Are Sportsman equivalent to warriors

Courtesy: Undisclosed

If there was one fear that would be most common amongst all in entire mankind or animals for that matter would be the fear of losing ones life. Have you ever imagined how a soldier bravely takes a gun and goes to the border with just one motto in mind. NATION. Bravery is not absence of fear but it is a judgement that something is more important than fear. Thats when a nation can be rest assured that it’s freedom is secure. How about judgement on the part of a cricketer who takes bribes, prefers playing club cricket over playing for the nation and one who would miss practice for the sake of an ad shoot.

Or think about this. Have you seen a player get run out because of the partner and express displeasure. Think about such people and compare them to the person who is fighting for your safety day in and day out.

When I see that an honorary rank has been given to cricketers it makes me feel ashamed and angry. Despite of being a sports lover and a national level sportsman I do not feel it is justified to award ranks from Army to sportsmen. I understand the need to confer them for their effort for the nation. And they should be conferred with the highest civilian award if needed. But not a rank in the Indian Army.


Honorary Rank of Indian Army to Dhoni and Bindra

Courtesy: Yash Mody


Just read and article on on Dhoni, Bindra and Rao getting Honarary Rank from the Indian Army. It makes me wonder what contribution one needs to make to get an Honoraray Rank from one of worlds most elite Armed Force. I guess we all know what Dhoni and Bindra have done in their field. So I went on to look for what (as I figured out later) Dr. Rao’s contribution was online and found his wiki page and that to his website

Dr. Rao is highly educated ( considering he is MBBS, MD, PhD in medicine apart from Combat related qualifications like CLET and DSc in Military Science ) and associated with the field of combat for over 17 years and the first thing I noticed that he and his wife Dr. Seema Rao had put in all these years without asking any compensation from the forces and purely as a service to the nation.

How many people would do that? Would a cricketer or a sportsman leave his field (where he is making a moolah) and enter the field of selfless service to the nation facing financial difficulties. I would leave this an open question!!


