OROP – A Right Yet Denied.

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The media had been busy in detailed coverage of Sheena murder case, accused Indrani’s Mukherjees pivotal contribution in the same and the Patel’s reservation agitation in Gujarat but neglected the ’65 war celebrations. The war veterans including Brigadier D P Nair (Retd.), a 1965 war hero boycotted the celebrations organized by Government at various places, and chose to sit with hundreds of retired Jawans and Officers in their protest for ONE RANK ONE PENSION.

What is OROP?

One rank one pension is the system for the ex-servicemen of tri-services under which there is a provision for same pension for same rank. It was in practice till 1973 until Indira Gandhi’s Government rolled it back. The Koshiyari Committee set up to review OROP, submitted its report in 2011 and emphasized for its immediate implementation.

Its 2015 and yet it has not been implemented. In what could be called a real ‘imbroglio’ by the bureaucracy and Government hap handedness, the war veterans of this country are on an indefinite protest from past 76 days at Jantar Mantar.

What did UPA do?

Like the former PM it chose to remain silent and expunged the very issue of OROP even though the then Defence Minister Mr A K Antony had vowed to announce it on April 1st 2014. It collapsed just the way he did while reviewing the Passing Out Parade of 114 NDA course in Khadakwasla in Pune.

What is NDA doing?

NDA contorted the issue in the smartest way by saying that it is still not affirmed on the proper definition of OROP as there are roughly four and five definitions. To this a senior veteran replied that BJP could use their same splendid brains which are coming with such creative ideas to study the report by Koshiyari Committee which is loud and clear. PM Modi had promised OROP in a swoop during his pre elections Rewari Rally. He has vowed for his conviction for its implementation in Man ki Baat, Siachen Glaciar on last Diwali and recently from the wall of Red Fort on the eve of Independence Day.

What’s the Hitch?

The top analysts in the South Block have mentioned the extra burden of Rs 4000 Cr in addition to the earlier calculated 8400 Cr. Burden? Really?  It doesn’t even take more than five minutes to double the salaries and ex gratia of MP’s in the parliament without even looking at the burden on the treasury as the same will be accomplished from the pockets of common man. What was the need to announce the package of Rs 1.3 lac Cr for Bihar, that too just before elections?  What OROP requires is just a fraction of that mammoth package. The continuous shelving has made the retired veterans extremely contemptuous and that’s why they discarded the candy of five years increment proposed by the Government three days back.

OROP is the right of those lakhs of soldiers who have served this nation in uniform selflessly to protect us. Never in the history of this country, soldiers have taken the route of strike but this was needed as the Government has proved that it listens only to the protests like Patel’s agitation which compelled PM to come on National Television within 36 hours. On contrary, these retired veterans have chosen a peaceful way of protest with prior permission. To add to the shame of the so called lame machinery, these old retirees were dealt with force and brutality by Delhi Police just a day before I-Day citing them as the cause of threat to the security. What can be bizarre than this explanation by Delhi top cop, B S Bassi, to call those soldiers as the threat to our nation who have actually given us our peaceful present. Rather than doing things surreptitiously the Government should start valuing its soldier before it becomes their biggest bête noire.

The nation should quid-pro-quo the soldiers of this country with OROP as a gesture in return of the peace and security they have provided us for decades by remaining away from their own families and many of those who have made the supreme sacrifice.

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Devender

Devendra Singh Chaudhary (PGGC 11)

I love reading and travelling a lot. I love learning positives from people I meet.

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