Monday, August 24, 2015


  • 23 Aug 2015

I know governments often get it wrong but what Mr Modi has achieved with One Rank One Pension (OROP) is truly breathtaking, if that’s the appropriate adjective.

In one swoop he’s damaged the credibility of his promises, offended his most loyal block of supporters, strained civil-military relations, demoralised serving soldiers, dangerously politicised the ex-servicemen’s movement and added considerably to the distrust we feel for politicians. I’d say bravo if the outcome wasn’t so distressing.

Consider how badly the government has handled matters. On August 14, the defence minister claimed there were “technical difficulties” finalising OROP without specifying what they are. In itself that was perplexing. It underlined the doubts ex-servicemen already harbour.

Then, asked when OROP would be announced he said it would happen during the government’s tenure before covering his tracks by adding the word soon.

A few hours later the finance minister made matters worse. He revealed that “the arithmetical translation” of OROP is proving problematic “because several interpretations are being given”. What this made clear is the government doesn’t have an agreed definition. Or if it does, it no longer stands by it. For ex-servicemen this was tantamount to betrayal.

Finally, the next morning, on Independence Day, the PM confirmed the worst. He said “there is no resolution (as) yet”. Even though he subsequently added “we are in the final stages of deciding” he’d said enough to convince ex-servicemen no early end was in sight.

No wonder there was an explosion of ex-servicemen’s anger. In fact, the government’s ham-handedness corroborated their belief it’s not just unconcerned about ex-servicemen’s feelings but contemptuous of them.

Now the one thing politicians know is how to explain problems and convince people they have the answer. Mr Modi and his ministers failed on both counts.

If OROP as promised is difficult to deliver — and, I guess, that’s what the government believes — this should have been admitted transparently, directly and to all the important leaders of the different ex-servicemen’s movements. Mr Modi should have met them, explained why he can’t fulfil his original promise and apologised. Then he should have asked for support for the best he can offer.

Such honesty would have won them over. Ex-servicemen don’t want to beggar the nation for their benefit. After all, men who are prepared to die to protect India would not choose to live at the cost of the country. But the government chose a very different path. It continued to insist it would fulfil OROP whilst its ministers confused and contradicted that commitment with their ill-considered statements. This annoyed ex-servicemen and left them feeling deceived.

But how big a problem is the money problem? Is it really insuperable? In fact, it’s the difference between what ex-servicemen believe is the cost of the defence minister’s promised OROP and what, reportedly, the finance minister insists is the actual amount. I’m told it’s around ` 4,000 crore.

Now is that really too much for the Indian exchequer to bear? If farmers can be given loan waivers of ` 70,000 crore why is this excessive for exservicemen? Remember, we’re talking of upto 4.5 million people. Add their families and the figure could rise five times.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Finally, what’s the government offering? If I’m correct, they want to implement OROP with reference to 2011 not 2014, backdate payments to January 1, 2015 rather than April 1, 2014 and renege on the annual rise stipulated by the 6th Pay Commission for 2014-15 and 2015-16. I call that pathetic penny-pinching. Do you disagree? The views expressed are personal

  • (sOURCE- Hindustan Times (Delhi)


  1. Dear mr karan brother, I am karunakaran an ex army havildar, not having much english knowledge as you are having, still with the help of dictionary, I could decipher your article, well written and balanced in its nature, , Mr MODI can come to ex army people and make it transparent and hold his hands up and surrender to the ex army people before accepting the revised proposals we are placing two requirements one is mr arun jaitley should be sacked from the cabinet and also sushma swaraj , the matter will be solved, the country will run smoothly without any hurdles and mr MODI accept in open MY government fail to fulfill the pre poll promises, and tender your apologies this is my country for my country I am ready to accept the solution formulated by our ex army brothers. those who are ex army officers turned ministers must resign from their respective post in express of solidarity

    1. This man can not be Ex Serviceman.

  2. Mr. Jaitley has lost his head and Mr. Modi has lost his head and soul as well . Punjabi me " Lanat hai dono pe " aur Hindi me " Doob maro chullu bhar paani me "
    ESM brothers, please add the Gujrati equivalent and in as many languages the ESMs represent.

  3. Mr Thapars sir, what govt is trying to do is absolutely wrong, they can spare 1.25 lakh crores for Bihar, its nothing but poll gimmick, this also may be playcard castles, as OROP, people are on indefinite hunger strike, they are not bothered, they want to save that money too if they succumb to the hunger strike

  4. My dear Mr. Karan. I have already expressed my views on different channels and on Kargil Diwas. One. Army,Navy Airforce personnel retiring every year, their 50% be transferred to different Police Organisations viz BSF,CRPF,ITBP,CISF,State police and there is no need to send them on pension. Once they retire at the age of 58/60 years, they cannot ask for OROP. Second there cannot be corruption in enrolement of new recruirts. Thirdly. Character of these personnel will make police organisations also honest and devoted to their duties.Fourthly. Finance Minister be taken to task to expelled from BJP and FM or given less important portfolio for demoralising Defnce forces and ESM. Fifthly. FM failed to make available funds for OROP, which is his duty. Therefore he should be asked to resign.PM,his Ministers, IAS/IPS lobby they are paid to solve the problems opf India and Indian population and not for creating problems for them. Voters will not excuse them in future elections. Bihar can be next example after Delhi.

  5. A very well written article. From a charmer of Army's morale, Modi has become the destroyer of Army's morale. So sad....

  6. Vetrans are requested to stop HUNGER STRIKE and save the life of our esm becaue this Govt in not in the mood to implement orop.

  7. The hallmark of Indian bureaucracy is always create confusion and create deliberate contradictions so that political powers are compelled to share due such manipulations . Babudom is permanent and antagonising them is to fail in good governance. The current ruling party is no exception-- nothing is moving except the gazrana, consistently displaying same lethargy and disconnect with realty

  8. Hollow Rhetoric's and Smart Politics