Courtesy: Simple Soldier

Many civilians wish to enroll in the Armed Forces but do not wish to devote their lives to the pursuit and the Army offers such people the chance to experience the Army way of life by joining the Territorial Army. The Territorial Army (commonly referred to as TA in India) is an organization of volunteers who receive military training for a few days in a year so that in case of an emergency they can be mobilized for the defense of the country. It is a second line of defense after the Regular Indian Army therefore the Indian Territorial Army is not a profession, occupation or a source of employment. It is only meant for those people who are already in mainstay civilian professions, in fact, gainful employment or self-employment in a civil profession is a pre-requisite for joining the Territorial Army. Update: Dr. Deepak Rao, MS Dhoni and Abhinav Bindra were pipped in by the Army Chief Gen VK Singh on November 1st, 2011. Dr. Deepak Rao was commissioned into the Para TA Regiment with the Hon. Rank of Major by the President of India on 1 Nov 2011 for his contribution of 17 years in modernization of Close Quarter Battle for the Indian Army and MS Dhoni and Abhinav Bindra have been commissioned as Honorary Lt Colonel for their achievements in cricket and shooting. “Every Territorial is twice a citizen, once when he does his ordinary job and the second time when he dons his uniform and plays his part in defense.” – Field Marshal William Joseph Slim, 1st Viscount Slim, KG, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, GBE, DSO, MC. History The Indian Defence Force, formed by the British in 1917 was replaced by the Auxiliary Force (India) and the Indian Territorial Force in 1920. The modern Territorial Army was formally inaugurated by the first Indian Governor General Shri C. Rajagopalachari on October 9, 1949 after the Independence Territorial Army Act was passed in 1948. October 9 is celebrated as Prime Minister’s Territorial Army Day Parade. The Territorial Army initially had various types of units such as armoured regiments, infantry battalions, air defence, medical regiments, engineers field park companies, signal regiments, EME workshops, coast batteries, ASC GT Coy, ASC Compo Pl, and AMC field ambulances. All such units were disbanded or converted to Regular Army units with the exception of infantry battalions by 1972. The Territorial Army units were involved in military operations in 1962, 1965 and 1971 . The “Terriers” as they are called have also taken part in Operation Pawan in Srilanka, Operation Rakshak in Punjab & J&K, Operation Rhino and Operation Bajrang in the North East. Departmental units came to the aid of the civil authorities during industrial unrest and natural calamities, most famous being earthquake in Latoor (Maharastra), Uttarkashi in Garhwal Himalaya and the super cyclone in Orissa. The Ecological units have arrested man made environmental degradation by planting 2.5 crore trees over 20,000 hectare of land in Mussoori Hills & Pithoragarh (UP), Bikaner & Jaisalmer (Rajasthan) and ravines of Chambal in Madhya Pradesh. Force Structure The Territorial Army is part of the regular Indian Army and it’s present role is to relieve the Regular Army from static duties and assist civil administration in dealing with natural calamities and maintenance of essential services in situations where life of the communities is affected or the security of the country is threatened, and to provide units for the Regular Army as and when required. Presently the Territorial Army has a strength of approximately 40,000 first line troops (and 160,000 second line troops) comprising departmental Territorial Army units such as Railway, IOC, ONGC, Telecommunication and General Hospital, and the non Departmental Territorial Army units of Infantry Battalion and Ecological Battalion affiliated to various Infantry Regiments. Terrier Training Infantry training is carried out on either urban and provincial systems depending on where the recruit originates from. Urban Training System Recruit Training: Training is carried out on weekends and holidays. Four hours of training is counted as one day. Thirty-two days in the first year only including a camp of not less than four days if the trainee volunteers with the written consent of his employer, if any. Annual Training: A minimum of thirty days, with extensions up to a maximum of sixty days including a camp for fourteen days. Post Commission Training: All Officers are required to undergo ten weeks of Post commission training within two years of their commissioning. Voluntary training to gain additional military training, provided the trainee Volunteers with the written consent of the employer, if any. Provincial Training System Recruit Training: For a continuous period of thirty days in the first year only. Annual Training: For a continuous period of two calendar months in the first and subsequent years. Post commission Training: Officers receive ten weeks of compulsory post commission training within two years of commissioning. Voluntary Training to gain additional military training, provided the trainee volunteers with the written consent of his employer, if any. Notable Members Many famous Indians have been members of this unique force, including Brigadier K P Singh Deo, former Cabinet Minister; Captain Rao Birender Singh, former Chief Minister of the State of Haryana; Subir Raha, former Chairman, ONGC; Padam Shree, Brigadier (Retd) Dr. Kapil Mohan V.S.M. PhD Managing Director, Mohan Meakin Breweries and various present ministers, legislators, senior civil officers and professionals. Muthukrishnan Iyyappan, commissioned in 1999 was the first officer of the Territorial Army to be permanently seconded to the regular army. He joined the 3rd battalion of 8 Gorkha Rifles and served a tenure at the Siachen Glacier (first officer of Territorial Army to serve in Siachen). He was also posted at the Defense Services Staff College where he was the Officer Commanding – Troops during 1999-2000. Navdeep Singh, a lawyer, is known to have received the highest number of decorations/awards in the Territorial Army. Major Vishal Bakshi, Chairman of VR Industries, was awarded with the Vishisht Seva Medal, on Republic Day, 2010. Prof. Dr. Deepak Rao, a military trainer, scientist, author, and physician is an authority in the field of Close Quarter Battle training. He was commissioned into the Para TA Regiment with the Hon. Rank of Major by the President of India on 1 Nov 2011 for his contribution of 17 years in modernization of Close Quarter Battle for the Indian Army. He serves as the Executive Director of the Unarmed & Commando Combat Academy and has been appointed as Resource Personnel for imparting training in Close Quarter Battle by the Ministry of Home Affairs, India.

Should Indian Army Honorary Ranks be conferred to Women?

While all the news channels and other media go all out showcasing the honorary rank by Indian army conferred to Dr. Rao, MS Dhoni and Abhinav Bindra my mind continued to wander in the thoughts from my article before where I saw contributions of one Dr. Seema Rao mentioned on various websites along with book covers. The unmatched feat of selfless contribution to the Indian Army that Major Dr. Rao has made for no less than 17 years is commendable because in no other country would a civilian dedicate his life to the service of the armed forces of the nation and there is one more person as a part of this crusade. After all I researched for my previous article I realized that not mentioning Dr. Seema’s work in the field of modernization of the army would belittle the meaning of my previous article.

So here I go again to bring forward my research of yesterday but this time the point of focus is not the honored but the one that should be honored.

Dr. Seema Rao and Dr. Deepak Rao on the field

Dr. Seema Rao is an MD, MBA in Crisis Management and PhD is daughter of a freedom fighter. She along with Dr. Rao has dedicated her life to the service to the nation. In a country were women are still looked upon as weaker sex and the army itself has many reservation in terms of capabilities of men and women stands a women who did not bring up a family for the sake of working for the nation. Her contributions include combat training, authoring books for the Indian defense forces and partnering with Dr. rao on all aspects of combat.

