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'Stop Indian Army bashing, please!'

Our surfers rubbish the charge that army pays its lady officers less.

india Updated: Jun 24, 2006 12:01 IST

Not all seem to be impressed by the claim that the Indian Army is biased against its lady officers.

We carried a story titled "Army shortchanging women officers" arguing that lady officers often got paid much less as compared to their male counterparts. For instance, a lady officer discharging the role of a major would still draw the salary of a captain.

Not many are in agreement with this line of thought. Here's what they say.

Bhupi writing in from New Delhi said, "The news is misleading. The lady officers are on extension beyond five years of service. Hence as per Government of India rules they don't get next pay scales. It is not the Indian Army but the government which is to be blamed. By the way this rule is applicable to all -- male or female. Your correspondent has apparently not checked the facts."

Gp Capt TP Srivastava of New Delhi disparaged the article.

"Reporting by Rahul Singh is bereft of any factual data. At this stage, suffice to say that terms and conditions of PC and SSC officers are different. Sex, in no way, is the factor to discriminate. In the Indian Army, the officers serving in the field are often granted 'local acting unpaid' ranks. The officers, who are granted such a rank should actually be grateful to the system. It must be clearly understood that while a senior officer at particular level holding a particular appointment can grant 'local acting unpaid' rank, he/she can not authorise pay increment.

That is the law. Also it is rubbish when an officer says that I am doing job of major, hence give me major's pay.

Jobs anywhere, particularly in military, are not in watertight compartments. We are trained to act as a commander, if the situation demands, even though my rank may be captain.

Your reporter has led you up the garden path. You have acted irresponsibly and I dare say not in the interest of national security by publishing such rubbish. You either state facts with the officer's names, service record, salary drawn or tender an apology and withdraw factually inaccurate information making your headline news."

Oops! Tough-talking Group Captain this.

M Kumar from New Delhi too was all set to slam us for what he felt was "irresponsible journalism".

"Your correspondent may well be advised to recheck facts. Lady officers draw the same pay scale as their equivalent male officers. Pay scales are the under the purview of government of India (Financial Regulations) and not decided on the whims of the armed forces as implied in the article.

'Army bashing' seems to have become fashionable today and it seems your correspondent has got carried away by the lure of the front-page byline and has not bothered to check the veracity of the statements made by the 'aggrieved' lady officers.

Such irresponsible reporting is not expected from a paper like yours."

However, not all were willing to believe that the report was unsubstantial.

"In India, people have not changed their mindset regarding working of women. This is very much visible in government offices. Now it has come out light in public, Government should look after this seriously. One thing people should remember that until women is empowered and given their right no country could develop," said Manish from Chapra in Bihar.

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All views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the surfers and do not necessarily represent those of HindustanTimes.com.