Tarmak007 -- A bold blog on Indian defence

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Armed forces lose a passionate soul, media a friend in need

(Photos: Basani Satheesh KUmar a.k.a. Skyman)
Chennai\Bengaluru, April 22: Ministry of Defence (MoD) lost one of the most vibrant Public Relation Officers (PRO) following the demise of Natesan Andavan, who handled the operations in Chennai. 
Andavan was admitted to the intensive care unit of Sundaram Medical Foundation in Chennai after he was first hit by an auto rickshaw and later run over by a two-wheeler on Monday evening. 
The incident happened while he was crossing the Poonamallee High Road in Purasawalkam after a routine medical check-up on Monday. He was on a life support system for the last two days. 
Natesan (52) is survived by his wife Joy Andavan, News Editor with All India Radio, son Benjoy (MBA student) and daughter Catherine (engineering student). The funeral is scheduled on Tuesday morning at his native Perumuchi village, near Arakkonam, in Tamil Nadu. 
Caught the attention of the media at very short time 
Andavan joined MoD’s Department of Public Relations (DPR) in 2009 and won the hearts of the media within no time. 
“I knew him very closely for the last five years. He always helped us to get insight into many defence stories. He also went the extra mile to educate the media on defence matters. He was always available to us and never gave any excuses,” says Dennis S Jesudasan, Special Correspondent, The Hindu, Chennai. 
“At the end of the day, Andavan knew the deadline pressures of the media,” says Dennis, who has Space and Defence beats under his belt. 
Echoing the same sentiments of Dennis was S Anandan, Special Correspondent (Defence) with The Hindu, Kochi. 
“He was very fine human being and very helpful. He was with me during the naval Exercise MILAN in the Andamans a couple of years back. He was the polite face of MoD’s PR set up, yet effective. He exactly knew the needs of the media and had a very gentle way of executing his work,” says Anandan. 
According to S Anil, Chief of Bureau, The New Indian Express, Thiruvananthapuram, Andavan was a matured soul. 
“His interest in Journalism was immense and he did a Defence Correspondents’ Course (DCC) with us in 2009. I saw a very simple soul in him and he was very enthusiastic in learning new areas of interest. His sudden demise is a huge loss to the media fraternity,” says Anil. 
He made an impact, says Manohar Parrikar 
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was among the early birds to mourn the death of Andavan on Monday. 
Expressing shock and grief at the untimely demise Andavan, Parrikar said Andavan was a professional communicator who excelled in every aspect of journalism and public relations. 
“He made a definite impact among the media fraternity. My heart goes out to the bereaved family at this critical moment in their lives,” Parikkar said. 
MoD Spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said Andavan was a amiable personality with an abiding interest in defence related issues. 
“He was a great colleague who was very quiet and profound as well. He was extremely meticulous in his job. He turned around the Chennai zone into one of the most active PR hubs for MoD. We had some concerns with the Chennai office before he took over in 2009. But Andvan restored the image of DPR within short time,” Kar told OneIndia over the phone from Delhi. 
According to Group Capt T K Singha, Chief PRO (Defence), Kolkata, Andavan was a very endearing person, unassuming but very keen to learn defence matters. 
“He was a great team mate. Even journalists from Kolkata who met him at Port Blair for Exercise MILAN are shocked to hear of his sad passing away. MoD will surely miss his services,” says Singha, former Spokesperson of Indian Air Force and a prolific writer. 
“In Andvan’s demise, the Armed Forces lost a very passionate soul,” adds Singha. 
MoD sharpshooter ‘Skyman Satish’ is orphaned now 
Basani Satish Kumar a.k.a Skyman, a senior photo officer with MoD, said that he is orphaned with the demise of Andavan. 
Satish, one of the most-sought-after photographers of MoD, had been working with Andavan for the last five years. 
“He always did his homework before dealing with the media. He always wanted to be abreast of the happenings in Indian armed forces. He was a great football fan as well and life will be different for all us from now on,” says Satish. 
The Regional PRO Office of MOD in Chennai is situated inside the Secretariat Complex. 
Madhu Nair, an active official with the Regional PRO Office in Bengaluru said that Andavan always took the media into confidence while handling sensitive issues. “It was a great learning curve for all of us whenever we had opportunity to work with him,” says Madhu. 
FDAJB mourns the demise of a helping soul 
The Forum of Defence and Aerospace Journalists, Bengaluru (FDAJB), an active network of media personnel, condoled the sudden demise of Andavan. 
“It will be difficult for MoD to replace Andavan. His passion levels, keenness to help journalists and down-to-earth nature made him different from other PROs. His short tenure in Bengaluru (holding additional charge) gave an opportunity to the forum members to see his working style from close quarters. He will be missed,” FDAJB said in a statement. 
Andavan played a key role during the visit of some of FDAJB members to the Tri-Service Command in Andamans in 2010. 
“He was a very upright officer and very accommodating person. He was not the typical uptight defence PRO. His interactions were always with the aim of keeping the relationship alive rather than for the sake of a story,” says Chethan Kumar, Principal Correspondent, The Times of India, Bengaluru. 
You will be missed Natesan Andavan! 
Your work will definitely inspire many Defence PROs of tomorrow. 
(This obit first appeared on OneIndia)

