We have to understand this issue from the emotive point of view, only then we would be able to understand the pain of a soldier.
First – No other election in Indian history was fought on the OROP promise, ever. Narendra Modi, one of the greatest orators of India ever born, asked the then government to publish a white paper on the OROP –
“We have been hearing about one rank, one pension since many years, what is the problem..? Today I publically demand from the Government of India on behalf of the army men and ex-service men of this country, to publish a white paper on the status of ‘one rank, one pension’ scheme.”
Actually, the then Government of India had accepted the OROP in principle, and allocated pittance for it – Defence budget hiked 10 per cent, government accepts ‘one rank, one pension’. Yes, although they gave only pittance, but it was principally accepted.
The crowd cheered, they applauded; they finally had someone who was speaking for them. This enthusiasm spread virally and Indians celebrated with the veterans on this. Huge numbers of votes were given to Modi given his nationalist image and that he would bring OROP as soon as possible.
I don’t think it was a false promise by Modi at all. He wanted OROP to come, only that he was not fully aware regarding the complications it would bring. Election campaigns are all about adrenaline. Much like how a boy proposes a girl shows her the moon reassures her that he is the best for her and then makes her his wife.
Finally she gets a husband. A boy who now has to keep up with the promises. Reminds me of a Def Leppard song here:
I won’t make promises that I can’t keep
I won’t make promises that I don’t mean
I’ll even mean the things I tell you in my sleep, yeah
I won’t make promises babe, that I can’t keep
But hey, 2014 was supposed to be an election for change and how would a huge change come without huge promises?
Now, the good thing is Manohar Parikar has thrown away the hot potato from his quickly enough and is now sitting pretty. The headache now is with the Finance ministry. Yes, headache because the government now doesn’t know how to get this money from.
Meanwhile, we all missed this development, did we – One rank, one pension for HC judges: Govt to amend law. No government would want the judiciary to be pissed off with it, would it?
The soldiers are indeed very much frustrated. Doesn’t matter you agree or not, the soldiers are indeed frustrated. This happened in June – Veterans sign petition with blood, protest over OROP delay and I didn’t see any outrage over it. It was nicely swept under the carpet, given the hold this government has over the media.
This control over media is not a good thing. My wife was shocked to know that veterans have been agitating at Jantar Mantar since 60 days. Media just didn’t know! This would only add to the frustration.
Arghh, don’t you increase the frustration!
I have no doubts whatsoever that Narendra Modi would bring in the OROP but he has made such huge promises that people are getting uneasy. He fought election on this issue so this issue won’t go to backburner. Indian soldiers just won’t back down.
Hell, 10 Ex Army chiefs have written to him that morale of the forces has gone down and it is not a good news. I heard one veteran saying – “We don’t mind if you can’t give OROP. Just scrap the Indian army saying you can’t afford it”
What else can I say? I am a civilian. Jumla or not, time would decide. I can only say – Listen to Def Leppard, they are a nice rock band :).