30 June 2013

A DEADLY TRIANGLE: AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN AND INDIA

The Brookings Essay

An eminent historian looks to the present and future of Afghanistan as the U.S. withdraws from the longest war in its history.

He sees the danger of an escalating conflict between Pakistan and India—two nuclear powers that could threaten world peace.
Published 06/25/2013
THE SOLE SURVIVOR 1

At six o’clock in the morning of February 26, 2010, Major Mitali Madhumita was awakened by the ringing of her mobile phone. Mitali, a 35-year-old Indian army officer from Orissa, had been in Kabul less than a year. Fluent in Dari, the most widely spoken language in Afghanistan, she was there to teach English to the first women officer cadets to be recruited to the Afghan National Army.

It was a sensitive posting, not so much because of gender issues as political ones: India’s regional rival, Pakistan, was extremely touchy about India providing military assistance to the government in Afghanistan and had made it very clear that it regarded the presence of any Indian troops or military trainers there as an unacceptable provocation. For this reason everyone on the small Indian army English Language Training Team, including Mitali, and all the Indian army doctors and nurses staffing the new Indira Gandhi Kabul Children’s Hospital, had been sent to Afghanistan unarmed, and in civilian dress. They were being put up not in an army barracks, or at the Indian Embassy, but in a series of small, discreet guest houses dotted around the city’s diplomatic quarter.

I was the only one of my team who came back alive.

Newly graduated soldiers from the Afghan National Army (ANA) attend a graduation ceremony in Kabul September 23, 2010. Afghanistan's army got its first female officers in decades on Thursday when 29 women graduated in a class of new recruits.
REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

The phone call was from a girlfriend of Mitali’s who worked for Air India at Kabul airport. Breathless, she said she had just heard that two of the Indian guest houses, the Park and the Hamid, were under attack by militants. As the only woman on her team, Mitali had been staying in separate lodgings about two miles away from the rest of her colleagues, who were all in the Hamid. Within seconds, Mitali was pulling on her clothes, along with the hijab she was required to wear, and running, alone and unarmed, through the empty morning streets of Kabul toward the Hamid.

“I just thought they might need my help,” she told me recently in New Delhi.

As she dashed past the Indian Embassy, Mitali was recognized by one of the guards from diplomatic security who shouted to her to stop. The area around the guest houses was mayhem, he told her. She should not go on alone. She must return immediately to her lodgings and stay there.

“I don’t require your permission to rescue my colleagues,” Mitali shouted back, and kept on running. When she passed the presidential compound, she was stopped again, this time at gunpoint, by an Afghan army security check post. Five minutes later she had charmed one of the guards into giving her a lift in his jeep. Soon they could hear bursts of automatic weapons, single shots from rifles and loud grenade blasts.


Site of the militants' attack on Indian guest houses in Kabul February 26, 2010. At least 18 people were killed and 36 wounded in the Taliban-affiliated attacks in Kabul.
REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

“As we neared the area under attack I jumped out of the jeep and ran straight into the ruins of what had been the Hamid guesthouse. It was first light, but because of all the dust and smoke, visibility was very low and it was difficult to see anything. The front portion of the guesthouse was completely destroyed—there was just a huge crater. Everything had been reduced to rubble. A car bomb had rammed the front gate and leveled the front of the compound. Three militants then appeared and began firing at anyone still alive. I just said, ‘Oh my God,’ and ran inside.

“I found my way in the smoke to the area at the back where my colleagues had been staying. Here the walls were standing but it was open to the sky—the blast had completely removed the roof, which was lying in chunks all over the floor. There was cross-firing going on all around me, and the militants were throwing Chinese incendiary grenades. Afghan troops had taken up positions at the top of the Park Residence across the road and were firing back. I couldn’t see the militants, but they were hiding somewhere around me.

Dangerous logic

Jun 30, 2013


The way in which an assassination attempt against a top leader is sought to be dismissed speaks of an unconscionable irresponsibility.

What does one make of the selective leaks and the motivated reportage in sections of the media on the Ishrat Jehan case? It is fairly clear there is a systematic and downright political attempt to implicate Narendra Modi, the Gujarat chief minister, in still further controversy, without the legal case necessarily getting anywhere.

The evidence cited — one accused turned witness turned would-be approver, having allegedly heard another person refer to two people with beards and then concluding the reference was to Gujarat’s chief minister and home minister Amit Shah at the time — is scarcely compelling. It is not going to convince anyone other than the usual suspects in television studios. If courts began pronouncing judgments on such hearsay and allegedly overheard loose talk, three-fourths of Parliament would have been behind bars by now.

Second, it is not even as if the Union government, the Central Bureau of Investigation and the chosen media outlets are running a conscientious campaign against police actions that are alleged to be fake encounters. It is nobody’s case that these don’t exist and don’t happen. They do, in India and elsewhere, and in principle, each such case is one too many. In 2012, the National Human Rights Commission told the Supreme Court that there had been 191 proven fake encounters all over the country in the past five years. By one reckoning, there have been some 400 alleged fake encounters in this period. These involve a variety of state governments, cutting across parties.

It is a fair suggestion that some sort of inquiry needs to be conducted into the culture of fake encounters in India and the reasons some policemen actually advocate them. The failure of the criminal-justice system to deliver quick convictions and in some cases of the courts to resist pressure — this happened in Punjab in the 1980s and 1990s — have often been cited. Fake encounters may be a frustrated, short-term response to such lacunae, but cannot be a long-term solution and certainly cannot be welcomed as part of everyday policing and criminal justice.

Yet, it is not as if those 191 cases — or 400 cases, depending on which number one fancies — are the subject of public activism or that politicians and police officers from several states are being targeted. The indignation is decidedly selective and limited to one or two cases in Gujarat. Logic is being stretched to suggest the chief minister and home minister fabricated an Intelligence Bureau report, masterminded the kidnapping of four innocent citizens, got them killed and pretended it was all part of defeating an assassination plot.

This conflation of bazaar gossip with a rigorous legal process will continue till the 2014 elections, unless the CBI and its current leadership suddenly — and perhaps equally expediently — discover there is no case at all. In the interim, the episode would have had its consequences. When spoken to, officers of the IB are blunt in admitting the mood in the organisation is angry and sullen following what the IB feels is an attempt to frame a senior official.

