Short visit to Guwahati

Last week, I paid a short visit to Guwahati, capital city of Assam, gateway of beautiful seven sister hilly states of NE, skirted by holy waters of the Brahmaputra, with over and above the pious land of Maa Kamakhya. There I stayed in Sainik Bhavan at Lachitgar. It is a nicely built accommodation for retired Officers, JCOs and NCOs and their families. Its Vivah Bhavan needs special mention for marriage of wards of ESMs at relatively  concessiol charges, which is probably not catered to in any  directorate. Even food is available in the same premises, though with some shortcomings. Higher room charges need reconsideration, which will be real welfare of ex-servicemen and their families. Like charges of Rs 750, some surcharge even extra levy for ACs per  day for VIP room. Similarly room and allied charge for PBORs is a little high. Having experienced relatively lower rates at other Sainik Bhavans in other states, I have mentioned this. Comparison with  much higher charges of civilian hotels does not justify costly accommodations for veterans and their families since shelters for veterans are not for more and more profitable marketing business.  It is also true that all DSWOs and Directorates of Sainik Welfare come under various states governments. Even then, some reconsideration is surely possible.Last but not not the least, Assam has been the land of my various  army duties including aid to civil authority, especially during the unprecedented  floods in 2002, when I served in Changsari (Rangiya) unit from Sep 2001 to Dec 2004. With that lovely attachment, this letter is written.    

Col (retd) Charu C Diwan,                   
Din Dayal Upadhyaya gar, Raipur.

Mohot, the Great

What is in a me? In India, there was only one ‘Mahatma’ and now a person like him is a chimera. So, when we find a me, ‘Mohot’ (Great), it matters pretty little whether the person holding the me can live upto the expectation of his parents or whosoever might give him the me. What this ‘Great’ Mohot did is only the tip of the  iceberg. Incidentally, one Mohot Chandra Talukdar, a corrupt forest official of Dhemaji has been caught while extorting bribe. Of course, he is a bright star of the erstwhile Congress regime, when there was an undeclared war about the amount of money one can embezzle, keeping himself a strong contender in the rat race. His mentors, particularly the ministers of his department must have trained him like most other officials of the Forest department about the ‘art’ of deforestation of Assam’s forests, selling out costly timber including red sandalwood, and acting as accomplice in the export of this timber to Chi in a clandestine way. Recovery of more than Rs one crore cash in his house along with animal parts from his residences in Guwahati and Dhemaji is a manifestation about how corrupt these forest officials are. After full checking of his residence, more hidden money is expected to come out in the open. Why only on one DFO, simultaneous raids should have been conducted throughout Assam on other corrupt DFOs’ houses! We are happy that  from the regime of Tarun Gogoi-led government, at least one cat has been let out of the bag among many.

Ashok Bordoloi,