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Saturday, August 22, 2015
THE AWAKENING OF A SOLDIER - BY YOGI NAYAR (August 16, 2015 )
Suddenly two dates have become very important.
The first is14th August 2015 for the way brute force was used on the Veterans who were protesting peacefully at Jantar Mantar in support of OROP on their 62nd day of relay hunger strike.
The second date was the morning of 15th August when PM Modi made his Independent day speech from the ramparts of Red Fort, where the Veterans were relegated to the last 3 minutes of his 90 minutes tirade of counting and recounting his so called achievements, and a routine passing reference was made toOROP with the usual remarks that negotiations/talks are still going on as to how to implement it. Talks/ negotiations with whom was not specified but it could be conjectured that they would be between bureaucrats and ministers on how to obfuscate the issues and buy time till more parties threw their hats in the ring.
Para military forces have already jumped on this band wagon and today morning the Railway employees also threw in theirclaim to demand OROP for themselves. Half of Indian Govt employees would now be prompted by the Bureaucracy to raise and stake their claim and by end of this year Mr Modi would say through his worthy FM that we can either run the country or pay OROP to all the claimants.
Sovery cleverly Mr Modi would have brought manufactured excuses to scuttle the Veterans demands which no one has any intention of paying ,least of all Mr Modi and more so his worthy FM. It is the usual story of this corrupt system, presided by over bythird rate politicians and managed by inept and inefficient bureaucrats to benefit each other and stay in power. Therefore, it is now crystal clear that OROP and its implementation as the “Soldier understands it ” will not be forthcomingnow or in the near or far future, and by the time FM’s ARITHIMATIC calculations or done with, OROP would have undergone a complete metamorphosis and be reborn in a pigmy version of its original avatar, which won’t even be worth looking at.
A peek into this mystery has been provided by Gen Malik when he was called to be a bridge between the FM’s mandarins and the Veterans demands. He excused himself within 48 hours because of a unbridgeable gap with what the Govt wanted to offer as against what the Govt had accepted in principal.
He was appalled at the BACK TRACKING AND SHIFTING stand of The FM on what was being offered in the name of OROP. The date of implementation was arbitrarily shifted to somewhere in 2011 from 01 apr 2014, the revision of pension was every 5 or 10 years as against yearly by a small percentage. Both conditions were unacceptable and were rejected by the Veterans.
In the words of Gen Malik it was aTrade Union like negotiation process where lower figures were suggested to see where the bargain could be struck. It was quite like a shopping trip to the vegetable market by a housewife where she tried to get the best bargain by a process of haggling.
This thinking of the Government has brought out a very vital but sad TRUTH which all Veterans and Serving Community has to understand and internalize. This realization is very hard hitting but has to be understood and accepted as TODAY’S reality.
We have been used to the concepts of giving your life for the Country, die in the line of duty, accept civil and political authority blindly without asking any questions, and all the other platitudes that are fed to us regularly by the Politicians so that you can die peacefully and happily trying to protect their interests. Once their interests are served, their colour changes and Price/Negotiations skills are brought in to give you a miniscule amount for your Risks/Hardships/Hazards etc.
This is akin to exploitation of worker or a servant by his Master and not any Honour or Respect for your calling of Soldiering. To put it bluntly, the soldier is just another worker where the Govt is trying to hire him for the least amount of remuneration.
Because the job is very risky and life threatening, not many countrymen will go for this job, it has to be sugar coated with platitudes like “Heroes”, “Pride of the Nation”, “We bow to our soldiers and salute them” etc. etc.
This high intensity opium is fed on a very regular basis to our simple soldiers to make them feel good by the Political class as otherwise the Governments will just vanish within a few months if the security of the country is inadequate.
If the Honour and Pride of the soldier is taken care of, his dependents are assured of adequate financial security in the event of his death and he is provided suitable pension after he retires from service, he has no problem at all to serve his country as he has been serving these last two centuries. The trouble arises when you reduce everything to MONEY terms, you want to use him for lowest wages and only give him subsistence pension after retirement, use him like a factory worker and discard him when your need is over or want to pay him on “as you use basis” and expect unflinching loyalty at ZERO cost to yourself.
Sad though as it is, the Soldiers’ must now learn the Art of Monetizing their skills while going to battle and demand adequate compensation from the Government while serving or while going on retirement. If you can’t do that, you will always be reduced to beggars, begging the government for your rightful dues and suffer the disgrace of what happened at Jantar Mantar on 14th Aug 2015. Please understand India is not a Matured Democracy like America or European democracies where they understand the worth of a Soldier and look after him accordingly. It is a big jungle out here where you have to fend for yourself. Your opponents are far more experienced in the art of Deceipt, Spreading lies, Back stabbing and all the other bad things. Bureaucrats and Politicians are your biggest enemies, who would always like to put you down by clever means while professing to be your friends. Look at the present Government and all the previous Governments. Promise of OROP is being made since last four decades but its implementation may be another four decades in the future, or even may be not at all.
The mistake that the Veterans’ community made was to place our unflinching trust in one man , namely Mr Modi. He is a consummate Politician and fooled us all. But take heart, we are not alone. Many sections of Indian population are feeling likewise. His big sounding plans are, of course, there but there is nothing exceptional. India is progressing because of its people and not its Politicians or Bureaucrats. The changes that he says he is bringing would have come any way. It is Mr Modi now but it could have been Mr Pinto, Mr Mehta or even Mr Rahul Gandhi.
So let us arise with new confidence, make plans with this new Reality and hence forth learn the art of monetizing your skills to the maximum because that’s the only way to beat the Governments or else they will continue to take us for a ride till eternity.