An input of a Lashkar-e-Tayyaba assassination squad, comprising Ishrat Jehan and her accomplices, is being sought to be rubbished as made-up. An entire mythology of how the officer in question was close to Mr Modi across several years and several postings in several locations is being planted on whichever media practitioner is willing to play unquestioning stenographer. An officer on the verge of retirement is finding his entire career and reputation tarnished and mocked, without giving him an opportunity to answer.

The Fight Back

Sun Jun 30 2013

IT COULD be a war zone: the extra cautious prepping up of machines for a long day's flight before dawn, soldiers in fatigues running across to load up on stores, nervous airman looking for signs of weather, the choppers lining up for take-off at the first sign of light, and the firm clomp on the tarmac of crew boots at precisely 6 am.

It is only the absence of shrieking sirens that is a giveaway. Instead, there are more disturbing announcements over the loudspeakers: "Please register the names of those missing at the small, white tent." "The list of those being evacuated today will also be made available there." "Please keep calm."

It may not be a war zone, but what has been in operation in Gauchar, located near Joshimath in Chamoli district, over the past 10 days is a rescue effort like none before seen in the country:

The largest ever civil relief air evacuation carried out by the armed forces, using helicopters otherwise designed to carry troops, drop bombs and conduct surveillance. Against an unforgiving enemy—the weather. Its force guaranteed to be deadly. The only defence being innovation, planning and precise execution. At stake, 44,000 lives, stuck in Kedarnath, Harsil and Badrinath. At hand, 50 aircraft, operating from main hub Gauchar and the air base at Jolly Grant in Dehradun.

By Friday, June 28, a record 15,454 people had been airlifted from various parts of the state by the Air Force. The Army, with its smaller aviation arm, had evacuated 3,357. Most of the others had also been taken to safe zones, by road.

Around 4 am, the first signs of activity are seen at Gauchar. Maintenance staff get to work on the helicopters, getting them flight ready within two hours. Army soldiers buzz around. By 6 am, pilots and other crew are poised for take-off, marching up to the choppers in their dungarees, helmets by their sides.

The first precaution is checking the weather—with a quick estimation of whether the skies are likely to remain clear. A clearance is also needed from the air traffic control.

Giving an idea of the planning involved, an Air Force officer associated with the relief operations said: "After we found out that the number of people to be evacuated was thousands and not hundreds, like we have tackled several times in the past, it turned into a war effort. Choppers and crew were brought in from all available centres—Jammu, Sarsawa, Barrackpore and Pathankot. Units were asked to deploy their most able pilots and best machines."

The choppers and crew were inducted within hours, after a briefing on the terrain, weather, ground situation, call signals and hazards by reconnaissance teams that had gone up in smaller Cheetah choppers to scout out possible landing areas, positions of stranded persons and flight paths.

While the Air Force brought in 37 helicopters—a mix of Mi-17s, ALHs, Cheetahs and even a gigantic Mi-26—the Army pitched in with its ALHs and Cheetahs. Areas were charted out and the missions split.

The joint control room in Dehradun monitored evacuations by the hour and directed machines to places where required. "The idea was to have not a single sortie go waste—be it relief material, pilgrims or airlifting the administration," an official said.

Evacuation, it was planned, would be carried out in the sectors of Kedarnath, Harsil and Badrinath, in that priority. People would be lifted from helipads at the locations and dropped to nearest landing zones with road links.

It wouldn't BE as simple as that—as officers soon realised— requiring on-the-spot innovative solutions. The biggest obstacle was finding landing zones in the most difficult areas in the Kedar valley. In the treacherous Jungle Chatti area, there was no space to even land a tiny Cheetah—and this was when a group of soldiers stepped forward. Choppers hovering over, they jumped off on to a small stretch of footpath that had somehow survived the landslides. "They literally jumped out from mid-air and held on to the ground," an Army officer said.

Once on the ground, they fashioned a makeshift helipad. The space they would carve out would eventually help save over 1,000 pilgrims stranded for four days without food or water.

Horror Storeys And After

HELL IN THE HIMALAYAS
Long reeling under indiscriminate tourism and haphazard development, it was a disaster waiting to happen

Denuded hillside An aerial view of the Gaurikund area

Disaster preparedness: The disaster caught National Disaster Management Authority napping. It blamed the meteorological department for not issuing any alert but failed to monitor its forecasts.
70 to 96 hydel power plants are in various stages of construction across the state

***

He has fought all his life to save the hills and the rivers that hurtle down them. But at 86 and long after becoming a beacon for environmentalism in India, Chipko Movement founder Sunderlal Bahuguna almost became a victim of the forces he has always sought to appease. As rivers next to his ashram, not far from Dehradun, continued to swell following torrential rain in Uttarakhand, Bahuguna had to be lifted by his associates and carried away from the rapidly rising waters that had entered his room. Having now seen devastation of the kind he thought he never would, Bahuguna says the government learnt no lessons from the Chipko Movement (see interview).

And as we continue to count the dead, officially close to a thousand, and struggle to come to terms with the extent of the damage, the ‘Himalayan tsunami’ tells us another cautionary tale—of how our hills have always been exploited but never loved and protected. They are crumbling as they become tourist destinations and holiday homes for the urban rich. They groan under the haphazard infrastructure created to pamper pilgr­ims. The hills and its rivers are mutila­ted to house dams; its trees felled indiscrimi­nately for timber; the banks and beds of its rivers torn apart for stones and sand.

You might hum and delude yourself into believing that the hills are alive with the sound of music but the truth is that they are dying due to the harsher notes of ‘development’. It’s true not just of Uttarakhand but practically of any of the hill states in India, whether it’s Sikkim or Meghalaya and Mizoram. Even our Western Ghats and the Aravalli range are under severe assault.

Ravi Chopra of the People’s Science Institute in Dehradun says this disaster alerts us to the “massive and unplanned tourism”. So while some big dams were successfully opposed and halted, multiple-storeyed ashrams and hotels crept up on the river’s banks to keep pace with the unregulated inflow of tourists and pilgrims. These were the buildings we saw being washed away in dramatic visuals. “On an average, over 10,000 people trek to Kedarnath each day and several hundreds are flown in. Where do you think the fuel to feed them comes from?” asks Chopra. “Not all of it from cooking gas; fire­wood is chopped from nearby. All this takes a toll. The government has pushed tourism for quick revenue returns but it ought to have done so on a more ecologically sustainable basis.”

