Friday, August 21, 2015

IN DEFENCE OF THOSE WHO DEFEND US - By Suhel Seth (Aug 16, 2015)

Being the amazingly optics driven country, we are fine ones for tokenism. Let there be a natural calamity or an incursion or insurgency or even a war, we are the first to salute our armed forces. More recently, we've even used the vagaries of social media to make #SelfieSalute trend and yet many of the brave and the valiant are languishing owing to the misdemeanours of one Government after another. This is not about One Rank One Pension. That is a legitimate right of our armed forces which has been denied to them. It is about the callousness of successive political parties that extol the virtues of those who defend our shores and yet behave like hooligans and thugs in Parliament. India has just completed its 69th year of Independence: a freedom we cherish so much but one, which is guaranteed by the heroism of those who give up their lives so that we can live without fear. And yet, for decades, we have been unable to solve this logjam which I find so disgusting.

Our mainstream media is good at shows felicitating our armed forces; making all the relevant points when there is a war or a rescue effort and yet when it comes to the pathetic state of our veterans there is more time devoted to a silly god woman than to the living gods that each of our service personnel is. We have used every pathetic political excuse to deny our retired armed force officers their place in society, which should be one laced with dignity and not one that is now being spent in penury. It is a shame that there is no debate in any House of Parliament when it comes to loutish MPs seeking a pay rise but there is complete silence across the political spectrum when it comes to giving these veterans their fair due.

Any country which cannot honour those who die for it, is a country which has lost the essentials of shame. I had great hope when Narendra Modi took over because I believed he would undo this enduring injustice. Yesterday was his second address to the nation from the Red Fort and yet apart from sound bites we have seen nothing. Instead, what we witness is the pain of the Indian veteran who must be regretting why he ever took the call of duty when no one cares for him.

We are the same country that jumps to allotting petrol pumps to widows and names parks after the dead but are woefully apathetic to the living. How damn ironic? Is this the way we are going to encourage future generations of Indians to join the services knowing well that when they leave service they will be discards and not the toast of a grateful nation?

We cannot let our veterans take to the streets. We cannot have former Chiefs writing to the Supreme Commander expressing their anguish. We cannot afford to have our veterans camp in protests and dharnas. What signals are we sending to those who are in service presently? What kind of gratitude do we as a collective people show?

We need to put our money where our salute is. We need to raise our voices at this indignity meted out to officers in uniform. The bureaucracy and the political establishment have fattened themselves far too much off the lay of our fine land. They cannot be the only beneficiaries of largesse most of which is undeserved.

We need to rise above partisan politics and lower our heads in shame for the deeds of the past. And atone for them. Not when we need the armed forces. But when they need not just our empathy but our support and actions. Happy Independence Day.

Srabjeet Randhava
Left everything behind 1947 came here,5generation is in service of the nation on border. Next generation in family gearing up to join the Ranks n wear OLIVE Green! And then see attitude of government and bureaucracy its de moralising not yet demotivated my youngsters to change their mind and opt for a sarkari naukri which will ensure lots of Bribes on the platter. And thank god for that.....
But what troubles me the most is the complete silence of country men, well a soldier never got much from these Robots and hence never expected much either. He always stood alone with his buddies and fought to protect this land of his forefathers. My prayer to almighty pls keep this innocence in place and his dignity above all. He need not beg for his rights to his countrymen as they are deprived of their self respect,voice and dignity by God. They are cursed by him and that's why they running in circles entire lives to catch their own tail.

Vivek Sanghi The issue is not about money and funding but of past data and records not available and more importantly how to keep a check on other services not desiring the same esp. the bureaucracy. if we take in the entire civil services ( central and state), it would cost the Government upwatds of rs 30'000 cr. and a decade down colossal amount capable of derailing the entire fiscal, one needs to look at USA for their social security to understand the complexity of the issue. Our indignation and anger is well directed but give the govt. some time, esp. with an assurance that " in principle" agreement to implement OROP is there

Narinder Sharma  I am glad Suhel Seth has responded on OROP. I am sure he spoke from his heart and it is not Counselage Talk !!
Shael Sharma
Chatterati learning their #OROP. Good! No comparison of Armed Forces with Paramilitary or any other Government service. Those who put out such arguments are either perverse or need an education.

