Tuesday, March 24, 2015


In the “FAUJ” – Rank Has its Privileges (RHIP)

A few days ago I saw a notice board outside the “Liquor Section” of a Military CSD Canteen.

(You must be aware that as a “perk” – Defence, Paramilitary and, maybe, some Central/State Police Personnel – all these “faujis” are entitled to liquor at concessional rates  and probably some “part-time faujis” like Reservists, Territorial Army, NCC Officers, Defence Civilians etc also enjoy this privilege).

Coming back to the story – on the notice board  were listed the monthly “Liquor Quotas” for various military ranks, serving and retired.

In the Defence Services – Rank Has its Privileges (RHIP) – yes  in the “fauj”  everything depends on rank – especially perks and privileges – even after retirement – so even the liquor quota was based on the RHIP Principle – yes – your liquor quota increases in direct proportion to your rank – the higher your rank – the more booze you get – even after retirement.

This was known to me – as I was well aware of the rank conscious “feudal” culture still prevalent in the Defence Services.

But as I read down the list – I was taken aback.

Apparently – even widows were entitled a “Liquor Quota”.

(I was not aware that widows were entitled a liquor quota – both my mother and my mother-in-law are widows of defence officers – and I have never seen them drawing liquor from the CSD Canteen)

What surprised me was that even this widow’s liquor quota was as per the deceased husband’s rank – the higher the deceased husband’s rank – the more bottles of liquor his widow was entitled every month.

I am not sure of the exact “Widow’s Liquor Quota” – but roughly – Widows of Generals were entitled 7 bottles a month – for widows of other officers it was 5 bottles a month – and maybe it was around 3 bottles of liquor for the rest. 

I was amazed at the absurdity of this liquor quota for widows.

Firstly – was there any logic in incentivising and inducing widows to drink liquor?

Secondly – do most widows really drink liquor?

Thirdly – do widows of senior officers need to drink more liquor than other military widows? 

I wonder how many widows actually draw their monthly liquor quota – and in case of widows who regularly take their monthly liquor quota from the CSD Canteen – there are no prizes for guessing where the subsidized liquor is going.

I had seen RHIP rank discrimination for perks and privileges for military personnel and veterans  but to extend this RHIP concept to widows – and that too for “Widow’s Liquor Quota” – it seemed quite absurd to me – extending RHIP even after death of the fauji”.  

All these thoughts reminded me of a spoof I had written 3 years ago titled THE MORE YOU DRINK THE HIGHER YOU GO

So let me delve into my HUMOUR IN UNIFORM archives – and pull out for you this spoof – and post it once more under a new title OLQ = ALCOHOL TOLERANCE LEVEL for you to read, enjoy and mull over.

But before you start reading the article – please read the “disclaimer” – and proceed further only if you have a “sense of humor” – which seems to be scarce nowadays.



or conversely
A Spoof

1. Please read this blog post only if you have a Sense of Humour. This is a Spoof  simple light-hearted humour  just for a laugh. So please take it with a pinch of salt and have a hearty laugh.
2. Serious humourless mentally straitjacketed “Service Minded” OG types are advised not to read this article.
3. This spoof is a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Here is one of my retirement musings on what I feel is an absurd interpretation and ludicrous implementation of the Rank Has Its Privileges or RHIP Concept. 

I am posting it once more for you to read, enjoy and ponder over. 

As I said, this is a spoof, for fun, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh

Cheers ... !!!


Conventional wisdom says that as you grow older you should reduce your consumption of alcohol and drink less liquor.

However, the Military Canteen Stores Department (CSD) seems to think otherwise.

The more senior you become, the more booze you are supposed to drink.

Yes, your liquor quota increases according to your rank.

I am not aware of the exact liquor quota nowadays, but in our time, junior officers got about 12 bottles of booze a month, the mid-level officers got 14 bottles a month, and senior officers got 16 bottles a month, and flag officers (Admirals) got unlimited liquor. 

I understand that even after retirement Generals, Admirals and Air Marshals enjoy unlimited liquor entitlement.

Well, the numbers may have changed, but the logic remains the same:

Your liquor quota increases in direct proportion to your rank

Going by this topsy-turvy logic one may draw the inference that the more senior you become the more liquor you are supposed to drink.

Conversely, as a corollary, one may surmise that promotion is directly proportional to your drinking capacity or alcohol tolerance level. 

The inference that can be drawn is that drinking enhances OLQ (Officer Like Qualities). 

In a nutshell, this liquor quota conundrum seems to be like a vicious cycle:


(on the premise that high rank increases the appetite for alcohol)


(on the premise that Drinking Enhances OLQ or Officer Like Qualities)

Yes, the more the booze you can put down the hatch and the more alcohol you can imbibe, the greater are your chances of promotion to higher ranks. 

Ostensibly, in the Army and Navy, Career Prospects are linked to Drinking Capacity. 

Your promotion depends on your drinking prowess.

It is simple: The more you drink, the higher you go


Let me now digress a bit:


By the way, at least in my case, this “promotion is directly proportional to drinking capacity” theory did not hold true. 

For had this premise been foolproof, then 
yours truly would surely have become an Admiral; because in my heyday, I could comfortably polish off more than half a bottle of Rum in a drinking session. Yes, I had enormous capacity to hold my drinks and I could easily drink most of the guys under the table.

Sadly, now I am a teetotaller, but during my early navy days I loved to drink and was a passionate drinker with great drinking capacity. 

