Monday, November 24, 2014

Narendra Modi and the BJP have let down the Armed Forces

Narendra Modi started his election campaign by addressing ex ex-servicemen rally from Rewari in Haryana in 2014( beginning). He announced to gathering that once he and the BJP is voted to power, he will make sure that OROP will be sanctioned for the officers and men of the Indian armed forces. What is OROP? It means One Rank One Pension and is a long-standing demand of the services. It also means that all soldiers will draw the same pension at any given point. This was essential as soldiers who have retired 2 or 3 decades back are drawing just about 30-40% of the pension drawn by a newly retired serviceman.
Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janta Party made a big show of this and also included sanction of OROP in their election manifesto. It appeared that after 3 decades of the demand having surfaced, the ex-soldiers would at last get their due. But alas it has not happened! The BJP having won the election thought it fit to forget about the election promise. Narendra Modi is a past master at manipulation and he announced the sanction of OROP was 'dear' to his heart and he would not rest till it was sanctioned. yet, the same Modi failed to instruct his Finance and Defence Minister to go ahead to issue the government letter for OROP. Both the Finance Minister ( Jaitley) and the Defence Minister ( Parrikar) have in interviews said that OROP is 'complicated' and there is 'lack of clarity' on it and as such there is a need to refer it to a tribunal. This shows the thinking of the BJP top brass which is conditioned by age-old practices in vogue from the time of Nehru to keep the armed forces down and not give them their due. The downgradation of the armed forces commenced from the time of Nehru and Narendra Modi is following exactly that policy.
The fact is that the political leadership has not realized that adage that a nation's respect is dependent on its military power and by such petty acts as not granting OROP, they are seriously undermining the morale of the armed forces. Does the political leadership realize that the ONLY unifying force in the country is the Army? Just withdraw the army from Kashmir or the North East and see what happens.There will be wide spread secession from the union. The BJP is indulging in self-defeating policies and one must accept that Jaitley who all along was just a agitationist has really no concept of world power. The BJP and Modi are playing with fire by not giving the soldier his due. The bell tolls for a nation that is ungrateful to its soldiers both retired and serving and I am sure Modi will hear it before he is out of office.