Monday, April 13, 2015

MMRCA RFP buried; Parrikar drops enough hints

Just under 48 hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit a clean one-ball 36 by asking the French government to deliver Rafale frontline fighters from Dassault Aviation via the government to government (G2G) route, his key man in the union cabinet and India's Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar did a tail clean-up act on Monday, April 13. Addressing the media at the South Block, ahead of his four-day visit to South Korea on Tuesday, Parrikar gave enough indications that the government was in no mood to continue with RFP for the 126 MMRCAs, currently stuck in a price-negotiation muddle.
Full report here: http://bit.ly/1IXHfC0

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Rafale story far from over; Govt to keep HAL in the loop

By Anantha Krishnan M

Bengaluru, April 11: Thirty-six Rafale jets for the plane-deprived Indian Air Force (IAF) from Dassault Aviation! That’s news all around since last night after Prime Minister Narendra Modi sprang yet another surprise. 
Finally, the much-hyped mother of all deals jettisoned out of the red-tape-trap, with even the number 36 surprising many. 
Plane pundits are already out with many theories, with some even wondering the ‘logic’ behind going for such a small order, which is just enough to fill only two Squadrons. 
But, those who saw the Rafale script from close quarters confirm to OneIndia that the story is far from over. Any more surprises on this front? “Can’t predict,” they say. 
Sources confirm that the Modi government is in no mood to push Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) away, despite a strong private lobby wanting it to be out of the Rafale frame. 
“Any additional orders for Rafales will have to be via the Make in India route and it will be HAL who will be manufacturing the same. The private sector too will be roped in subsequently,” an official in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said. 
Reacting to the deal, Air Marshal M Matheswaran (Retd), former Deputy Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff (Policy, Planning and Development), IAF and currently an Advisor to HAL, told OneIndia the government’s was keen to find a quick solution. 
“The PNCs are good if they find a logical solution. In my personal opinion the RFP is a closed chapter now. I am sure the government will take a fresh call. All the future moves will be linked to Make in India, ToT (Transfer of Technology), production standards, delivery schedules and HAL’s role,” says Matheswaran.
Full report on OneIndia, here: http://bit.ly/1CGfjxB
Earlier report on OneIndia, here: http://bit.ly/1aiYWQJ

First Indian pilot to fly at supersonic speed dies at 95

ACM H Moolgavkar (Retd] (extreme right in photos above and below).

