Radicalisation of Indian Veterans

It is an irony that a few veterans – surprisingly many who held senior ranks in the Indian Armed Forces – having radicalised thoughts and many times seen spewing venom on the media.  The malice appears to have spread to officers who held junior ranks and also among soldiers.

There are two types of radicalised Veterans all over the world.  The first category is a minuscule – the ones who have been through intense combat and have seen their comrades in arms die or maimed.  They mostly suffer from Post Trauma Stress Disorder (PTSD) and there is no care or support for these cases, even from the Military Hospitals.  Why, many in the Indian Armed Forces do not even accept that PTSD exists among serving soldiers who have been through intense combat.  One can very well imagine the plight of the Veterans, especially those below officer rank.  Some of these persons tend to recoil and spend their life mostly in solitude and hardly ever communicate, even with their dear and near.  Some also have taken the spiritual path to fight PTSD.  They tend to carry their emotions within them.

They generally appear well in public and say nothing to offend anyone. They are always a gentleman on the surface and treats everyone with respect.  In private, they may occasionally make off-handed comments when discussing politics, or society.  One feels disenchanted  to hear someone of such intelligence and valour, someone who everyone respected and cared for immensely, have such a distorted view, and to speak in generalisations about an entire religion or community.

This group cannot be categorised as radical, but may well be called prejudiced.  This could well be attributed to their years of dedicated service in the worst parts of the country, and having to deal with corrupt politicians and bureaucrats on a regular basis.  This is bound to take a toll on anyone’s faith in humanity.

Now comes the second group – the most dangerous ones and are in majority – the so called ‘Poodle Fakers‘ of the Armed Forces.  They may have been in the battlefronts, but have hardly seen intense combat.  They were the arm-chair Generals who pushed their soldiers into combat situations, presuming themselves to be ‘Guderians,’ but with hardly any practical knowledge of tactics or the real ground situations.

Post retirement, they try to cover up all their shortcomings through their ‘verbal diarrhea‘ in the media or with their articles or books in print.  They find everything wrong with the current setup in the Defence Forces and are ever ready with their answers for all the troubles the Defence Forces are going through.  They never realise that they were the ones who laid the foundation for such troubles.

In the present Indian political environment, they have found a place to air their Gyan – the so called nationalists or patriots – who believe that to be patriot one got to believe in the party that has created an image of being the only patriotic one.  They also believe that all the history of the nation are all wrong and only the ones espoused by the current bunch is the most appropriate version.

They appear to have  forgotten all the ethos the Defence Forces taught them while in service.  They claim that the Indian Muslims and Christians can never be nationalists and are only there to convert the poor Hindus.  They never remember the sacrifices and valour of the non-Hindu soldiers who served under their own command.

They tend to paint everyone as non-nationalist in one stroke.  Most of them obviously are faking it to remain relevant in the current religio-political turmoil the nation is going through.  They will never miss an opportunity to cash in by giving their sermons on various television channels, which are ready to pay them for their most grotesque comment.  It appears that every evening they wear their suits, armed with some venom spewing statement and await a call from a news channel.

These Veterans employ theatrics – they are ever ready to shed a few crocodile tears – and many viewers believe what they say.  The viewers do not know the antecedents of the person, but they only know him as a Veteran.

Have you ever seen a General who was a professional soldier ever deliver such Gyan?  Is it time that the Government  come out with some regulations to quieten or soften up such diatribes?

Our son Nikhil went to the recruiting office in Toronto to collect the application form for Canadian Army. The office was manned by a very senior Sergeant Major who had seen action in Afghanistan and Iraq. He asked our son the reasons for joining Canadian Army.  One of the reasons listed out by Nikhil was that his father had served the Indian Army.

The Sergeant Major asked “Did he see combat?

“Yes he did two or three times to the best of my knowledge,” said Nikhil.

Does he talk about it?” queried the Sergeant Major.

Never,” replied Nikhil.

To this the Sergeant Major said “Then he has been into combat.

