How Some Officers Spoiled IMA/NDA’s Rich Culture and Heritage Over The Years And How to Prevent Such Abuse in Future


The text of this message/post has been sent/tweeted to honorable RM Madam Nirmala Sitharaman /MoD with a request to order a case study to result in placing safeguards to prevent further abuse ( including sexual) of the vulnerable in army especially when we now have female Cadets/Officers

See celebration/bragging of abuse; image titled as Terror of IMA on Tripat Singh’s FB timeline. Tripat Singh (TS) is so proud of slapping/abusing GCs when he was Adjt of IMA as he had immense power/authority over them. The creator of this abusive image/post on Gen Tripat Singh’s timeline is Col Raveen Kumar, Armd Corps ( 73 Reg/63 NDA). He along with TS fully defended the image along with its abusive message and its celebratory tone during my interaction with him when I raised observations.

Seeing this message reminded me of an immoral equivalent title: Butcher of Amristar ( Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of 1919 by Gen Dyer) ). Even Gen Dyer had his supporters back in England like we have Col Raveen Kumar here. He even used disrespectful language towards me defending Gen Tripat Singh’s behavior. TS does not express an iota of remorse/shame even at this ripe age when I recently confronted him and asked him to express remorse and an apology. Incidentally, my interaction with Gen Tripat Singh happened on Gandhi Jayanti: Birth anniversary of the apostle of peace & nonviolence. During his tenure, he slapped hundreds of GCs ( soon going to be officers) on the face/cheek for reasons as flimsy as smiling, grinning or no reason at all. He normally slapped 3-5 GCs while riding a horse in one parade session. I am sure I can recollect few names of GCs he slapped in IMA who are currently serving in the Indian Army as Lt Gens. Can you even imagine such a situation! He often came speed-charging at them while riding a horse and enjoyed causing fear and terror in them.

He deleted the image below titled: TERROR OF IMA when I raised serious observations with him. He called me names and used words close to profanity. Deleting the image, in a way, he chickened out: So terror stands deleted. I am requesting a case study of this abuse to prevent such abuse in the future as now we even have female GCs and female officers, and one can well imagine the extent the abuse can go to if such persons have power over them. I will be writing to PMO/MoD/RM requesting them to order a case study of this instance of massive abuse at the wholesale level and suggest measures to prevent such abuse in the future in the military academies and Indian Army.

I asked following questions to Gen Tripat Singh which he did not answer:
1. Did he hit/slap his own family/children? Yes or No? If No then why he slapped only GCs?
2. Will he slap Mike Tyson if he crossed his path and offended him ( say by bad manners)? If no then why No?

I don’t take much pride in saying: I DID ANNIHILATE HIS BRUTAL TERROR COMPLETLY on 17 DEC 1981.

The commandant of IMA in 1981 was Gen Matthew Thomas, Para Regt who was later caught in a sexual scandal with the wife of his ADC (prime witness: Col PK Royal, Sikh Li).

Another such terror existed in 1980 at NDA: Capt GS Malhi Armd/7 CAV, a Sikh officer. Later he retired as a general officer. He always carried a stick and often hit (hard) the cadets with the stick at NDA when cadets made some mistakes as per him. He tried to hit me as I was wearing a patka and not a turban during the morning stand to. I could observe that he really enjoyed his power over cadets by hitting them. When attacked, I caught the stick with my hand and firmly told him not to do such a thing again ever. He did not and was not successful in hitting me.

He and DS lobby(including Dy Comdt VS Shekhawat, later Naval Chief) then rallied to get me relegated and even tried to get a civilian instructor ( name can be found if needed) fail me in my BA ( Through JNU) exam which I had already passed. The civilian education instructor, a Sikh officer, firmly declined their request as he had already submitted the results, this he later confided in me. I was saved from relegation because of one factor and one person only: NDA had an IAF Commandant, and the person was AVM MJ Dotiwalla at that time. I am still thankful and proud of him and IAF. On a positive note, I am quite sure that if I confront Gen Malhi now he will most likely express remorse of his past actions, unlike TS.

Few years before I took PMR, I learned that a local CO had abused his power and was having sex with a lady officer of his unit. I met the lady and informed her that I will confront the CO and report the matter. The lady accepted that she was an unwilling partner and was forced into the situation. She started crying and even touched my feet requesting me not to report the matter and never share the information with anyone to protect her honor and her future marriage prospects. I finally gave in and did not report the abuse but ensured it stopped immediately. This CO later rose to become a General Officer.

After so many years, I had no intention of raising these power abuse instances. But, a recent interaction with Gen Tripat Singh where he displayed no remorse at all, forget about getting an apology. He even used abusive language towards me which triggered me to request a case study. It is the karmic interaction with the past abuser which made the incidents alive again. I am not seeking any personal action against these past blatant abusers but the aim is to prevent it in the future in the Indian Army which I still hold so dear. We all are responsible and accountable for all our actions: past and current.

Also, it is worthwhile to note that such abusive behavior was tolerated and maybe even encouraged by the superiors and these abusers successfully rose to become General Officers.

A Brief statement by the prime witness, also a famous mountaineer-
Col Satish Sharma, Retd, ex-14 Dogra (twice climbed Mt. Everest and has two gallantry awards):

“Yes, I vividly remember that day of our POP rehearsal during Dec 1981, when we were late by few seconds for the fall in and unfortunately GC Swarnjit was caught by Adjt that time Maj Tripat Singh who was riding a horse. He tried to reach the GC by his collar, which was aptly countered by the GC. Adjt was shocked and embarrassed. That can’t be forgotten, as during our younger days we tend to be short tempered and of erratic behavior. With the passage of time, we need to correct ourselves. But boasting about that at this stage of life is certainly not acceptable.
Also if he has equally terrorized his children the way he did the GCs, then we can take the same as his personality disorder. Otherwise, it is purely a selective sadistic attitude.”

LEGEND: IMA- Indian Military Academy, GC-Gentleman Cadet, Adjt-Adjutant (normally a Major), DS-Directing Staff, NDA-National Defense Academy, IAF-Indian Air Force, CO- Commanding Officer, Dy Comdt-Deputy Commandant, PMR-Premature Retirement, ADC-Aide-de-camp, AVM-Air Vice Marshal, POP-Passing Out Parade, JNU-Jawaharlal Nehru University

Author- Lt Col SJSU Mardi, Retd.

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