CQB training - Unarmed Combat

Dr. Seema doing a Fire Drill during training

A 7th degree black belt in military martial arts Dr. Seema rao is also a reflex shooting expert and instructor. She has been instrumental in training various chapters from the forces and the state police under the directive of the home ministry

She has won citation and awards for her contribution to the field of combat and unmatched dedication and grit she has displayed by not choosing a profession that would have brought her money and fame alike keeping in mind doctors are treated as gods in India.  She has also won word peace award from world peace congress for her work for her nation

Dr. Seema Rao

Now after finding so much information about her I wonder if just because of our systems/processes inability to appreciate a woman’s contribution to the Indian armed forces she should not be conferred with a rank. Well there is always a time to break a tradition that handicaps and start looking at things in their “suchness”.

Trophies and Citations

I hope if the state realizes that such a contribution of larger than life magnitude by a woman should be recognized and honored. And that’s where if not an honorary rank by the Indian Army, the system of honoring civilians with awards for contribution to the society be conferred upon Dr. Seema Rao

The Honorary Rank and the inquisitive mind ( Indian Army Territorial Army Rank to Bindra, Dhoni and Dr. Rao )

I have always loved combat and war and am a big fan of the Indian Army. Hence, if there is news concerning the army I have to take keen Interest. So when I saw it on TV today that MS Dhoni, Abhinav Bindra and one Dr. Rao had been conferred with Honorary ranks by the Indian Army I became restless to dig further. I immediately recollected something like this happening before to Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar (Air Force) and Kerala film actor Mohanlal. Now those are names that I hear day in and out. But who is Dr. Rao and why has he been given a rank in the Army is he an actor, is he a cricketer or some other athlete? The thought wouldn’t leave my mind so I decided to kill my curiosity and started researching to know what Dhoni, Bindra and Dr. Rao have in common to receive the Honorary Rank from the Indian Army. I won’t keep it a secret because I am sure even you would have guessed its “Nothing.” So lets take a closer look at how I reached to that conclusion. I asked myself a spate of questions and started finding answers from the only democratic medium I know “the internet.” I started looking for who they are and what they do or rather what they have done and their achievements.

Who’s who

Dr. Deepak Rao

Dr. Deepak Rao

  • Prof Dr. Deepak Rao (47) along with his wife Dr Seema Rao, spent their life by giving his expertise & talents in training Indian Army and Indian Forces, serving the Nation for 18 years.
  • They have pioneered an area of warfare called close quarter battle which is all battle within close proximity, a very crucial area in present day era.
  • They trained almost every elite Indian force in modern Close Quarter Battle for 17 years without accepting any compensation, as a Selfless service to the Nation.
  • The Raos developed an indigenous method of Reflex Shooting which was found to be very useful by Indian forces. This Indian research is now replacing outdated British WW-II methods.In short, they are responsible for modernization of reflex shooting for the Indian forces.
  • In addition they have authored the first encyclopedia of close quarter battle in the world which was distributed by the Indian Home Ministry each and every Indian force. The Rao’s have used their life’s earnings to produce this book and donated thousands of copies to the Indian government

MS Dhoni

  • MS Dhoni (30) is the captain of the Indian Cricket team. He has been been playing in the team from the around 2004/5.
  • He has been the most successful cricket captain for the Indian Side and is also one of the most endorsed player in terms of commercials and brands promotion.
  • He is also a good wicket keeper and has been instrumental in winning IPL, Champions league and other cricked, ODI world cup and other T20 competitions.
  • Dhoni hails from Ranchi and is the highest scoring keeper batsman and also winner of numerous awards for his cricketing abilities.

Abhinav Bindra

  • Abhinav Bindra is an Indian shooter from Zirakpur, Mohali, Punjab and is the current World and Olympic champion in the 10 m Air Rifle event.
  • By winning the gold in the 10 m Air Rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, he became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games and India’s first gold medal since 1980, when the Men’s Field Hockey Team won the gold.
  • He is CEO of Abhinav Futuristics.
  • Winner of world shooting championships in 2006
  • Has an indoor firing range at his house in patiala


This one really blew my head or as Dhoni would say bowled me out. I haven’t heard of many people with such credentials in my lifetime. MD, PhD, Doctor of Military Science, CQB Instructor, Scuba Instructor, CLET and what not along with the 8th degree belt in Military martial arts. I tried to put facts for Dhoni and Bindra together too.

