Friday, November 13, 2015



Reckless belligerence on the one hand, an overdose of political chicanery on the other, and the moral cowardice of the “silent majority” in backing off rather than injecting sanity into the stand-off have blended to ensure that OROP heads the list of four-letters words dominating the national discourse. When some veterans sought to burn their medals on Diwali they only succeeded in ensuring that lingering traces of the reputed military ethos went up in smoke - but hardly “seen” in an already polluted atmosphere. No one can dispute the old soldiers have grievances; resorting to desperate publicity-seeking ploys renders them no different from municipal workers suspending garbage-collection to press demands.
That cracks have developed in the veterans’ ranks, that an officer-jawan divide is evident ought to have caused the Jantar Mantar agitators (are they truly representative?) to review tactics, if not re-work strategy. Alerting photographers to the medal-burning bid and a march to Rashtrapati Bhawan without being granted an appointment by the Supreme Commander are blots on olive-green and both shades of military-blue. Blots that must impact discipline, the chain of command and the significance of “gongs” among those still “serving the colours.” Attempting to curry favour with Opposition parties negates the apolitical tradition of the armed services. The devious attempt to project the government as anti-soldier is dangerous: recall that it took little “poison” to trigger the post-Bluestar revolt in some Army units, or the Air Force mutiny over a Pay Commission award in the mid-1990s.

The administrative inefficiency and inconsistency of the Modi government is re-confirmed by the OROP impasse. If the notification issued last week is indeed the government’s final position why did Manohar Parrikar not muster the guts to issue a formal statement rather than leave it to the Prime Minister to claim the issue had been “resolved”? And what was the “window” the Prime Minister left open during another overly-publicised Diwali with the jawans? Are the goal-posts being shifted, as alleged? Yet it is understandable that no government, not even one yet to come to terms with a political battering, will allow itself to succumb to the kind of pressure the veterans are mounting. And that is where the silence of a vast number of former “generals” is deafening, even demeaning. Before the confrontation snowballed some ex-chiefs ought to have played a more prominent role, averted the agitation from “skidding”. Having done so little, the impression in non-military circles is that they are waiting in the wings for what goodies the agitation will yield while sanctimoniously avoiding getting their hands dirty. In “civvy street” the image conjured up of a military vet is no longer of the likes of Cariappa, Manekshaw, Pereira and Arjan Singh… It has been replaced by the Jantar Mantar brigade.



  1. Def Min announced on September 05, 2015 the implementation of OROP. It took over two months for the formal letter to be issued. Why are tables approved by Govt not issued with the letter. Are they still being tweaked based on the current agitation. A very incompetent administration set up in MOD. Def Min has good intention but unfortunately he uses the wrong words in his speech at the wrong time.

  2. Gen Satbir you have done what any one has so far failed to do. The message has been sent to the politicians and the current administration. Give them time to work things out. Even if the current vets do not benefit at least the future generations will benefit.

    Your health is more important so please let us chill out a bit.

  3. Sir, very sorry for the poor soldier,god alone know where the country is heading for.

  4. They (Officers) have again cheated us (JCOs/OR) on orop and as per notification 548 all Offrs vetrans have already received arrears 2 to 3 lakh and as per notificaion 547 other ranks are waiting to get 3 to 4 thousands.

    1. Yes, you are right, each and every developments are being monitored by JCOs/OR equivalents. Let it be at JM, print media or national TV/blogs etc.
      Let the proposed pension table be out, we will come to know who benefits
      most by this agitation either the segment governed by 'colour service' or
      'retirement'. It is going to be a course correction for JCOs/OR whether they
      should be piggy back on an association being headed by an officer or stand on their own association to fight for their legitimate requirement. The
      wait is not too far.

    2. Anonymous sir, pls don't confuse OROP with Circular 547 & 548. They r 2 different issues. Defence officers hv no say in issue of cr.547 or 548.

  5. The present Govt has handled the situation in the most inept manner. First mistake was appointing Arun Jaitley as Finance Minister & Defence Minister who does not know either the F of Finance or D of Defence. This worthy told a group of veteran reps ay back in June last year that the OROP promise was an election jumla. Secondly Parikkar ji said in Feb this year "the file will leave my office by 17th Feb and I will talk with the FM and get it approved by 24th Feb. There are many such ineptitude which has resulted in the present imbroglio. Very easily had the PM called Gen Satbir to his office in June 2015 and told him, "Gen. pls stop all these and go home, I will do what best can be done for the fauji" all problems would have ended there. That also the PM did not do. Giving all tall talks and implementing nothing. Many times it was assured arrears will be given from April 2014. Why shifting by 3 months to July 2014? Is this not petty mindedness by the Govt? All through the period there was no inkling if this PMR issue. Suddenly it come from the blues on 5th Sep. Most inept handling of a simple issue by this Govt.

  6. "......Cariappa, Manekshaw, Pereira and Arjan Singh… ." JM is perhaps the result of Cariappa's acceptance of a reduction of pay for Defence servicemen way back in 1948. This much adulated first Indian General failed to stand up for the men he commanded when a reduction of pay was retrospectively recommended inspite of opposition from the Dy PM Shri Vallabhai Patel and against all common sense. The IAS or IPS did not agree to this. The downhill slide of the prestige of Defence Forces started with this. Least said abt Manackshaw is best. A great military commander, whose name will go down in Military History, he could not get his own Field Marshal's pension till he was on his death bed is a telling commentary on his inability to wrestle with civilian masters for his own rights. Pereira and Arjan Singh outstanding professionals they were but nowhere upto the machinations of civilian masters. They all accepted OROP for themselves which did not percolate down below. Very poor show by all these worthies as far as moral courage to stand up for the pay & privileges of the men they commanded. The 'civvy street' also knows this but then it is not in their interest to remember the soldier when it comes to paying hard cash.

    1. Well said Manikandan,the entire episode of OROP issue can be back tracked which in reality converges on the same point of time which you brought out in your comment.Despite the fact the men in uniform-I mean who were in a position to raise their voice against the ruling thick headed people,they did not strike when the iron was hot.The so called our protectors were mere spectators all the while for all the wrong doings of the successive govts.relating to defense veterans.

  7. Unilateral decision do not give good results.
    Govt should kindly spare time, sit with serving reps and veterans reps and understand each other amicably and find a win win formula to resolve OROP
    Issue. Regards Major p j rao Retd.

  8. Sticking to their own philosophy by either part will only aggravate the issue but do not get resolved.
    Why such rigidity on either side.
    Please sit discuss and resolve.
    No unilateral decision making please.
    Faith and trust is fading away.
    Prospectively will create disgruntled feeling perhaps.
    Request Serving and Retd. Generals should take committed approach unitedly and help resolving the issue immediately.
    Least it is going to have serious repurcussions in the coming future.
    Regards Major p j rao Retd.

  9. There is no point in continuing with the agitation since PM has reiterated that all issues on OROP can be referred to the Judicial Commission for settlement. We should trust him.

  10. Some vetrans(Officers) are trying to become like Mr Kejriwal CM of Delhi, therefore all vetrans(Jocs/OR) are advised not to play in the hand of these cheaters.