A tragedy repeated elsewhere A landslide in Sikkim

Is there a way to control people from flocking to the hills? Should we restrict the inflow of outsiders into ecologically fragile areas? For instance, Chopra poi­nts out, the Uttarakhand government had wisely curtailed the daily inflow of kanwarias to the Gaumukh glacier, source of the Ganga, to 150 a few years back when thousands began flocking. This problem applies equally to Hima­chal Pradesh, also affected by this disaster. The state has promoted tourism aggressively, without a thought to its consequences. “There has been a spurt of tourism but without any exhaustive study of an area’s carrying capacity (how many people it can sustain),” says P.S. Ahuja, director, Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur.

Their Wings, And A Few Prayers

HELL IN THE HIMALAYAS
Risking life and limb, the armed forces ably rise up to the challenge of rescue

Starting early at seven in the morning, the choppers made 20 sorties a day, negotiating tortuous mountain valleys.

Wiped out: Although Uttarakhand was the first state to set up a separate disaster management ministry, a CAG report this April said it had never met nor received any funds.
147 bridges and 1,307 roads damaged, meadows washed away

***

Nothing gives you a better sense of devastation than a view from 15,000 feet in the air. I am aboard an ALH Dhruv, manned by Colonel Anuj Rampal, a veteran of search and rescue operations. Before us lies the battered vista of Garhwal’s hills, where rain, landslides and the raging Ganga, Alaknanda and Mandakini have combined to wreak a havoc whose magnitude is just beginning to be und­erstood.

He has never seen such destruction before, Col Rampal tells me, above the roar of the rotor blades, as his olive-green chopper lives up to the words emblazoned across it—Suveg and Sud­ridh (fast and determined). “The scene on day one after the first waters receded was heart-wrenching,” he says. “I could see the elderly crying in pain and trauma.”

Col Rampal and other skilled army aviation pilots have been making up to 20 sorties a day, rescuing stranded pilgrims and reaching food and supplies to ground teams. Starting at 7 in the morning and flying through day, these men negotiate tortuous valleys, often having only narrow air strips and makeshift landing pads to touch down on.

The Gauchar air base and the Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun have been teeming with ALHs, IAF’s Mi-17s and private choppers. The army’s rescue effort has been mounted along four aerial axes: Kedarnath, Badri­nath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Women, the elderly and children are the priority.

Officially, it was only on June 20, four days after disaster struck Kedarnath, that the state government sent a letter to the Union home ministry requisitioning army support. The army itself had been in touch with the state government earlier for rescue work in other flood-affected districts, including Pithoragarh.

Thanks to the efforts of the recently raised Star Hawks 205 battalion, the Kedar Valley—which bore the brunt of the devastation—has been cleared. The most daring rescue effort came on the Kedarnath axis, at Jangal Chatti, where more than a thousand pilgrims were stranded on a small stretch of land. The army first conducted an aerial survey to locate the pilgrims, then sent paratroopers, and finally succeeded in eva­cuating the pilgrims using a combination of hel­ibridge and air shuttle service and est­ablishing a trek road from Jangal Chatti to Gaurikund, using a human relay.

Besides Kedarnath, Gaurikund too has been cleared. In Chamoli, army personnel have been busy with evacuation ops in Hemkund Sahib, Ghagh­aria, Govind Ghat and Badrinath.

“On the very first day, people were so scared that they were desperate to get into the helicopters,” says Col Suneet Sohal, who has been involved in rescue and relief work for the last 20 years. “We had to convince them not to rush and assure them that they’d be rescued.” With choppers, the weight they carry is crucial. A little miscalculation on the desired load and the consequences can be disastrous.

Time and weather too have been major impediments to rescue effort. “It is difficult to carry out rescue operations because of the bad weather,” Lt Gen N.S. Bawa, GOC, HQ, Uttar Bharat area, and head of the relief operations, told Out­look. “Huge risks are involved.” The air force lost an Mi-17 on June 25 as it was bringing back members of the National Disaster Relief Force back to Dehradun.

Ten days on, the rescue work is almost over. But the army’s job is far from done. Dhruv is still making trips to Gaurikund ferrying rations for the 80 paratroopers working round the clock. On the day I choose to fly with them, we’re at the Gauchar air base, waiting to pick up cooking oil, veggies, rice, cereal.

His Glacial Lordship

HELL IN THE HIMALAYAS
The Deluge broke on the pilgrims—an undeclared visitation that tested their deepest beliefs

Hope in the air Pilgrims near Kedarnath await a rescue chopper

No screams: Indrajit Pathak, 85, was about to reach the Kedarnath shrine when he was caught in a rumble of stones and water. “Not a scream was heard!” he says. “Just the fury of water.”

8 thousand people (and counting) have been rescued by defence forces choppers

Pilgrimages are difficult journeys. They are meant to be. A relinquishing of life’s comforts is part of the idea. A 19th century picture of Kedarnath from the archives of the Geological Survey of India shows the temple stand tall amidst a landscape of nothing but imposing mountains. Mystics and wanderers have spoken of streams of consciousness and energy flowing in such places. With no distraction, just the vastness of nature all around, the pilgrim finds a sense of penance and, sometimes, his sense of self. Over the years, such journeys have become easier, with better transport and connectivity. Kedarnath is no exception. But still, not all difficulties have been eliminated. People come from everywhere, and every hardship, every stiff joint finds itself alive, exhilarating with joy.

For Ravi and Rekha Sharma, what pushed them on despite the difficulties was the fervour of devotees along the way. On June 16, the sound of the sheets of water pouring down had been violent and deafening. The rain hadn’t paused, even for the span of a breath. The couple from Baroda in Gujarat had had their Kedarnath darshan. It was on the trek down they were caught in the downpour. The beautiful landscape that had taken Rekha’s breath away the afternoon they had arrived was forgotten. There was something ominous about the sheets and bursts of rain, the thunder, the howling wind. Rekha had tried to hold her husband’s arm, but found the support of the mountain edge more comfortable. “He’d only moved a few steps ahead, and boulders suddenly crashed on to the road. I saw a huge gap. We barely had time to let out a cry.”

An angry stream, long restricted, gushed out taking with it large tracts of soil. Rekha was on one side; a few hundreds were across; the ones in the middle, like Ravi, were nowhere to be seen. The Mandakini, flowing below, had turned brown. Rekha remembers that Ravi was wearing a navy blue shirt.

