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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Non Approval OROP: Whose Fault It is?


Reports that are emanating from the government and the Ex-Servicemen’s Association clearly point to the fact that the ONE rank one pension in its classical concept will not be approved by the government. The demand which has been languishing for decades is nowhere near fulfillment. I have earlier also in my posts expressed the view that the government of Narendra Modi will not sanction OROP. The reasons are deep rooted in the history of the Indian armed forces and the type of leadership provided by the general staff. Successive army commanders, right from the time of General Cariappa have failed to impress on the government the need for a fair and equitable treatment for the army. One reason is the government from the days of Nehru has always viewed the armed forces suspiciously and feel it’s a foreign element and not a vehicle to project Indian dominance over the world. People like Nehru paid the price for this policy and had their reputation tattered. Yet, the present leadership led by Modi have not learn’t their lesson from history.
Another significant development is the failure of successive Army chiefs to bring any pressure on the government. This is hard to reconcile as the Armed forces over the years are literally holding the unity of India. As a stake holder in the Indian union surviving, the army should have been an indispensible part of the government plans. Unfortunately it is not and that must remain an enigma. The fact is the Army top brass has made no effort to bring any pressure on the government in this matter. Not, that it cannot be done. We have an example of general Thimmayya resigning when general Kaul was promoted Lieutenant General in 1955, when Nehru was prime minister and later General VK Singh went to court for rectification of his age. This in fact was a trivial matter, yet VK Singh went the whole hog as it was his personal ego. The army top brass could have used such tactics to get perks and privileges including OROP sanctioned. They never did, is another enigma. Perhaps they were not interested and left the battle to be fought by retired soldiers with little resources. The favorite ploy of blaming the civil
services is like flogging a dead horse. The civil services do the bidding of the government, in the present case Modi and party. It is Modi himself who has stalled the OROP, knowing perhaps that he will get away as the army has no teeth. It can hem and haw , but cannot bite. Nothing was won without a fight. I am afraid OROP in the classical concept will never come. Yes, it may but that will require a sea change in the thinking of the army commanders. Till that happens, its bye to OROP in its classical concept.