Thanks, a good article. I sincerely wish PM,DM or FM reads it.

I have not against getting benefit to army personals. But all is in not well in the Army. Like Army there are many big departments under the Central Government. The problem in the Army is their superiority complex and ego. Like cancer decease this has been spread among majority of the Army officers. Because of this they are not able to maintain good relationships with their sister departments. In 1965, 1971 and Kargil war Army did not get air support in time and due to that we lost important strategic points in Chhamb sector. So it is natural bureaucrats are not caring them. The other day one Amy officer addressed the bureaucrats monkeys. in his comments..They have no hesitation to use slang words. For the foreigners the supreme sacrifice is joining the Army. But those who are aware of Hindu Dharma, the supreme sacrifice claimed by Army is not the real supreme sacrifice. We have been taught in the younger age that a person should serve the country without expecting anything in return. In our case freedom fighters and Indian Army (INA)who fought for the freedom without expecting anything. in return. They have done the real supreme sacrifice. In the case of Indian Army personals they are getting remuneration. They are many other facilities like canteen etc even after retirement. Only thing is that it is not in par with IAS officers. The freedom fighters got pension after 33 years of Independence. During the Silver Jubilee year of Independence a Central Scheme for grant of pension to freedom fighters and their eligible dependents (Where freedom fighters have already expired) was introduced by Government of India with effect from 15.08.1972. In 1980, the Scheme was liberalized and renamed as �Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme,1980� (the Scheme) and made effective from 01.08.1980. Similarly this Govt. will announce OROP in this year. Indian Army will be celebrating silver jubilee of India'S victory over Pakistan In 1965 war.

Dear Govindan Good to see you preach Hindu Dharma. Maybe you should also read What Chanakya said about treatment of Army. Armed Forces personnel need to be felicitated for good jobs done from rescuing children, controlling riots, fighting insurgency, civil aid such as in Uttarakhand or J&K apart from keeping vigil on borders. In India Civil Administration is a failed function & Armed Forces are roped in rather frequently. Soldiers join training institutes at a rather early age of 17-19 years & early retirement leaves them with inadequate avenues to make a decent living as they do not possess qualifications required in Pvt sector. Vacancies for soldiers in Govt are available of Class IV like in Railways. Do you think it is correct? Can't we ensure a life in dignity instead of being reduced to status of a peon? A few thousand crores is not going to bring calamity to this nation where every scandal goes into No of zeroes which are difficult to count. I have no idea how well my taxes are utilized. This will at least bring some satisfaction

Time to introspect. Let us not be stingy. Govt needs to rise above this miserliness.

 Govindan Thekkay   You do not know the condition of the farmers. The condition pf small farmers are Pathetic. I want all of you should read the article given below. You will get from google search When will farmers earn as much as the lowliest government employee?

â But Army officers are fighting for â better pension.
Is the living condition of an Army officer as bad as a farmer's?
Nobody is against retired Army personnel getting any benefits. But their superiority complex and selfishness are intolerable and of late it has spread like a disease among majority of the Army officers. After a long interval Indian public selected a good and dedicated PM. He has promised OROP to Army personnel in good faith without studying the economic liability the country has to face. More over SC has also asked the Govt. to implement the same as per the law of the land. Now he has to find out an amicable solution, which is taking time. He never promised to implement it within one year. He had been telling the public to give him one term, i.e. five years. So the only idea of this kind of hue and cry seems to be politically-motivated to tarnish the image of the PM. This is not supreme sacrifice.o

1 comment:

  1. Dear Govindan what is the ultimate sacrifice? Is it to work for the country with out pay then all MPs and MLA or supposed to be serving the people with out salaries what fat salaries are they taking and what V V I P culture they have developed in the country. Please let us how many criminal are there in the assemblies and parliament. you say one officer of army had said bad about IAS officer. Then how do we bear daily "sala fauji hai" from every one. These are some of the remarks we get. Lot more are witch I do not want to speak here. Yes I do agree farmers are dying every day. What you have done to stop them or the govt. ruling are doing for the benefit of farmers. During natural calamity is it the duty of armed forces to rescue and the babus will sit and supervise. Please think before you write any thing against one institution.
    G N Rao