His name is listed A gate at Dehradun airport is plastered with the roster of the missing. (Photograph by AP)

For the next three days, Rekha and about a hundred others tried everything, trying different paths, deceptive short cuts, rocky climbs, calling out the names of loved ones and waving garments to catch attention. In the end, it was all the same: they were stuck on a narrow road fringed by gorges and a deep, sharp decline in front. They reckoned they were a few kilometres short of Rambara, halfway between Gaurikund and Kedarnath. “We had nothing to eat except what we had carried with us. We could see food packets being dropped but they often ended up in the river. It was a very hungry river,” Rekha says.

The landscape, its chaos, sometimes serves as a mirror for the inner self. When the first chopper arrived, the ITBP men who’d taken this group to safety a few hours earlier had to tap into every ounce of their training to prevent a stampede. After the experiences of the last few days, all of them were restless, fatigued, grief-stricken. And all those days, there had been no way for anyone else to know if they were dead or alive.

1994 Mandela revisits his Robben Island prison cell

Memories
South Africa Diary
I write this as Nelson Mandela battles for his life in a Pretoria hospital

Question Times 

I write this as Nelson Mandela battles for his life in a Pretoria hospital. Memories of my two encounters with the great man and of my three visits to his beautiful rainbow nation come forth gushing. He visited India in 1995 and 1997 as South Africa’s first black President. During the first, I ask him at a press conference in New Delhi: “Mr Mandela, you seem to have a problem with (Inkatha Freedom Party president) Mangosuthu Buthelezi....” He cuts me short, and begins to reply with a quip: “My friend, I don’t have a problem with Mr Buthelezi. He’s the one who seems to have a problem with me!” The second too is at a press conference during his next trip. I ask him a question and get a non-committal reply. But it’s what he said to a colleague that I remember vividly. Question: “We hear you are in love. When are you getting married?” Madiba smiles. “Look fellas, you are too young to ask me about my love life! And I’m not telling you anything!!” He was to marry Mozambican President Samora Machel’s widow Graca 16 months later on his 80th birthday. She was 53 then.

Hero’s Eyrie

From Cape Town, I ferry to Robben Island, nine km offshore, to see the cell in which Mandela spent 18 of the 27 years he was locked up by the then white racist regime. My guide is a black gent who’d spent time in the same notorious prison. Mandela arrived here in the winter of 1964. Confined to a small cell, the floor was his bed, and a bucket his toilet. He was forced to do hard labour in a lime quarry, fought for several years for his right to wear dark glasses to protect his eyes from the shimmering glare of white lime slates as he broke them into small pieces. It was here that he contracted tuberculosis because of the lime powder he ended up inhaling. This ruined his lungs too and may eventually claim his life. He was allowed one visitor a year for 30 minutes. He could write and receive one letter every six months. The tiny cell is airy. Mandela would have seen people passing by in the corridor. As I stand in front of his cell, I remember visiting Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s cell in the Cellular Jail in Port Blair. His tiny, unlit cell has a narrow opening 10 feet above the floor! During the decade (1911-21) he spent there, he could not have seen anything or anybody from inside his wretched cell. Even sunshine could not reach him!

Radio Gaga

On my first trip to Durban, one winter evening I stand at the window of my room on the 12th floor of The Holiday Inn, and watch the sun disappear into the mighty Indian Ocean as the horizon turns orange. I come down and set out to explore Indian restaurants in this most Indian of South African cities. It begins drizzling a bit. Soon I find one, and order a meal. As I proceed to eat, the manager saunters in to ask if I am enjoying my dinner. I sure am, thanks. Am I a South African Indian? No, I am a visitor from India. What do I do? Journalism. He wants to know more. When I tell him, he emits a noisy sound of delight, shakes my hand warmly, and vanishes into the kitchen. In no time, he emerges with half a dozen of his smiling staffers. “Hey guys, meet the gentleman whose voice we hear on Radio Lotus! Sir, you are our bridge to India!” I shake hands with them all and pose for a picture. I ask for the bill. No bill. Sir! You are our honoured guest! After a protest and thanks, I ask for a taxi. The manager summons his driver: Take this gentleman and drop him wherever he wants to go. In Johannesburg on another trip, I go to Radio 702 to meet the famous John Robbie. After a half-hour chat over coffee, I go back to the elderly English lady at whose home I am a paying guest. As she drives me to the white lion park near neighbouring Pretoria, she mumbles: “Oh I didn’t know I am playing host to a famous gentleman! John Robbie was gushing about you on his radio show!”

Indian Footsteps

I go to Cape Point one chilly winter morning, and want to go up the lighthouse to catch a glimpse of the imaginary meeting point of the Ind­ian Ocean and the South Atlantic Ocean. It’s windy. I buy a windcheater, and ask the young salesgirl, who’s brown like me: Where are you from in India? (The Ind­ian diaspora in South Africa is 1.5 million-strong). She flashes a smile and declares: “I am South African!” “Where did your ancestors come from?” “They came from India a hundred years ago.” “Where in India?” She shr­ugs her shoulders, smiles sheepishly. “Sorry, no idea!”

Journalist and broadcaster Venkat Narayan is also the biographer of N.T. Rama Rao

Remembrance: Nelson Mandela


Ananda Bazar Patrika
October 18, 1990 An overwhelmed Mandela acknowledges a mammoth crowd at the Eden Gardens, Calcutta

At Sunset, A Colossus ‘Like Us’
Nelson Mandela, the master-healer, was friendly, but not partisan. He wrapped realpolitik around a moral code of courageous honesty and reconciliation.

He looked to his left, he looked to his right. His head had never turned to see, nor his eyes ever captured, such an expanse of humanity at one go as he now saw.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, fresh out of 27 years in jail, was in Calcutta, in the winter of 1990, on his first-ever visit to the country that had supported his struggle with passion. The Eden Garden cricket stadium was packed to far more than capacity, the green completely covered, the stands overflowing.

To say South Africa’s man of destiny was stirred would be to say the obvious. He was stirred beyond his expectation, his experience. To his host, West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu, seeing such a large gathering was nothing new. But even for the veteran Communist leader, there was something exceptional about that day. Jyotibabu had not seen such wild enthusiasm exploding in a public meeting, at least not since the time Calcutta greeted the then “just released” Bangabandhu, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Neither host nor guest forgot the experience, nor the real meaning that lay behind it—the turning of one of history’s most stubborn pages.