Men at work: Dr. Rao training the Indian forces

Men at work: MS Dhoni at the crease

Men at work: Abhinav bindra ready to shoot

Here is a quick look at their credentials. Not a comparison, just a neat tabular layout

Dr. Rao Dhoni Bindra
8th Degree Black Belt in military martial arts Captain, Indian Cricket team Olympic Gold medalist shooter for 10m Air rifle event
Asia’s only certified Law Enforcement Trainer from American Society of Law Enforcement Training Chennai Superkings IPL team Captain Board Member, Abhinav Futuristcs
MD, PhD, Dsc (Military Science) Hon. PhD (DeMontFort Univ) BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration)
Modernized reflex shooting for Indian Army replacing outdated British WW II methodology First Indian to be the ICC player of the year India’s only gold medalist at olympics 10m Air Rifle Shooting
Guest Instructor in CQB for Indian Forces under invitation for 18 years without compensation Actor for TV commercials Actor for TV commercials
PADI-SCUBA instructor  State level Football player
Lower Middle class income group High income group Very High Income group


Now here is one department where I found great insights. Dhoni has contributed with world cup, and winning IPL, T20 world cup and what not. Bindra of course got us a gold medal at the olympics. Since their contributions to their field is obvious I wondered what would I be able to find about Dr. Rao and my curiosity was answered after some research.

Dr. Rao’s contributions to various fields related to the Indian Armed Forces


Dr. Rao conducting a CQB session

  • First Indians to specialize in Close Quarter Battle Training (CQB) and give this expertise for 17 years to train about 15000 soldiers from various Indian forces.
  • Played an important role in modernizing Close Quarter Battle Training for Indian Army Commands under invitation of Army commanders Gen. Deepak Kapoor and Gen. V.K. Singh who went on to become Army chiefs.
  • Under directive of Home Ministry, imparted modern CQB training to various Indian State Police forces.


Dr. Rao Authored the first Indian Textbook on “World Terrorism”. He has also written encyclopedias on close quarter combat and manuals for commando warfare. And all this without any compensation and solely for circulation within the Indian Armed forces only.

They have produced books solely for Indian forces with their meagre earnings and distributed it free to Indian forces only. Their books have found way into FBI, Interpol and SWAT libraries across the world.

Awards and Citations

Army Chief Citation

Home Ministry Felicitation for the Rao Couple

Dr. Rao at the world peace congress

MS Dhoni’s Awards

  • 5 Man of the series awards
  • 14 Man of the match awards
  • 1 Man of the match award for Test match
  • Padma Shri
  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
  • First Indian to win the ICC ODI Player of the year award
  • Topped the list of world’s top 10 earning cricketers

Abhinav Bindra’s Awards

  • Gold Medalist for India at Olympics, 2008
  • Gold Medalist ISSF World Shooting Championship, 2006
  • 3 Golds, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze at the Common wealth Games 2002, 2006, 2010
  • Arjuna Award, 2000
  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, 2002
  • Padma Bhushan, 2009

Dr. Rao’s Awards

  • First Indian to get World Peace Award at World Peace Congress in Malaysia, for his work for country in 2008.
  • Outstanding Law Enforcement Instructor Award from US Martial arts Hall of Fame in 2009.
  • Both were Felicitated by current Army Chief Citation at Ministry of Defense in 2010
  • Army Chief Appreciation 2001, 2005, 2010
  • Army Commanders Appreciation 2007, 2008
  • Home Ministers Appreciation 2009

End note:

The source of information for this article has been Wikipedia,, Dr. Rao’s blog – and Abhinav Bindra’s blog –

What impresses me about Dr. Rao and his partner Dr. Seema Rao is that they did not sell their patent of reflex fire to the ammunition company  Heckler and coch. They did not sell their popular book overseas they did not even sell it to interested parts of forces rather distributed free. They did not approach the press for publicity. They did not make money by training overseas security agencies. They maintained their fidelity to our armed forces throughout 18 years spending all their time in training Indian forces without accepting any money despite going bankrupt many a times

Also as I read more and more I realize that the woman along with Dr. Rao has equally contributed in modernization and training of the Army. But I guess by rule Indian Army does not give honorary ranks to women. May be this was a good point for them to start doing so. I only hope the nation realized their inputs.

And a big credit to the Indian armed forces for being open minded to adopt a better method of reflex shooting over the outdated British world war II method. And Salut to Major Rao because in no other part of the world would civilians dedicate their life and all their earning to for serving the forces without demanding any compensation or credit.

A greatly deserved Honorary Rank from the Indian Army to a great man.