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About the Author

General Vinod Saighal retired from the Indian Army in 1995 from the post of Director General Military Training. He has held an assignment with the UN  peacekeeping forces as well as a tenure in Iran. He had served as the country's Military Attache in France and BENELUX, also overseeing Spain and Portugal. He speaks several languages including French and Persian. Currently he is the Executive Director of Eco Monitors Society a non-governmental organization concerned with demography and ecology. After retirement, he founded the Movement for Restoration of Good Government. He has lectured extensively in India and abroad on several burning issues of the day. Vinod Saighal was invited to join the 'Institutional Advisory Board' of USFSS (US Federation of Scientists and Scholars) in 2000. He is international consultant since 1995 with the prestigious French think tank Centre d'Etude et de Prospective Strategique (CEPS) as well as on the Institutional Advisory Board of an Italian Publication Geopolitica. He was a special invitee of the Chinese Medical Association as keynote presenter for the final plenary session of the 16th World Conference of IPPNW (International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War) in Beijing in 2004.  He is the author of the internationally acclaimed book 'Third Millennium Equipoise'. Additionally, he has authored Restructuring South Asian Security; Restructuring Pakistan; Dealing with Global Terrorism: The Way Forward; Global Security Paradoxes: 2000-2020; and Revitalising Indian Democracy. His first book was selected at the Caracas International Book Fair in November 2008 for a  Spanish edition (title: Equilibrio en el Tercer Milenio).

Old soldiers don't die. They simply fade away. After nearly four decades of active military service the temptation to get away from it all was becoming too great to resist. Except that while I was pondering over the matter my mind kept going back to the time, not long after Independence, when I opted for a career in the Army. I was very young when I made the decision. The Republic of India even younger. What I do recall from those days was that the famous words about "India keeping its tryst with destiny", spoken from the ramparts of the Red Fort a few years earlier, still redounded in our young ears.

As I hung up my spurs I failed to detect even the faintest echo of that stirring oration amongst the political milieu of the country - the leaders who would take India into the next millennium. Our dreams lay shattered. Strife was rife. Poverty and hunger stalked the land. The sadhus and fakirs had also forsaken religion and joined the fray. The land of Budha, Mahavira and the Mahatma could rejoice to Ram or Rahim but not to Ram & Rahim.

I was deeply troubled by the sight of what I beheld.

What follows is a compilation of thoughts, talks, articles and essays from an old warrior who decided to soldier on.


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