On March 14, 2020, THE WEEK had published the article, ‘Victimised decorated Colonel Saurabh Singh Shekhawat promoted after years of wait’ written by our Special Correspondent Pradip R. Sagar. Pointing out several ‘errors’ in the article, Brigadier Saurabh Singh Shekhawat wrote to THE WEEK, seeking an apology:
1. I write to you in regard of article “Victimised decorated officer Colonel Saurabh Singh Shekhawat promoted after years of wait”, written by your correspondent Mr Pradeep R Sagar in “The Week” on 14 March 2020, which was also circulated widely on social media.
2. The article has three basic faults:
a) The very basis of article is inaccurate, as I have been approved along with my “batch” following the normal selection and promotion policy of Indian Army. Therefore, I have not “waited for years”, as the heading of article claims.
b) Army has a robust redressal mechanism. Officers and men do have grievances sometimes, which are very diligently and duly addressed by the grievance redressal system in the Army. I had an issue, I approached my organisation for justice, which was delivered very promptly, so there was no delay. As a senior journalist, I am sure you would know, that, this redressal system, and its internal process of delivering justice, is not open to public scrutiny.
c) I am a commissioned officer of Indian Army, and not a public figure, or a govt servant. Therefore, before writing on an issue which personally affects me (a serving Army Officer), Mr Pradeep should have verified the facts with me following the official channel, which our country’s responsible media persons know very well.
3. Projecting an administrative issue which is being dealt by Army as per procedure, “as controversy”, do make a sensational news with positive TRP. But, you should be mindful of the fact that such write ups hurt the sentiment of the individuals who are serving the country quietly with full passion and commitment, and you are also creating doubt in the minds of countrymen about their army they love so much.
4. I am extremely pained to read article in your magazine which was factually incorrect. May I request you to ask Mr Pradeep to tender apology for the wrong reporting.