The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has recently tweeted that he was concerned about sanction of OROP and and he was clear that OROP will be approved. He also is reportedly to have said that he was in "discussion" with all the stake holders and trying to reach a general consensus " acceptable to all" . Some where the Narendra Modi also said the government was in power for 5 years and OROP was sure to come.
The statement of Modi is just an eye wash. Let me tell my fiends of a real time episode. One Captain Bhagat Singh who had joined the British Indian army in 1944 and saw action in Burma had retired long back. He was getting a meagre pension and he looked forward to sanction of OROP, as it would be a boon to him. He waited and waited for 20 years and passed away last year at the age of 92, OROP never reached him. The man is my uncle and I am constrained to say that this inexplicable delay is nothing short of a criminal act by the government and I just do not only include Modi alone in this band. All the previous governments from Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh have their hands soiled in this entire episode of sanction of OROP.
Now coming to Modi, one can realize he is a past master of twisting words and assurances. His culpability is much greater as he was the first man to comment and assure repeatedly that One Rank One Pension is on the anvil of sanction. Frankly nobody told him to make these grandiose announcements, yet he made them as he was desperate to come to power and he assumed that a committed vote bank of ex -serviceman will help him get a majority in parliament. His game was simple, he wanted power and so did the BJP the party that he is a member off. So in no holds barred campaign one of the issues taken up was OROP. Frankly when Modi was making these announcements, he was not aware of the cost to the exchequer and later when the cost was worked out he looked for a way to avoid sanction.
The Indian budget is gigantic. It is the 8th largest economy in the world and reports are clear that politicians have swindled 40,000 to 50,000 crores in the various scams. i am yet to see a single man or woman yet jailed for this gigantic theft. Yet Modi talks of ( aided by that man with very little horizon,Arun Jaitley)of extraneous things like " complex question." " stake holders " and what not. He has swallowed the line of the Bureaucracy and the finance minister Arun Jaitley hook line and sinker. But mind you, he is not a gullible man and knows his onions. He has willingly accepted the arguments of the Bureaucracy and Arun Jaitley as he feels that somewhere he must extricate himself from sanction of OROP. hence all he has are words and words of which he is very adept.
I make it clear to friends he is buying time and that is the reason he has mentioned that this government will be in power for 5 years. It shows he has a 5 year plan and in the meantime many thousands of old pensioners will pass away. Modi is not concerned with that at all and his game is to stretch this sanction as far as possible and once the next pay commission is around the corner he will just wash his hands away. His words and assurances should never be taken at face value.
The question arises what next? We have men like the CNS Robin Dhawan announcing that ex servicemen should have patience. Heck what more patience does he want. Is 20 years not enough ?.I maintain that the top brass of the military have done precious little and left a hard working man like General Satbir Singh to bear the cross of fighting for OROP. In my view this is criminal neglect.
I would also caution the ex servicemen about returning medals and signing petitions. They are not worth the effort. The big stumbling block are the 3 chiefs led by the COAS. These men are known to the government as men of clay. In fact right from the time of General Cariappa when the demotion from Cin C to COAS was carried out the service chiefs have no say and they have put themselves in a bind. One fails to understand how an army chief heading the most organized force in the country has no say.
Water finds its own level and I am sure that the present lot of serving soldiers wont be happy with this development. Most of them have strong and long ties for decades with the services. many of the parents/ relations are ex servicemen. Modi has not realised that this non sanction can adversely affect the morale of the army. Mouthing words and cliches is not the best thing to do.
The ex servicemen should look for political support and Rahul Gandhi looks a sincere man now. In fact Chidambaram the then finance minister included OROP at his behest. Give him credit and Modi ? less said the better.
There is a need to bring media and others into the picture and educate the masses on the perils of a demoralized fighting force. Put pressure on the Armh Chief General Dibagh Singh to act. Why can't this man resign and show his displeasure? OROP will come immediately.