Sunday, August 2, 2015

Maybe the OROP Agitation Calls for a Rethink

As a veteran who along with my father and Great Uncle served the Indian armed forces for over a 100 years, I have a few questions about this agitation going on for OROP. The demand is justified, yet the fact remains that the government headed by Narendra Modi has budged an inch and I don't see the demand being accepted.  It is now a matter of wills and the Narendra Modi government is waiting to see the movement flag off on its own.

The agitation along with the relay fast and a petition signed in blood looks to be barking up the wrong tree. Perhaps the men leading the agitation have over the decades been so conditioned in mind and thought that to oppose a government is something akin to the "greatest sin". Hence the tone of the agitation is non-political and living on an impossible dream that the government will take "pity" on the Ex soldiers and approve OROP. What a fallacious belief ! I am surprised at this line of thought.

What does this line of thought mean ? It means in simple words  that the government is convinced that that this agitation lacks teeth and there is no political support for it. It also has no " news value" and one can  see that the exposure on TV and the media is almost zero.  It has become like a dormant mole who hibernates in winter.  The men who have led this agitation must answer, as some generals who are talking of the army being " apolitical", " honor above self " etc. are again misleading the lakhs of ex soldiers who are clinging to an impossible dream : This I had written months back and stated that the Modi government  will NOT  accept OROP as  the Indian system has become reactive only to a political agitation and not a mild dharna or gentle agitation.

When the reality demands it why were not the leaders of political party's called? why were not Amrindra Singh, Mamata Banerjee and Rahul called to infuse life into the agitation? this would have automatically generated wide publicity to the movement and people would know what the ex servicemen are doing. Let it be understood that the die is cast for the down gradation of the Indian nation by the Modi government  as it fails to accede to a genuine demand. This calls for drastic measures. Obviously the ex servicemen are old and some infirm and to expect violent action is not possible . so what is to be done ?

The leaders of the agitation did a great disservice to the men they lead in drafting the agitation in such a way to just try and appeal to " good sense" of the government. Politicians in India answer more readily if there is a smoking gun. I don't mean this in the literal sense, but some soul searching needs to be done. Why was not an agitation mounted at the doors of the army chief, the biggest culprit in this entire sordid drams.?

I have written that even in a pacifist nation like Burma , the army calls the shots , but here successive army chiefs have failed the soldier. The fact remains if the first soldier is not taking a stand , what is the chance the agitation will succeed?/ Unfortunately we have many black sheep in our ranks and I am bewildered by some responses. A very senior officer sent me an email after reading my blog. He was emphatic that soldiers were honorable persons and must leave everything to " good sense " of the government.  He was of the view the agitation should be called off.I was aghast at this approach as it shows  an acceptance of " fait accompli".

The agitation must be upgraded, the Army Chief targeted and politicians brought in. It should be a no holds barred campaign and never mind if OROP does not come for it wont in any case. It may come with a sustained change of track from supplication to confrontation and the knowledge to the Indian masses that their security is at threat with a government that has no vision of history.