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Old 01-23-2012, 05:22 PM   #20
bgsavings

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Oct 2005
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Link 'Political class has failed us‚??

On June 26, 1987 Honorary Captain Bana Singh created history by capturing the world‚??s highest ‚??Quaid post‚?? on Siachen Glacier along with his men. Bana Singh was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, the highest war time gallantry medal in recognition of his daring act. The invincible ‚??Quaid post‚?? was named Bana Top in his honour. His brave act is credited with giving the Indian Army an advantage in Siachen.

At present, the disciplined soldier in Bana Singh is leading a peaceful life in Kadyal village of RS Pura in Jammu. Looking back in time, he feels that in the last twenty five years both Central and successive State Governments have failed to fulfil his wish list.

Though the ‚??charismatic‚?? and ‚??witty‚?? solider has no regrets from the Indian Army and the nation at large but when he wears a citizen‚??s hat, he effortlessly trains his guns on the elite political leadership and blames them for lacking the ‚??political will‚?? to address strategic security concerns.

While counting himself as one among the aam admi, Bana Singh hold politicians responsible for the rampant corruption and the loot of the public exchequer. This is one reason that despite joining the National Conference in April 2009 as head of the ex-servicemen wing of the party, he stayed away from the politics.

In an exclusive interview with The Pioneer, Honorary Captain Bana Singh said, ‚??it is high time the Union Government should frame a fresh policy and allot petrol pump or gas agency licenses to living PVC recipients‚?Ě.

‚??A nation with more than 1.2 billion population has produced only 21 PVC recipients till date and out of these, only three are alive. Two among them are still serving,‚?Ě he said before adding: ‚??Heavens will not fall if the Central Government revisits the policy and allots one petrol pump each to all PVC awardees‚?Ě.

Sharing his own experience, he said, ‚??about 7-8 years ago I had moved a formal application to explore the possibility of getting a petrol pump /gas agency license but my request was turned down by the director general, Resettlement. I was told that the Government had no policy to allot petrol pumps to living recipients of Param Vir Chakra‚?Ě. ‚??As I am ageing, I want to appeal to the Union Government to revisit the policy and make necessary amendments to accommodate our claims,‚?Ě said Honorary Captain Bana Singh.

Captain Singh was hailed former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for restoring the pride and honour of the Indian solider.

Talking about the response of the State Government, he said that despite calling on Chief Minister Omar Abdullah at least three times, he failed in sorting out the issue of 13.5 % VAT on canteen service department (CSD). ‚??Many ex-servicemen came to me and requested me to take up the case with the Chief Minister. Every time I raised this issue, I was only given an assurance but nothing concrete materialised,‚?Ě he said adding that except J&K, nowhere in India is VAT imposed on purchase of items from the CSD canteens.

He said that the State Government had named a local sports stadium in his name several yeas ago but it was yet to come up.

‚??If successive State Governments were sincere in their approach, then why did they fail in constructing basic facilities at the sports stadium? No one in the State is serious. They only do lip service here,‚?Ě he rued.

Commenting on the latest debate over the row involving the age of the Indian Army chief with the Central Government, Bana Singh said that this was ‚??just another proof how a respected soldier of the rank of Chief of Army staff is treated by the system. We have been trained to fight for naam, namak aur nishan and as long as we are alive we will keep fighting for our identity and honour.‚?Ě ‚??We just cannot compromise with our ideals,‚?Ě he added.
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