"AIMS AND WAY AHEAD FOR THE 16TH NDA/25TH IMA COURSE ASSOCIATION
- A VIEW BY THE PRESIDENT, Vice Admiral Avnish Tandon
The idea of the 16th NDA/25th IMA Association was mooted on 12th June 1990 on completion of 30 years of service by our army members. As I understand that its Bye-laws were taken from an existing Army Regimental Association, The Cavalry Association. A lot of work was done to fine tune the procedures and the association was registered with the Registrar of Companies (ROC) Delhi in 1993. Since then no follow up action was taken to keep it active on the records of the Registrar of Companies by submitting any documents for various reasons which at this stage of our and the association's life need not be gone into .In the last few months all efforts to find the present status of the association in the records with the ROC have drawn a blank or in other words it can be assumed that its records are buried in the vast maze of forgotten and untraceable files of thousands of companies or associations registered more than 10 years ago.
This association was planned in 1990 when most of us were in service and were about 50 years old. In the last 14 years since its formalisation in 1993 we have enjoyed the benefits of bonhomie and camaraderie in a generally cohesive group falling back on nostalgia to recount the good old days when we were young and were prone to adventure and lots of mischief. When most of the members were still in service, the get togethers were in service messes and provided excellent opportunities for colleagues and their wives and sometimes their children to interact and build long lasting friendships among members from all three services outside of the narrow confines of a regimental association. Those of us who had separated after NDA to join the Navy or IAF were once again able to renew old associations and friendships. Sadly, however, from time to time there were under currents among a few of the members of rivalries , pettiness, ego clashes and misunderstandings. This was particularly noticable between office bearers/ erstwhile office bearers and members despite the fact that the office bearers were elected by the General Body and in any case were doing an honorary and thankless job. Such instances luckily were few and far between. On the other hand we have been fortunate in having very dedicated and visionary office bearers who with their untiring efforts have kept the association going in an exemplary manner. We are grateful to them and they deserve our sincere thanks.
As we come to the end of 2007 we are in the age bracket of 66 to 68 years. All of us have long ago shed our uniforms and in my opinion should have no hang ups of what rank we reached or deserved to reach. Perceived or genuine injustices by the steep pyramidical system of promotion should long have been forgotten although it is very difficult to do. We should consider ourselves indeed fortunate that we served with honour and dignity in the finest and most respected profession in India- that of the Armed Forces. Destiny had something in store for us as in the different roles that life moves along that of officers, sons, husbands and fathers . Our roles are now restricted to being husbands, fathers, father's - in -law and most enjoyably grandfathers as Dadas or Nanas. We should revel in whatever role that we play. We should thank God for what HE has given us and earnestly request God to give us good health and keep us free from dependence on others till it is time to go.
Many of our former friends and colleagues have unfortunately left for greener pastures and all of us are in the queue to join them sooner or later. It is therefore time for us as an association to look ahead to formulate revised aims and objectives Whereas an institutional association like The Cavalry Association is in perpetuity with successive generations of officers running its affairs and managing it with appropriate office bearers , ours is an association which by its very name, nature and membership is limited to those who were in NDA during the period 1956-1959 and in IMA during 1958/1959-1960. The association cannot have any new incumbents and will lose its original members as the years go by. The spouses of the members are mostly younger by 4-6 years than us and have been a part and parcel of their husbands service life and stood by us through thick and thin. They have developed excellent friendships and camaraderie among themselves.
It is very necessary to induct spouses into the Committee to ensure more active participation by our better halves and to ensure that the association’s life is prolonged by a few years. At the moment whatever interaction that we have had with the authorities does not in any way indicate that there will be any objection from any outside authorities to changing of our Bye-laws.
With over half a century of knowing one another and only a few years left ahead ,there is urgent need to change our mind sets and work towards greater bonhomie and camaraderie . I strongly feel that time has come to make a determined effort to forget our petty rivalries, ego problems and disagreements because if don't do so now, when will do it. Instead we should be working towards helping each other in times of need. Our get togethers should be more often and must become occasions for fun and frolic and nostalgia. Let us forget minor SDs and take a futuristic view of how to make each get together an occasion to remember. I would request you to wholeheartedly participate in making this the way ahead for our association . The motto of the association should be ‘Dukh Sukh main Saath’.This is all the more important because many of us have our children in distant foreign lands from where they cannot be on hand whenever there is an emergency. To this end we should invite and determindly encourage wives of deceased officers of 16th /25th Courses whether members or not to join in at every get together. There is also a need for concerted efforts by each and every one to locate all our erstwhile colleagues and find if any one needs financial or emotional help.
May I request on my behalf and that of the members of the Committee that each and every member of the 16th NDA and 25th IMA Courses from all over India and particularly from the Northern States irrespective of being a basic, life or not even a member join in for the Lunch get together on 9th December at the Kotah House Naval Officers Mess to have fun and to make merry. Please inform and request those not on e-mail and spouses to join in also.
God Bless and Jai Hind"