pension (OROP) demand, the next long-standing demand of Indian Armed Forces is the formation of the office of the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), a position for the operational head of the Indian Armed Forces as a whole, which will integrate the service headquarters to the ministry.

In the modern era, the concept Chief of the Defence Staff or Commander-in-Chief over the services was first introduced by the British, after World War I. The Gallipoli disaster taught not only the British but also the world nations, the need of integration and coordination between the services for enhanced efficiency in case of a conflict and as well as in peace. By the end of World War II, almost all the countries had a position for the Chief of the Defence Staff, though the nomenclature is different. During the British rule, perhaps India was the only country to a have single C-in-C for the tri-services (army, navy, and air force). However, in 1947, this arrangement was discarded and an own C-in-C was appointed to each service, making India the only major country not to have a CDS. This step was and is sometimes regarded as the brainchild of Nehru, who feared a military coup d'etat in the infant nation.

The concept of CDS was once again back in picture after 1971 Indo-Pakistani War (Bangladesh Liberation War). Indira Gandhi, for his exemplary leadership, decided to promote Sam Manekshaw to field-marshal and subsequently appoint him as the Chief of the Defence Staff. But the latter was dropped after several objections from the bureaucracy and the commanders of the navy and the air force. Once again after the 1999 Kargil War, a task force headed by Arun Singh, a former Rajya Raksha Mantri (RRM, Minister of State for Defence),was set up to study and report the conditions for setting up a higher defence formation in the country. The task force recommended an establishment of combined service headquarters and subsequently the appointment of CDS. Though the recommendations were accepted, its implementation has been tardy.

23 Jun 2016

Kashmir issue : With whom should we really negotiate with; Prez, PM or COAS of Pak?

After almost 69 years of independence from the British, the diplomats on the either side of the iron curtain failed to find a stable and reliable solution to the Kashmir issue. One can simply assert that the main rationale behind this failure is due to lack of diplomatic scenario in Pakistan. Even if a treaty for peace is inked with the Pak government, it must be backed by the Pakistan military, especially by the army and that is non-viable.

Pakistan has witnessed the most number of military coups in the 20th century than any country. Starting from 1958, within 10 years of birth of the nation, Pak has been the victim of three successful and many unsuccessful coups that can’t be counted. This tradition was started by Field Marshal Ayub Khan in 1958, followed by General Zia-ul-Haq in 1977 and the latest one being in 1999, by General Pervez Musharraf.

While Indian Armed Forces transformed themselves into a democratic and reliable establishment by its people. On the other side, the Pak military is trying to overthrow the democratically elected government. Pakistan almost spent half of its 69 years of independence under the dictatorship of military rulers. These instances from the history gave the Pak military some rampant powers. This was proved in many situations. Take for instance, in June 2013, as Nawaz Sharif, along with his family, left for the Presidency to take oath as prime minister for a record third time. At the oath-taking ceremony, services chiefs, political leaders, diplomats and senior civil and military officials had been invited. As soon as the convoy reached the outer barrier of Punjab House adjacent to Margallah Road, an alter commando blew the whistle with full force ordering the driver to stop the vehicle. Consequently, the prime minister’s convoy had to stop as well. The commando was there to make sure nothing should obstruct the route of the Army chief’s convoy, only allowing vehicles from Punjab House to pass after the entire convoy of the army chief drove away. There are many such instances from the past that clearly indicates the veto of military over the government in Pak. There are many secrets that were and are held back from the knowledge of the Prez and the Prime Minister, of the military’s rancid activities. Many local and internal community leaders in Pak prefer approaching the military leadership over the government’s to get something done. Even the world countries are considering the military as the solitary bondsman for the Pak’s rickety nuclear arsenal. In many instances, the present Pak’s Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif is featured as the ‘Savior’ by the media.

27 Apr 2016

Need of the Hour :: Indian Armed Forces

as of April 2016

Modi government’s election manifesto to take care of soldier has been fulfilled without any doubt. It has implemented OROP and going to approve the 7th pay commissions’ stupendous hikes in the soldier’s salary and perks.
This consequently would attract a higher load of defence wallet and no one is complaining about that. With the economic growth at seven percent, money shouldn’t be a problem and it isn’t. As long as the soldier is happy financial matters are not need to be worried and yes, he is happy. But paradoxically, the soldier is happy but the military isn’t. A well paid soldier is poorly equipped. The need of the hour of our military is as follows:
  • With the induction of Russian T-90s in 1990s and 2000s, the tank regiments are now their pivotal performance levels. Thanks to the addition of newer pieces from Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVB), Avadi every now and then. But the cutting edge of our army and of course of any army, the artillery and armored troops, and these are stumbling block. 
  • Not even a single new gun has toured our forces since the 1980 Bofors scam. This has frozen all the gun acquisition deals. But there is some god news now, three gun acquisition programs are closing in, with L&T making Vajras(K9 Thunder), a proposal to buy some M-777 ultra light howitzers from US is near to finalization and it was also decided to use the old license given by Bofors for making Dhanush guns(155mm) in Gun Carriage Factory, Jabalpur.
  • Another change that needs immediate attention is the replacement of INSAS rifle. The rifles and carbines are needed in millions. As per the CAG report in May 2015, ninety percent of our ammo is would not last for even 10 days, against the recommended 40 day WWR. This issue needs a swift and prompt resolution.
  • Coming to the naval scenario, the visible fleet is doing fairly good, but the plight of invisible fleet i.e. the submarines, is astoundingly alarming. After the loss INS Sindhurakshak (S63), our fleet is left just 12 Kilo-class and Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW) submarines and most them reaching the end of their life time.

