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Army wives land in a major soup

April 6, 2010

 The flood gates have been opened and the enemy is rushing in. With spears and bayonets! Dozens of mid-ranking and junior army officers and their wives are publicly accusing the wives of senior officers of wasting army funds and harassing them socially and professionally.

Retired Major Guneet Chaudhary”s blog site,, is inundated with postings alleging that senior Army wives are exploitative bullies running a “parallel hierarchy” through the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA).

The charges come in the wake of two other Majors” wives going public with claims of serious harassment.

Savneet Paul, the wife of Major P.S. Paul, has challenged the organisation in court, alleging her husband”s annual confidential report (ACR) was tarnished by his commanding officer because she did not take an interest in AWWA activities.

And Rosme Dubey played an MMS clip to the media recently showing a woman, claiming to be the wife of her husband”s commanding officer, ridiculing him as she could not get tea at an AWWA meet organised by Rosme.

Both Paul and Dubey claimed senior Army wives routinely insulted and exploited juniors” wives, and made their husbands mete out the same treatment to officers whose wives they were unhappy with. Now, more than 200 hate posts on the blog site bear out these charges with specific instances of misbehaviour and manipulation.

One blogger writes about his and other officers” humiliation at the opening of an AWWA beauty parlour and sales outlet because seniors” wives wanted it to be a “ladies show”. So they were ordered to be available, in case they were suddenly required, but not be “visible”. “The three officers, including me, were directed to hide. Like a bloody fool I had to hide behind a coal tar drum along with others. Passing workers were watching. I have never felt so ashamed ever before and never felt so small,” he writes.

Many women have written they were forced to dance, sing or perform skits by seniors” wives. They were even told to babysit if they wanted their husbands to get promotions or postings of choice.

One post reads: “It”s Afghan tribal law again — after a lull in the battle, the ladies traditionally take over and skin the PoW.” Says another: ” Let”s face it — AWWA in its present avatar is a pain and all middle/junior rung officers know it in their heart.

It is not corrupt per se, but it is wasteful on combat resources and has begun to proliferate into a parallel, demi-official hierarchy.” Blogger Sudeep claims AWWA uses public funds and Army vehicles even though it is not a government organisation.

It is run, he says, from government buildings and is maintained by the Army”s maintenance and electrical service. Even contributions to AWWA are not voluntary, but forced.

“There are written orders in each formation that a certain percentage of CSD (canteen) profits will compulsorily be deposited with AWWA,” he write.

“Try and miss out on organising or attending the AWWA monthly meet ” you will without any doubt get hauled up.” Asks another officer: “Go to Gopinath Bazar (Delhi Cantonment). In front of the HDFC ATM, you will find a person selling flowers on the road side to passing civilians!. He is a serving soldier. Does he have a choice? And frankly, what I do for AWWA, do I have a choice?” Army sources alleged AWWA was just a pretext for the wives of chiefs and commanders- inchief to go accompanying their husbands on tours. Their travel would be authorised by the Army for “welfare” activities.

A comptroller and auditor general report two years ago also questioned the misuse of official aircraft.

Several retired officers have also challenged the way AWWA functions. Major (Retd) P.D. Singh said the association should be revamped and it should not operate out of the Army headquarters in South Block.

Colonel (Retd) K.P. Bhatia asked why should AWWA get involved in the professional lives of officers when it was an NGO. “It influences the transfers and postings of serving officers, misusing the Army”s chain of command,” he said.

But not all the posts on his blog site support his views. One blogger writes: “God save the armed forces from people like Guneet, who spit in the same plate from where he once used to eat.”

This article has been taken from the link


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