17 thoughts on “Radicalisation of Indian Veterans

  1. Totally agree with you Col Reji. This behaviour from all sort of veterans is disgusting and not at all acceptable. Thanks for giving timely reminder! We ought to be a class apart. Sadly a few of us have fallen prey to these dangerous trends.
    THANKS for being Frank & Bold 👏👏👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Regi, Very relevant post. Appreciate your courage in coming out with this piece. It’s important that some veteran organisation needs to draw up a code of conduct for ourselves so that as a class we do not lose our credibility. Regards


  3. Reji, I am quite in agreement with your blog as also a bunch of poodle fakers deeds, but to convey that we have so many poodle faker Generals and all of them are against the nationalism of Indians who follow Muslim and Christian faith is a serious lack of judgement on your part and is almost appalling. Your complete article looks like is based on some subdued hatred for few Generals who may have wronged you while you were in service (I hope I am wrong) and is quite warped towards the end. Please note that Indian Army has a system of selection which is time tested and I can only grant you 4 to 5 percent aberration where poodle fakers can reach the top ladder and same way only 4 to 5 percent where some deserving does not reach top level. Having served the system for well over 25 years my views may deserve the seriousness that it counts. Since I know you have done an almost equal number of years in the Indian Army, I will hate to see you becoming so radicalised veteran because what you write will be taken seriously and will cause grave injury to the organisation which gave you so much. Also do not try to jump the band wagon of sensational blog writers for what ever advantage you may be looking at. Do visit India more often to see the realty and not just from social media.

    I tried to post it on your blog but was not successful. I wish it was so as I do not wish your blog readers to go with warped one sided views.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very nice article sir. Does every single piece of carbon become a diamond when subjected to pressure, No , I guess!! Similarly every person does not become a good soldier after basic training, core qualities don’t change that easily. IMA was built by the British and the values imparted to Gentlemen Cadets were more British than Indian. The result was that the pioneering batches of officers who laid the foundation of our honour code did a fine job of that. But as time passed, the non-political/non-radical Indian armed forces had to endure many assaults from politicians and enemies alike. Slowly the talks on political happenings of the day have crept into officers’ messes as well. The political leanings of senior officers are becoming more and more evident even while they are still in OGs.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Reji sir
    An honest and Frank assessment as always. I do agree that the present “season” seem to be the right one for some jingoistic and megalomaniac self proclaimed “experts” to air their views on primetime. But I seriously believe it’s just a phase. Every dog has it’s day. But at the end of it India and the Indian Armed forces do not have any choice but to remain secular. There is just no other way given our diversity……..
    That’s what I feel sir.
    My compliments for a bold blog. Regards

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to see some of our veterans, taking out and sharing -thoughts depicted by Reji Sir, am sure, this articulation will be encourage us to follow it thru with clarity -always stay together as veterans,

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You have stated that this is an year old article but I find in relevant even today. Forget giving Gyan on Army issues which they may claim to know, some of them even pontify on matters of Navy and the Airforce.

    A lifetime in the navy has not given me any confidence to say that I know everything about matters maritime because strategy at sea is as vast and as deep as the sea itself. Yet some of these very confidently talk of maritime strategy and also distribute Gyan to the Airforce.

    I also agree that some of them do say that not all Indians are patriots but that as you say is just faking for the gallery.

    Very focused and relevant writeup

    Liked by 1 person

  7. In the article you say, “Post retirement, they try to cover up all their shortcomings through their ‘verbal diarrhea’ in the media or with their articles or books in print. They find everything wrong with the current setup in the Defence Forces”…….I wonder, by finding faults with those in the system, what exactly are you doing with your this article of yours !!??


  8. I do not agree with most of the things mentioned in the article. While there may be some who may not be too well informed or have certain political leanings, its grossly inappropriate to say that all retired veterans have cockeyed views. By saying that veterans feel that non Hindu soldiers have patriotism issues, you have proved your own biases. It’s shameful to say the least. The whole article reeks of sadism towards those who have been successful and proved their worth in service. Indian Army is known world over as one of the best and will continue to remain so. Who knows anything about Canadian army?? It’s more ceremonial! To even quote a sargeant major from a defunct army is laughable.
    The whole article reflects your apathy and disdain towards a force that gave you, rank and respect. It’s veterans like you who don’t take pride in their job, their nation, and their army that we need to be careful of, for they are the ones who trigger rot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Please read the very first line. It says very clearly that is is ‘a few’ veterans who are radicalised – not all. You can see that lot mostly on Indian Television Channels. You have correctly brought it out by saying ‘While there may be some who may not be too well informed or have certain political leanings,’ and this article only covers those

      You seemed to have not understood it and have jumped to conclusion.


    • Our grandfather used to narrate stories from Mahabharatha when we were kids. Once it was about the Sharshayya of Bhishma. It was Arjunan who shot the arrow at Bhishma on the advice of Krishnan. The clutch here is that he had to use SHikhandi as a cover as Bhishma never wanted to fight a ‘woman’.

      The moral of the story he said Mona Darling was that never become a Shikhandi.


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