Here was a leader of leaders whose charisma and influence, strength and impact, had grown with each year that the apartheid regime had him jailed, and who had become a symbol not just for South Africa’s human rights struggle but for human rights across the world. Here was a man whose perseverance had led him to be released by a sob­ered regime that was, at last, seeing all its delusions col­la­pse. Here was a man who stood tall at the end of a struggle and at the start of its consequence: responsibility.

A major apartheid thesis, apart from its lies, was “the Bantu can agitate, the Bantu cannot govern”. The use of that racist term was in itself misapplied in the case of South Africa’s varied population. But it was the propaga­nda in it that did the greatest damage. It was meant to, and did, demoralise a people who knew time was on their side but were mystified by the working of the clock’s innards.


Mandela, on this, his first visit, was asked by people he met, and not just the inquisitive media, how he planned to vestibule struggle into power, agitation into governance. The query came from concern, not cynicism. Mandela did not give elaborate answers but his deme­anour showed he was in some tension. And in Calcutta, meeting the progeny of struggle, the local Marxists, in power, was an opportunity for him to learn something. The CPI(M) was at the head of a Left coalition. That, for Mandela, was a crucial fact—coalition. “Commies can agitate, they cannot run an administration”, was a remark that had been heard in the early and mid-1970s until the Left Front showed it could do so and—until the milk curdled in the 2010s—with flair.

And so, for Calcutta, there was more to Mandela than an icon. There was in him an ‘amader moto’ quality...a ‘like us-ness’. It was seeing a man whom the South African Communist Party, known the world over as the SACP, had accepted as ‘amader moto’ and more, had tur­ned to for what can be called a leadership-on-loan. Mandela was not a Communist, but the SACP knew of no one more sensitive to the class struggle than him, no one more committed to an egalitarian order. The SACP had an ideology, its cadres had commitment. But what of a leadership that captured the South African political imagination? That the SACP did not have, whereas the ANC had not a few mass leaders, the greatest of them being NRM, hailed by the world as Mandela and by his very own, as ‘Madiba’, a teacher who had the depth of a deep aquifer.

The Triple Alliance between the African National Congress, the Confederation of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the SACP was to embody a working alliance between a national movement and the Communists such as had not been seen anywhere. “I am told the Communists are using us,” Mandela was to say famously. “Maybe they are but then are we not using them as well?”

‘Using’ is a pejorative expression. Mandela knew that but he was not going to waste time being politically correct when he needed to be politically frank, politically wise, politically courageous. Joe Slovo, leader of the SACP, than whom there could not have been a more orthodox Com­munist, saw the need for mutual ‘usage’.

There are times when tactics, strategy and ideals coalesce. There are times when instincts, intuitions and intentions are in a flux. There are times pluck, spunk and plain dare hit it off and hit big. The first five years of the 1990s were such times for South Africa and at the joinery for all these comings together lay trust. Plain, old-fashioned trust—the kind that makes one leaves one’s home keys with someone merely because he inspires ‘yaqeen’.

Filling the Income Tax Return form

Shruti Srivastava : New Delhi, Mon Jun 24 2013

Around this time each year, I debate whether to do it myself or simply ask Manoj Kumar, the agent in our office, who has been doing it for me and several others for years. Embarrassed by my inability, this time I decided to take the bull by the horns and sat down to perform the seemingly-daunting task of filing my income tax return for this year.

I logged on to incometaxindia.gov.in, (you can also log on to incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in) and began by downloading the form. This is where you stumble on the first hurdle. Which form to download – ITR-1 Sahaj or ITR-2? The journey of demystification of filing of income tax return (ITR) thus began. 

To start with, all the taxpayers who have earned income above Rs 5 lakh in 2013-14, are required to file their income tax return in the assessment year (AY) 2013-14. The government has made many amendments to the Income Tax Act 1961, in the Budget 2013-14. While filing the return, you have to keep in mind the changes. Then, you have to understand the form that you have to fill. The salaried individuals, who are required to file their returns latest by July 31, have to fill what is known as ITR-1 (though there are certain exceptions to this which have been discussed later). If you fail to file returns within the due date and any taxes are payable by you after considering tax deducted at source (TDS) by your employer, advance taxes or other credits, you will be charged a penal interest at the rate of one per cent per month for the delay in filing the returns.

All the same, salaried individuals earning less than Rs 5 lakh and having saving bank interest income of less than Rs 10,000 in a year need not file their tax return. This too though comes with a rider. The exemption from filing return is available only if the employer has deducted the entire tax liability through TDS and deposited it with the government. If salaried employees have changed jobs during the year, they will not be exempt from filing the tax return even if they fulfill the condition.

All individuals having income above Rs 5 lakh have to mandatorily file I-T returns electronically. ITR-1, known as Sahaj form, has to be filled by individuals who have income from salary or pension, receive income from one house property or have income from sources other than winnings from lottery and race horses. However, if an individual has income by way of interest on, say, public provident fund or any other such government-issued bond or securities, or dividend, leave travel concession among others, which exceeds Rs 5,000, she will have to file ITR-2. Also, if you have a loss brought forward from previous year, you have to file ITR-2.

For the AY 2013-14, those having income up to Rs 2 lakh are exempt from tax payment. Those between Rs 2-5 lakh would have to pay tax at 10 per cent and those above Rs 5 lakh but below Rs 10 lakh have to pay tax at the rate of 20 per cent. Above Rs 10 lakh, the rate is 30 per cent.

For individuals who are above 60 years but below 80 years, income up to Rs 2.50 lakh is exempt from tax while that between Rs 2.50 lakh and Rs 5 lakh is taxable at the rate of 10 per cent. The other two slabs remain the same.

Individuals above the age of eighty years don't have to pay any tax on income up to Rs 5 lakh while the other two slabs in their case also remain the same as above.

On the other hand, ITR-2 has to be filed by any person who has more than one house, has income from lottery and race horses, income from sale of house or plot or shares (called capital gains), income from agriculture or exempt income in excess of Rs 5,000, or income from business or profession. Further, those individuals who claim loss under the head of income from other sources, or claim relief of foreign tax paid under section 90, 90A or 91 abroad or those who have any asset including financial interest in any entity located outside India, will have to file ITR-2.