If career prospects indeed depended on drinking capacity, I should have certainly gone high up the promotion ladder.

But maybe, I was an exception to the rule. 

And, of course, there is a saying:  an exception proves the rule 


Jokes apart, I feel that this absurd logic of a “pecking order” for liquor quotas is a rather bizarre interpretation of the RANK HAS ITS PRIVILEGES (RHIP) concept. 

In fact, it is a rather feudal approach. 

It extends the evil of rank based discrimination to absurd limits.

Can you please tell me by what logic does an elderly ageing senior officer require to drink more alcohol than his much more younger and youthful junior?

In fact, if you ask me, it may be more prudent to give more liquor quota to young carefree bachelor officers and keep them in “high spirits” rather than facilitate senior married officers to drown their sorrows in alcohol and damage their health, besides ruining their family life. 

This RHIP discrimination continues after retirement too.

This happens despite the fact that once you retire you relinquish your active service rank and become a civilian and are considered equal in status with all others.

So while you are in service, your Promotion Potential is directly linked to your Drinking Capacity (also called Alcohol Tolerance Level in medical parlance). 

If you are a good drinker you will have two advantages:

1. Your drinking prowess will enable you reach high rank while in service.

2. Once you hang up your boots, it will ensure that in view of your high rank you will get a higher liquor quota even after retirement.

And now, someone tells me, even the paramilitary forces want to join the liquor quota bandwagon and are applying the same bizarre RHIP logic for determining liquor quotas and want to continue the same rank-consciousness after retirement too.

Some uninitiated civilians must be wondering what is this liquor quota all about?

Well, maybe some veteran can correct me, but as far as I understand, this liquor quota concept seems to be “Relic of the Raj


The genesis of this liquor quota probably goes back to the days of the British Raj when a British Officer serving in India away from home was given a certain amount of liquor at concessional rates. 

After Independence, like most rules and regulations made by the erstwhile British rulers, this concept was continued. 

Yes, in many cases we continue to follow archaic “Royal” traditions in our services, some obsolete customs and traditions which even the British have done away with long ago. 

One wonders whether the British Military still have a liquor quota for their servicemen and ex-servicemen. 


As far as the Royal Navy is concerned, I read somewhere that British Royal Navy has discontinued the daily “Rum Rations” given to sailors on board ships which was a centuries-old tradition from the days of the “Rum Bum Lash Navy” 

(or Rum Sodomy Lash Navy” as Sir Winston Churchill is alleged to have famously quipped). 

This day, 31 July 1970, the last day when Rum Rations were served to sailors, was observed as Black Tot Day”.

Whether this “perk” of subsidized liquor is good or bad is a debatable issue. 

But it is certainly an incentive to drink alcohol.

I remember that subsidized liquor (or military rum in popular parlance) was considered a big perk in the erstwhile days of prohibition, when drinking was not quite prevalent in civilian society and there was hardly any good quality Indian Liquor available.

But nowadays, post liberalization and globalization, the choicest of liquor is freely available all over, and since most states levy various taxes and VAT on CSD goods anyway, there is hardly any price differential between the CSD and Civil rates, so gradually a day will come when this “liquor quota” will become irrelevant.


It is interesting to note that whereas there is “rank bias” in the entitlement of CSD liquor quota, there is no “gender bias” as far as booze is concerned. 

In the defence services, the liquor quota is a gender neutral perk.

Yes, as far as drinking alcohol is concerned, lady officers of the army, navy and air force have equal opportunity to imbibe the same amount of liquor as their male counterparts in the same rank. 

Women may have less alcohol tolerance levels as compared to men. 

Women Officers may enjoy various gender privileges like relaxed physical standards and soft non-combat appointments.

But, as far as liquor quota is concerned, women officers enjoy the same liquor quota entitlement as their male brother officers.

Liquor Quota is gender neutral”. 

In the matter of booze  your gender does not matter  it is only your rank that matters.

Cheers for gender equality. 

In fact  there is gender privilege in case a woman officer outranks her male colleague. 

A senior female officer will get more liquor quota than a junior male officer.

And – if a female officer gets married to a fellow male officer (marriage in uniform) – then with both getting liquor quotas – it is cheers all the way  yes  a marriage full of cheers”!

That calls for a drink!


But coming back to the moot point, I still have two sets of unanswered questions in my mind:

1. Are you supposed to drink more alcohol as you get senior? 

Is there a correlation between Rank and the amount of alcohol you need to imbibe? 

Do successful people need to drink more alcohol ?

Do senior officers need to drink more than their juniors ?

2. Is drinking capacity the key to career success ? 

Is promotion to senior ranks dependent on your drinking prowess 

Do you need to drink more alcohol to be successful? 

Is there truth in the premise  The More You Drink The Higher You Go 

Well, I know that you become “high” when you drink

But do you go higher in your military career if you drink more?

For a Defence Services Officer  everything depends on your OLQ (Officer Like Qualities).

So I will everything we have discussed in a nutshell: 

Does drinking alcohol improve your OLQ?

Will some “veteran” be so good as to enlighten us by answering both these questions.

Till then  Cheers – enjoy your “quota” – and have a drink ... !!!

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1. This is a spoof, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Revised version of my article THE MORE YOU DRINK THE HIGHER YOU GO written by me Vikram Karve 3 years ago in the year 2012 and posted online in my various blogs including at   in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/08/the-more-you-drink-higher-you-go-rank.html

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