Saturday, February 28, 2015

OROP is in Cold Storage Literally: FM skirts the Issue.

As expected the union budget has been presented. Generally the pundits are feeling it’s a good budget, but that is not what will interest the ex-serviceman who has slogged for the Indian nation.  The budget is silent on One Rank One Pension and as reported by Indian express all the FM said is that he is "committed" to sanction OROP once the dispute on interpretation of OROP is sorted out between the forces and the Ministry of Defense.

This is very sad as it skirts the issue completely. The interpretation of OROP is accepted by 2 parliaments and yet the Finance Minister talks of ‘dispute" and "interpretation". Obviously he is skirting the issue and taking refuge in some bland statements which are in fact tantamount to lies. It is so sad that a BJP government that came to power under Modi on a plank of One Rank One Pension is now talking of "resolving” some issue between the MOD and the forces. Frankly this is a ploy to bypass the sanction of OROP and shows that the BJP is not to be trusted. I wonder what happened to the promise by the Defense Minister Mr. Parrikar that OROP would be considered as Military pay and sanctioned immediately.

The Indian state has scant respect for men who wear the uniform. As things stand the government will allow this year to pass and I don't think any good will come in the coming years. The government is testing the patience of the soldier and hoping that as many as possible old pensioners die so the liability is reduced. This shows the warped mind of this government and it seems despite the slap in the Delhi election, the BJP has leant nothing.

Hemingway wrote " For whom the Bell Tolls". Has the BJP considered this? Frankly one cannot blame the BJP alone as all other party's on the political spectrum are equally responsible. After all the Congress and the UPA sat on this demand for 10 years. Maybe the NDA and BJP will sit on it for another 5 years at least. I wonder what stops him exerting himself.

A major lacuna is the complete abdication of responsibility by the General Staff\. The COAS is unable to exert himself, which is hard to reconcile as the army is the biggest stake holder in the unity of India. Not forgetting he heads the biggest organized force in the country. I wonder what stops him. It is food for thought that one army chief could go to the Supreme Court on a trivial matter of his age, so he could get an extension, but not for OROP.