The individuals need to file advance tax if their tax liability exceeds Rs 10,000 in a financial year. The advance tax can be paid in three installments – 30 per cent of advance tax by September 15; 60 per cent by December 15; and 100 per cent by March 15. If you miss the installment deadline, you can pay the tax later but with one per cent interest per month of default.

A raga connection

Gouri Dange

A still from 'Dil Hi To Hai'. Photo: The Hindu Archives

The classical underpinnings of many old songs fill them with magic.

Most of us ‘old song lovers’ are hooked to and entwined with the songs of SD, Naushad, Madanmohan, Ravi, Shankar Jaikishan, Kalyanji Anandji (and yes, even some LP), RD, Hemantda, Salil Chaudhari, Chitragupt, et al. In our unilateral view, any music directors and singers after that era will need to sit around in vats in some basement until they are appropriately aged and their music survives the test of time.

There is one school of old Hindi film song lovers/listeners who defensively and steadfastly refuse to be drawn into any talk about ragas used by music directors. Were you to even tangentially suggest that a particular song is so perfect for the lyrics and the situation in the film because the music director has chosen to cast it in a particular raga, the too-quick response is, “I don’t know about all this ragas-wagas-and-all. I just know it is so melodious.”

I for one am endlessly fascinated by how three or seven minute-long Hindi (and other regional) film songs could evoke and etch the personality of an entire raga. There are of course the out-and-out ‘Classical songs’ from films. They are great numbers, no doubt, usually set to dance performance or mehfil situations in the film itself. The raga-sangeet antecedents of such songs are evident up-front.

Every music director and singer worth his or her name has rendered many, and every yesteryear actor has worked hard on the picturisation of these songs on themselves. To randomly recall some: Dilip Kumar doing a great job of Rafi’s ‘Madhuban mein radhika’; Manna Dey’s ‘Phul-gendawa na maro’ or ‘Laaga chunari mein daag’. One can again and again watch Mehmood and Shubha Khote’s mischief behind the guru-shishya session in ‘Ajahun aaye balama sawan beeta jaye’. Or smell the Malhars in ‘Garajat-barasat sawan aayo re’. The duet ‘Manmohan man mein’ is virtually a lec-dem. Or there is Asha-Lata’s scintillating ‘Sakhi ri sun bole’. Many of these songs are originally compositions from the Hindustani classical tradition, on which the lyricist may have worked further to create stanzas. Tablas, tanpuras, sitars, jal tarangs and flutes play in the background or as little interludes in these songs.

And then there are a whole lot of film songs for which ragas have been used in the most ingenious and creative ways. The scene is rarely one of a classical music or dance setting. The raga’s mukhda or face may become apparent to the person versed in raga-sangeet, but this is simply not a must, for the song to please. The song appeals at first in its own right; only later do its raga underpinnings become apparent, and most times the use is so subtle, so clever, that while the raga base has done its job of creating the mood, hand-in-hand with the lyrics and the picturisation, there is no ‘classical music’ air about the song. The music director also takes calculated risks and liberties with the raga, rendering the song even more bewitching.

Some of my favourites (going in no particular order):

From Anuradha, Ravi Shankar’s ‘Haye re woh din’in Kalavati. Now a more obvious Kalavati song would be ‘Kahe tarasaye, jiyara’ fromChitralekha. But it’s the elegiac, nostalgic air of the other song that lingers. (There is some debate about both these songs being in Janasamohini.)

Kishore’s ‘Koi humdum, na raha’ — till recently I never thought about its raga. Then sitar player Shujaat Khan recently played it on his sitar to demonstrate raga Jhinjoti, and I had the ‘aha’ moment. The song’s pathos and sweetness owes as much to the singer, the picturisation, the words, as to this sombre raga itself.

While ‘Jyoti kalash chalake’ is the more obvious devotional Bhoopali, listen out for the same notes declaring themselves in a ‘Sayonara, Sayonara’! Or in the seductive ‘In aankhon ki masti. And I suspect that the night-clubby ‘Aage bhi, jane na tu’, is a Bhoopali too!

Intriguingly, K.L. Saigal’s dreamy waltz-like ‘Ae dil-e-bekaraar jhoom’ is powered by the notes of Bihag, which might usually be doing duty in a more classical ‘Tere pyar mein dildar’.

The haunting ‘Ek tu na mila’ is set in a Charukeshi, one realises many years after hearing the song. It is a raga that may be more evident in a ‘Baiyan na dharo, o balama’, presented in that film as a classical performance.

The great, purely classical number ‘Tere naina talaash karen jise’, showcases a Chayanat; but it is the Rafi song for Dev Anand ‘Hum bekhudi mein tum ko’ that is the more surprising and unusual use of the raga.

The haunting and mellow Patdeep is used in ‘Megha chaye adhi raat’ while ‘Saaz ho tum awaaz hoon mein’ is the more classical version. Haunting Shivranjanis (‘O mere sanam o mere sanam’) echo through the hills and valleys of many an old film.

One last song, which has an equally classical performance (Nutan with a tanpura, after throwing a giant window-breaking tantrum inSeema): the Jaijaiwanti of ‘Manmohana bade jhute’ — with Lata’s luminous voice in the lower octaves and quicksilver taans in the higher. This song is as much a film-moment as it is a music-moment.

What Possessed Him? Rajat Gupta’s Great Fall and America’s Indian Elites

Former Goldman Sachs board member Rajat Gupta exits Manhattan federal court after a pre-trial hearing last year in New York. (Photo by Seth Wenig, Associated Press.)

By: Ariel Ramchandani
Published: June 24, 2013

For many people, the biggest shock of the Galleon Group’s insider trading case was not the implosion of the hedge fund group, nor the conviction of its leader, Raj Rajaratnam. It was the indictment—and subsequent conviction—of Rajaratnam’s friend, Rajat Gupta. The former managing director of McKinsey & Company, Gupta was not only one of the most respected members of the Indian-American business community, but he had achieved even greater public renown as a leading global philanthropist in his post-McKinsey career. His fall from grace was the true shocker in an already-scandalous affair.