Netaji Subash Chandra Bose's birthday (23 January) must be declared as a national holiday.

the Petition

Sign-in the petition that is to be sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs and Home Minister Rajnath Singh to declare Netaji's birthday as a national holiday. The reasons are here.

  • There is no much introduction needed to this man, he played a very important role in our independence struggle. Almost as significant as the role of Gandhi. SC Bose -Wiki.
  • Public Holidays of many other politicians and other people whose contribution to this nation is completely negligible compared to Bose's, are in effect.
  • It was actually when Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj) formed by Bose that started fight with the British government, then there started an idea in the Indian Army that only by force that independence is attainable and this pressurized the Britishers more than anything else. This remains to be one of the most pivotal reason for our Independence.
  • It is a known fact that the Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs and other government departments have hundred of de-classified files about Netaji's death. We don't know whether these will be de-classified some day. But at-least if a national holiday is declared as a mark to his birthday then I think there will some justification for service and death.
  • He is technically our first Prime Minister and Head of State forming a Provisional Government in 1943, the Azad Hind. Which caused a heartburn in Britishers and consequently lead to our independence.
the Petition

Supported by 

The world's platform for a change.

जय हिन्द

10 Mar 2016

Demilitarising the World's Highest and Treacherous Battlefield :: The Siachen Glacier

As we all know, recent Siachen avalanche in February has killed ten army personnel including a JCO. Besides these causalities, the tragedy has also once again raised the topic of demilitarising the glacier. This issue has been mugging up for decades and pressuring the governments of both the countries. Besides the political and bureaucratic leadership, military officials are not even giving a sign of thought to demilitarize the zone. It is well known that in 2012 our officials have discarded Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s (then COAS of Pakistan Army) statement that Pakistan was ready for demilitarizing the Siachen. Speaking on the recent tragedy, GOC-in-C of Northern Command Lt Gen DS Hooda said Let me take it clear. We had a tragic event on Siachen. I see no reason at all to connect this to any withdrawal (of troops) from the glacier. It is unwarranted and incorrect.” He also added "That is absolutely clear to us...We are committed to defend our borders and will continue to do so." These statements make us clear that army is not at all willing even at the percentage of infinity inverse to withdraw the forces.
Siachen Glacier

Coming to the diplomatic concerns, these are some doubted fears among many of the top executives that even if we peacefully resolute the issue and withdraw, Pakistan will let another Kargil happen.

24 Feb 2016

US-Pakistan F-16 Deal: India to agitate or be propitious

Recent United States deal to sell 8 F-16 Fighting Falcons to Pakistan has caused some irk in India, which is completely unnecessary. Besides, White House must be perturbed about its decision of supplying arms to Pakistan that it is no less than milking a snake. It is astounding about US that its support Pakistan even after Operation Neptune Spear. It is a jest that Pakistan didn’t know about an international and FBI’s most wanted terrorist was residing in the same district where its national military academy is located.

Coming to present, there is no need for India to get worried about the sale. Backing to our past records, the Fighting Falcon’s panic is not contemporary; it has been going for 40 years. In past, in response to US decision to supply 20 or so F-104s to Pakistan, India went on to 250 Mig-21s. In the past two to three decades US has delivered 83 F-16’s to Pakistan of which 58 are new and rest used. Pakistan did not change its idea for second hands arms. It is no less than like India buying Su-27s from a third world air force, something that we would never resort to.

23 Feb 2016

Changing Scenarios of Indian Defence under Modi-led Government

Whatever may be the impact of BJP led NDA government in the country, but we can consciously assert that there has been substantial change in the defence sector of the country since its commencement. Starting from the clearance of defence deals worth ₹80,000 Cr to the latest deals such as the acquisition of 1.86 lakh bullet proof jackets of which some of the significant deals include, such as the Rafale fighter jets deal for the air force and the Apache and Chinook helicopters deal for the Army Aviation Corps and as well as for the air force. Not only urge to modernize the armed forces but also to give them a mark in international arena, several initiatives have been employed. Innovations such as to conduct Combined Commanders Conference, 2015 on a aircraft carrier  [INS Vikramaditya] has made the political and civil leadership in charge of defence more familiar to the strategic functioning of the forces. Another cardinal event that has been recently conducted is the International Fleet Review, 2016 by Indian Navy which is the largest of its kind with 48 foreign navies and nearly 90 ships that partook the 4-day event.
Recently Indian Army chief General Dalbir Singh has stated that the army is at its best for swift and short wars. In response to his statement General Singh’s Pakistani counter-part General Raheel Sharif has retorted that enemies will have to pay unbearable losses if they are to war with them, irrespective of the span. These retaliating statements between the army chiefs of these two countries has raised tensions on the Kashmir issue in the Asian and international forums and it has also emphasized the need to modernize the forces and on the parallel track to escalate the War Wastage Reserve (WWR) of the forces. According the recent report of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, if India were to war now, 90 percent of its available ammunition would not last for even 10 days. However, 10 percent of the ammunition available is to meet a 40-day War Wastage reserve. The report stated that ammunition roadmap drawn by the army in 2012 for building up its stockpile to 50 percent by March 2015 and 100 percent by 2019 has remained far from realisation.

In the International arena, India’s trial to secure a permanent seat in United Nations Security Council has gained considerable boost since the commencement of NDA government than that it has been in the past decade.

Long demand of One Rank One Pension (OROP) has however been cleared by the Modi government but there in some unrest among the ex-servicemen that is has not been precisely termed and conditioned as they required it to be.