Ex-servicemen object to this disparity since the cost of living today is the same for everyone, regardless of when they retired. It seemed the government expected that a general, air-marshal or jawan who retired in the 1990s should have a different lifestyle from their successors of the same rank and length of service who retired later with a higher last drawn salary.
After becoming prime minister, Modi had repeated the promise in at least five places, one of them during his much-hyped Diwali visit to Siachen. Due to the high number of veterans from Haryana, Modi had also pitched OROP while campaigning for the recent assembly elections in the state. It had worked before the elections and ex-servicemen had stood behind Modi. Now, the hopeful veterans seem to be a little circumspect about promises of payments, till the dues actually arrive in their bank accounts.
In 1973, the Third Pay Commission had cut ex-servicemen’s pension and increased that of civilians. The armed forces veterans did not agree to this inequity, citing the life risk and “supreme sacrifice” (of life) involved in serving the armed forces.