Thursday, May 14, 2015

Do the Army Chief's Word on OROP have any Sanctity?

The army chief in any country is an important man. One does not have to look far to understand this. In Pakistan  General Rahil Sharif can be seen sitting along with the Prime Minister in all important meetings and conferences and we all know the Pakistan army calls the shots.
A similar look at Burma and Thailand will show the army in the drivers seat. In SE Asia ,India must be the one singular country whose army chief has to eat his words all the time.

On 14 March 2015, the COAS, General Dilbagh Singh addressed an ex - servicemen at Rewari in Haryana. Nearly 18000 ex soldiers, including the father of the Army chief turned up. The general in his address announced that One Rank One Pension is approved and formal letter will be issued by end April this year. He also announced that their would be no dilution in the demand.  It was a great statement and coming as it did from the Indian army chief, one expected it to ring true.

But April has passed and we are in mid May and there is no sign of OROP. The question arises, do the words of an army chief have any sanctity in India? This is sad and shows that in India the Army chief is not very relevant. This is food for thought.

One is reminded of earlier generals right from Cariappa who just sat and twiddled their thumbs when all the devaluations of the armed forces were set in motion by Nehru and the Congress party. One Army Chief even accepted a written order signed by a Joint secretary.I am referring to general Thapar.

All this makes sad reading and I hope the present army chief will put his foot down , not on just OROP, but on a host of problems both political and social. The army chief must call the shots and its about time the political leaders were made aware of it.