Last year, Gupta was sentenced to two years in prison for sharing confidential information he learned as a board member of both Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble with Rajaratnam. In a new book, “The Billionaire’s Apprentice: The Rise of The Indian-American Elite and The Fall of The Galleon Hedge Fund,” journalist Anita Raghavan seeks to find out why Gupta risked his stellar reputation in joining forces with Rajaratnam. She chronicles Gupta’s life from his childhood in post-partition India through his tenure at McKinsey, the world’s most elite consulting firm. The tale culminates with Gupta’s fall at the hands of New York federal prosecutor Preet Bharara, who was also born in India but raised in the U.S. Through Gupta’s story, Raghavan also provides an inside look at the community of Indian elites in the United States.
The Financialist: Why did you frame your story around Gupta instead of Rajaratnam, who was at the center of the federal insider trading case?

Anita Raghavan: Of all the protagonists in the Galleon hedge fund case, Gupta was the most interesting. He came from very humble roots, and as a teenager, he lost both of his parents. He shouldered all the responsibility of the family, and he worked very hard to get himself to America, then to Harvard Business School, and then to McKinsey. He served three terms as McKinsey’s managing director, and his Rolodex included Kofi Annan and Bill Gates. I was intrigued by the question of why someone who had so much going for him got involved with a short-term trader like Raj Rajaratnam, who was so different from him.

TF: So what did you ultimately conclude?

AR: When Gupta came back to New York in the 1990s, his world changed. For most of his career, he had worked in the hinterlands of Scandinavia and Chicago. When he came to New York, he started lusting after things he didn’t care about before. Here was a man who had bought his previous homes sight unseen. But then he purchased one of the most storied pieces of real estate in Connecticut, a palatial estate once owned by the founder of J.C. Penney. He started mingling with a group of financiers. I think he felt out of their league—at least financially speaking—and he wanted to be part of that group.

There’s a wonderful talk he gave at Columbia Business School about a year after he stepped down from the helm of McKinsey. You can see in that speech a man really casting about for what he wanted to do next in life and not feeling entirely at peace. At one point, someone asked him, “Are you happy?” and he said, “On some level, I’m happy. On other levels, I’m in the midst of a professional transition, and I’m not so happy.”

Whose Responsibility is Interoperability?

Journal Article | June 26, 2013 

Disclaimer: The views expressed are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Government, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. Army.

In early April, General Phil Breedlove, the President’s nominee to take over U.S. European Command (EUCOM) who was recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate, was asked at his confirmation hearing about the most important lessons learned from 10 years of NATO operations in Afghanistan. Leading the list was the increased ability of U.S. and allied troops to literally fight and operate side by side: “First of all, NATO in general, and some of the partners, has become much more interoperable.”[1] General Breedlove went on to say that the risk of losing this interoperability was one of his key concerns in thinking about how the North Atlantic alliance moves forward beyond Afghanistan.

Indeed, if there is one thing the United States military has come to value over the last decade of war – perhaps the only thing – it is having interoperable coalition partners. Having a coalition face down Saddam Hussein or the Taliban is not simply a matter of diplomatic window-dressing, designed to give the patina of international sanction. Although the operational necessity of Tonga’s contribution to the coalition supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom might have been questionable, the more recent ‘surge’ effort in Afghanistan – where non-U.S. coalition forces made up a third of the necessary forces deployed in 2009 – proved there may be instances where the United States needs the mass provided by a collective, coalition endeavor. Certainly there are challenges operating with and through alliances, but the benefits typically outweigh the costs – it is usually better operationally, politically, and economically to have coalition allies with caveats, for instance, than no coalition allies at all.

The challenge facing General Breedlove and those that agree with him is that there is insufficient attention being paid today to the interoperability imperative, perhaps out of the naïve hope that America and its allies are done with long, hard slogs on the ground. Too frequently in the U.S. defense establishment, there is little responsibility taken for building and maintaining interoperability, especially among the most likely, most capable future coalition partners such as Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. While there are some in the U.S. defense establishment, such as General Breedlove, that remain concerned about the loss of the interoperability gains made to date in places like Afghanistan, this concern has yet to shape policy or drive execution in a concerted, consistent, and compelling way.

In part, the bifurcated military structure of the U.S. defense establishment plays a role in this. In that structure, the individual services – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines – are responsible for providing trained and ready forces, while the geographic and functional combatant commanders – like EUCOM or Central Command (CENTCOM) – are responsible for conducting actual military operations. On the one hand, personnel within combatant command headquarters tend to think of interoperability as a service function – after all, the combatant commands are not responsible for whether and how Soldiers are trained, or whether and how they might operate side by side with a British Soldier, for instance. On the other hand, personnel within the service headquarters tend to think that interoperability with any particular ally or set of allies is a combatant commander responsibility, driven by the requirements of specific operations – the service focus is on the training and readiness of U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines.[2]

This has been particularly true of the U.S. Army in recent years. Whenever the Army has thought about ‘partners,’ it has typically been in the context of teaching foreign militaries how to do something they previously could not. The primary emphasis has been to instruct lesser capable militaries on basic tactics and techniques, not build and maintain interoperability across the range of military operations with our closest, most likely, most effective military partners. Even the relatively new Regionally Aligned Forces (RAF) concept – which is an important, welcome tool, primarily intended to enable the Army to respond more energetically to combatant command requirements for forces – falls short of emphasizing the importance of interoperability with America’s most capable, most likely future coalition partners.[3] For example, although the RAF concept is viewed as the Army’s means for helping to achieve the broadest of U.S. national security ends, which of course includes strengthened alliances, there is very little of the RAF concept that is driven by a requirement for interoperability. And given the RAF model of “habitual alignment of units with combatant commands,”[4] the interoperability gains are likely to be limited if the same Army unit trains and exercises with the French army, for example, over and over, potentially limiting exposure of other U.S. Army units to similar training with the French and America’s other most capable, most likely coalition partners.

One potential tool in the Army’s arsenal for maintaining interoperability is the ABCA program – designed to promote interoperability between the armies of America, Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. However, this has languished in recent years due to a lack of available forces, funding cuts, and episodic senior-level attention. Previously, the ABCA countries held one exercise every other year, but in 2004, the exercise was cancelled because there were not enough units available from the participating countries – the operational tempo of ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan made it difficult to send even small units to participate. In 2006, the exercise was cancelled again because the designated host for that year – Australia – was fully engaged in operations in East Timor. Instead, the Australians organized a large seminar for representatives from ABCA countries to attend. Thereafter, the ABCA countries decided to downgrade their biennial training exercise to an ‘activity.’

