One Rank One Pension – Veterans Sign Plea to PM in Blood – “We have serious apprehensions that the government’s intentions are not there to give us actual OROP,” said Maj. Gen. Satbir Singh, chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement.
Agitated over the delay in notification to implement the one rank, one pension (OROP) scheme, announced by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on September 5, over 100 retired General Officers and senior Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) signed a petition in blood at Jantar Mantar here on Sunday to be submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On the 133rd day of their relay hunger strike at Jantar Mantar here, the veterans said that the announcement made by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on September 5 regarding the implementation of OROP had ‘seven serious shortcomings’.
According to an OROP spokesperson, “If we can shed our lifeblood for our land, why cannot we shed a few drops for the sake of righting a wrong?”
Adding to the pathos was a retired colonel, the father of Captain Vijayant Thapar who died in Kargil. “There are many who have lost their limbs in the battlefield. It’s the same blood here that lies scattered on the battlefield,” the colonel was quoted as saying.
If implemented without the removal of the shortcomings, it will kill the definition of OROP, the letter claimed. The letter further accused Parrikar of ‘changing the goalpost’ every now and then. The protesting veterans asked the Prime Minister to issue notification to implement OROP scheme at the earliest.
Is the OROP implemented?
If the answer is to the question is ‘yes’, then why is the government shying away from facing the veterans? Why are their ministers and party members making ill-informed statements? Why are a large number of ex-servicemen (ESM) attending the rallies being organised all over the country? Who are the nameless veterans with whom the government claims to have discussed the matter?
By having the three service chiefs flanking the minister of defence when the announcement was made, the government is trying to spread the false impression that its announcement had legitimacy. The government is conspicuously opaque on the fact that the service chiefs have no say at all in policy formulation, and are duty-bound to agree to any policy of the government.
The impression being permeated by the government in society that it has the support of the chiefs and veteran organisation for the OROP that it has implemented is pure perfidy, and this has been proved by the response of the ESMs within the country and abroad by pointing out the glaring flaws.
Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement spokesperson Col (retd) Anil Kaul said the letter was signed in blood by around 200 general officers and others.
“We have serious apprehensions that the government’s intentions are not there to give us actual OROP,” said Maj. Gen. Satbir Singh, chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement.
Source: The Hindu