Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Hold your fire : one-upmanship or brinksmanship must be avoided at all costs - a national disgrace, and a poor reflection that the bureaucrats and uniformed personnel retain an adversarial posture on Army Pay

 Sep 14 2016 1:06AM

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Ominous and disturbing are reports that the armed forces and the government are close to a stand-off over “anomalies” in the award of the Seventh Central Pay Commission. The defence minister’s “directive” to implement the award immediately, while differences could be subsequently resolved, is clearly a response to the military’s asking for the revised scale of pay and allowances to be held in abeyance until all creases are ironed out.
 Such one-upmanship or brinksmanship must be avoided at all costs memories of the still unresolved differences over the manner in which the OROP promise was implemented still hurt. And none who were “in the know” can forget the “air force mutiny” of the mid-1990s when a previous pay commission award was up for implementation. As political tensions with Pakistan get ratcheted up, and the Kashmir Valley and its long-standing militancy come close to boiling point, any disgruntlement in the forces will have an impact on the national security effort. That is a reality that will not disappear despite any overdose of jingoistic rhetoric. Rather than stand on false prestige to sustain the image of a “tough” government, Narendra Modi and Manohar Parrikar must rise above babu practices and ensure that there is no repetition of what has plagued the awards of previous commissions.
It is nothing short of a national disgrace, and a poor reflection of ministerial capabilities, that the bureaucrats and uniformed personnel retain an adversarial posture that ought to have been junked 70 years ago. At the root of the dispute over pay and allowances is the soldiers’ belief that they will always get an unfair deal since the bureaucrats have “the ear” of the political bosses.
A sore point is the sustained rejection of the forces’ demand that one of their experts be included in the pay panel. Yet when the offer was made for a separate panel for the them the faujis  rejected it on the suspicion that regardless of what they were awarded the civil servants would eventually extract more. It is more than a mere money matter: the “uniforms” lament that civilian control has been abused to result in bureaucratic domination.
They also draw attention to the continued downgrading of the military in the “warrant of precedence” and hark back to the days of Independence Rs when the “warrant” was based on a colonial system that had to be dismantled when democracy took root.
It is not easy to discard the baggage and suspicions of history, the track record of Narendra Modi and his ministers inspire little confidence in their ability to effect such drastic changes. Our “friends” across the Radcliffe Line will be thrilled by a controversy that has the potential to snowball.

(Source - Statesman Editorial)

(http://www.thestatesman.com/mobi/news/opinion/hold-your-fire/164843.html#8UEhD8ECazSVERT8.99 )

7 comments:

  1. Veru apt and to the point.The kind of bravado that i am so and so and you are less so and so and that you bloody well do this now and immediately..is reflective of an arrogance of power and immaturity of absolute order. These politicians will come and Go bit if Nation will need ever prepared loyal to nation defence forces always and 24 into 7.

    No sensible and nation loving leadership will ever treat its defence forces in shabby manner. It hurts when a defence minister almost disgraces the chiefs and try tame them in submission and orders them so arrogantly through media. What has he got by this ..nothing but disrepect and disgrace. From yesterday on his graph of respect in the eyes of soldiers has gone into minus. You as a Defence minister must be seen standing by your brave defence forces and not snubbing them using your political arrogance towards putting them on mat. Disgusting Mr Parlikar..not gone well with anyone except babus who always want to see the defence forces humiliated. And the worst is our charishmatic PM is silent. Great..god bless us all.

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  2. Divide in the fraternity always sends wrong message to the nation, hence the politicians have guts to ignore the chiefs.

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  3. Simple solution is have separate pay commissions and remove all central govt employees including IAS from defence ministry. Let defence pay commission be implement after six months of others.

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    1. In that case the JCOs/ORs will get very very minimum increase.

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  4. Nation is watching all this drama.our retired generals should play their rolls in upcoming UP election and put pressure on govt if it is not modi some sodhi will come and do us better

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  5. No problem .keep on firing without effecting national security and defence.
    Don't hide or bury the issues under carpet by putting up a false front,lest they may surface in different way.
    Resolve issues without any further evasion.
    After all ,matters particularly of financial parity in wage or compensation related issues cannot be relegated by so called arbitrary approach of a sort of illegitimate Hukum.
    Don't run away from issues on false premise of imaginary fears.
    Yes ! Armed Forces will act resolutely any where incl J&K.There should be no fear or doubt on capabilities of Indian Armed Forces.

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  6. Agreed that disgruntlement in the forces will have an impact on the national security effort, but the government is not interested in doing justice to the forces just to keep up the ego of the bureaucrats who are the daily bread earners for the political heads. Modi's government runs on the whimsical attitude of the bureaucrats, specially where the welfare of the veterans and service men are concerned.

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