Leader-Imposed Stress


Journal Article | June 25, 2013 “The battalion Live Fire Exercise (LFX) had not gone as well as desired. The leadership was anxious as they prepared to brief the new brigade commander on the details of their validation training exercise. At the core of the battalion’s NCO and officer leadership were solid and very experienced combat veterans who were finally coming together after the tumultuous and frenetic reset phase. In his guidance prior to the exercise, the legendary Colonel M.D. ‘Mad Dog’ Brooks, the new Brigade Combat Team (BCT) Commander, had been very direct and precise about the live fire exercise tasks, conditions and standards he expected. He left little latitude for initiative and no margin error. His intent was to get the unit back to the ‘highest level of proficiency as quickly as possible,’ and everyone in the battalion understood that he was not satisfied with their current performance. 

"Administrative and maintenance problems plagued the exercise from the beginning, and many of them contributed to their failure to achieve the exacting training timeline established by the BCT staff. Unreliable range targets, crew-served and individual weapons malfunctions, vehicle operational readiness, and delays in the ammunition draw all combined to keep them off-schedule from the start. Through the sheer force of the battalion’s leaders, every company completed all of the training tasks. The Observer Controllers rated their gunnery skills and fire discipline as exceptional. Although the battalion’s Soldiers and junior leaders had some significant gaps in their tactical skills, they had just proven that they could still shoot, move and communicate like real warriors.

“As anticipated, the After Action Review (AAR) began badly. After the fourth slide, COL Brooks’ visible agitation transitioned to anger and he erupted. He retrieved a stack of 3X5 cards from his breast pocket, and summarily listed all the things the battalion had done wrong. He berated the battalion and company commanders as failures in front of everyone present. In concluding, he told them, ‘Your leadership incompetence is exceeded only by your collective inability to meet training timelines, maintain your equipment and weapons to standards, and conduct basic range administrative procedures!’ When the senior OC attempted to interject with the positive aspects the range and their highly successful gunnery results, Brooks immediately cut him off by stating, ‘Major, when I want you’re your opinion I will ask for it. Until then, keep your mouth shut!’

“Not allowing the briefing to continue, COL Brooks ordered the battalion to remain in the field until their problems were fixed. He abruptly left the briefing area, not bothering to talk further with the battalion commander or even the BCT S-3.”

This article explores the question, “What is the relationship between stress imposed by military leaders, building resilience, and operational performance?” As demonstrated in the vignette, COL Brooks’ leadership approach prior to and during the battalion’s AAR certainly increased the level of stress throughout the BCT. Clearly, he had high expectations for the organization, and his approach may be familiar to many who serve in the U.S. Army. Obviously, COL Brooks is interested in improving the battalion’s performance. What is not clear is the effect his leadership approach will have on the on the long-term performance of the organization and the resilience of its members. Instead of improving the organization, Brook’s imposed stress may actually have a debilitating effect by increasing the level of anxiety, limiting communications, reducing leader confidence, and negatively affecting the espirit de corps of the organization. 

Most leadership definitions include terms such as process, influence, direct, motivate, and goal achievement. The United States Army’s foundational leadership manual ADRP 6-22: Army Leadership (2012) adds an additional requirement of leaders not found in most discussions: that of improving the organization. This additional requirement places a demand upon leaders to lead in a manner that not only achieves short-term operational and individual results, but also improves the organization for long-term success. Among the key variables that must be considered in improving organizations are stress and resilience. While experienced leaders fully understand there are innumerable sources of stress in today’s contemporary environment, they may not consider how they themselves significantly contribute to stress and resilience. This article attempts to provide a discussion to improve leader awareness by increasing an understanding of stress and resilience, and relating the importance how leadership styles and beliefs of control can influence stress and resilience in both positive and negative ways.

Stress - Two Opposite Effects

Stress exists in all organizations, military or civilian, and leaders can influence the level of stress in Soldiers and organizations in either a positive or a negative manner. More importantly, leaders themselves are significant stressors of organizations and they can either improve or degrade their organization by the amount and type of stress they intentionally or unintentionally impose (Drach-Zahavy & Freund, 2007).

The term stress itself conjures emotional responses and is an often-discussed topic in contemporary military and civilian behavioral literature. In today’s military environment the term has achieved an elevated level of significance given the operations tempo experienced by military units and personnel serving in uncertain, dynamic, isolated, and life-threatening conditions. Moreover, there are significant costs associated with stress. Statistics abound that suggest employee stress contributes to organizational performance, morale, attendance, and loss of productivity. Some estimates contend 75 to 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related problems and about one million Americans are absent each day from work due to stress-related disorders. The World Health Organization declared stress a health epidemic that will cost US businesses an estimated $300 billion dollars in 2012. Even if the more skeptical reader considers these numbers to be inflated by 50%, they are still staggering and indicate a need for serious concern.

Quick, Quick, Nelson, and Hurrell (1997) provide common definitions for distress and strain as “the degree of physiological, psychological, and behavioral deviation from an individual’s healthy functioning.” (5) To some, this definition could wrongly indicate all stress produces a destructive result – strain. However, not all stress results in destructive strain. Every individual or organization requires stress to achieve productivity. The term “eustress” recognizes this. Eustress is derived from the Greek word “eu,” meaning well or good, plus the word “stress.” The authors define eustress as, “the healthy, positive, constructive outcome of stressful events and the stress response.” (4) Eustress contributes to positive inputs and variables that combine to contribute to successful mission accomplishment. 

In the early 1900s, Harvard researchers Robert M. Yerkes and John D. Dodson conducted a seminal study that has for nearly a century provided a framework for the impact of stress on performance. Known today as the Yerkes-Dodson Law, it suggests that as stress increases, so does performance. However, this occurs only to a certain point. After that, a further increase of stress results in a decline in performance as indicated in Figure 1(Quick et al., 1997).


Figure 1

Too much stress can have a negative impact that may result in debilitating strain on both people and organizations. The opposite of eustress is distress, or stress that results in significant strain, anxiety, and/or suffering (Quick et al., 1997). Distress produces negative results, usually results in poor productivity and morale, and can create significantly damaging long-term problems for organizations and personnel. Clearly, when reflecting on the vignette and COL Brooks’ approach, distress could be the logical result, especially over a long term. However, the line between leader-imposed eustress and distress is not always clear. What is certain is that there is a dependent relationship between stress and resilience, and that leader behaviors influence each.