Air Chief Marshal Hrushikesh Moolgavkar (Retd), the first Indian to touch supersonic speeds, passed away in Pune last (April 9) night.
Moolgavkar’ historic supersonic flight was on a Mystere-11 bomber in France in 1951.
Indian Air Force (IAF) said that Moolgavkar had been admitted to the Command Hospital in Pune since March 29. He was 95. He is survived by a son and a daughter.
Moolgavkar was the IAF Chief from 1976 to 1978 and retired after serving the nation for 38 years.
A memorable fly-past in 1947: The ace pilot had the rare distinction of leading the fly-past on maiden Independence Day celebrations in 1947. As a Squadron Leader then, Moolgavkar led a formation of Tempest, with thousands waving at his team -- just hours after India won Independence.
According to aviation historian Jagan Pillarisetti, the former IAF Chief was a WW-2 (Burma) veteran and a recipient of Maha Vir Chakra (1948).
“His competence as an ace pilot manifested as he flew 67 types of aircraft during his long span in the IAF. He also led the fly-past team on January 26, 1951, the Republic Day,” an IAF spokesperson said.
Commissioned into the Royal Indian Air Force in November 1940, he fought the Japanese Army in 1941. 
He was the Captain of the first flight of four Ouragan fighters flown to India from France. He was also among the first to fly the MiG fighter in 1954 and the Gnat in 1954.
Guided IAF into the jet age: Speaking to OneIndia from Delhi, former IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy (Retd) said that Moolgavkar was a very demanding person.
“He was an outstanding professional and a non-nonsense man. He gave major directions to the IAF when it was getting on to the jet age. He had a great sense of humour as well,” Krishnaswamy said.
IAF veteran and former Commandant of Aircraft System and Testing Establishment, Bengaluru, Air Vice Marshal Ajit Lamba (Retd) told OneIndia that Moolgavkar will be always remembered for his bold decisions.
“He lived a full life,” Lamba said.
Never stopped flying even as the IAF Chief: The IAF says that Moolgavkar always maintained his flying status even after he took over as the Chief.
“As the CAS, he would often go on flights on MiG-21s, which also included the first flight of HAL0built MiG-21M [C-1531]. He was responsible for bringing the IAF’s accident rate under control,” a spokesperson said.
The Funeral Parade is being planned to be held tomorrow (April 11) at Shakti Dham, Golibar Maidan, Pune. A memorial service will also be held at the Officers’ Mess, Air Force Station, Pune.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tarmak007@5! Thank You all for the wishes!

Tarmak007@5: Sharpshooter Satheesh picks 5 from his golden archives

A lovely Travancore Anchal Post box at Madras Regimental Centre, Wellington.
Rare photo of INS Vikramaditya sailing past reflection of moon in Arabian Sea.
A low-flying MiG-29K is in no mood to land on INS Vikramaditya.  
Sam Bahadur's bungalow 'Stavka' in Coonoor built in 1973, post his retirement.
 R.I.P. Sam Bahadur. A Life Well Lived. His last words were: "I'm okay."

Tarmak007@5: Little Arnav's Sarang salute!

"Here's a small tribute to a blog that has been guiding me. Thought this would be the right photo to celebrate the occasion of 5th birthday. With a 5 Sarang members in a line," says Arnav Pai, the passionate shutterbug-cum-student from Bangalore.  Thank You Arnav!

Tarmak007@5: Stitch India Digital pays tribute to Tarmak007

Above are 3 superb creatives from the hangars of Stitch India Digital, who put together media platforms to weave stories that Connect, Engage and Delight. Here's their FB link: http://on.fb.me/1CtDHSW. Thank You, Team SID!

Tarmak007@5: Wonderkid from Mhow Herron weaves a magic video

When God sent 21-year-old Herron Waskel to Earth, he had a very definite purpose. To edit videos that touched your hearts. To edit videos that inspired you.
So, the BBA e-Commerce student hailing from Mhow in Indore took all the pains to email me this brilliant video to mark the occasion of Tarmak007 completing 5 years on the blogsphere.
A hardcore devotee of Tarmak007, Herron started editing videos when he as was just 15 years old.
This is the first video ever made on the blog and it's truly inspiring. Thank You Herron. You are my Hero!

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