Saturday, September 11, 2010

Befitting reply by Lt Col Inderjit Singh on OROP Struggle


"Dear Mr Sehrawat and all the Veteran Friends

I am distressed to go through this misleading mail worked out to defame the Most patriotic community of the nation. A community that is ever ready to Sacrifice every thing including their lives for the unity integrity and Independence of the motherland. How sad. Coming from people who have done nothing but plundered the nation makes it disgusting.

I must tell you that i am the author of this concept of orop. I was the first Man to take it up with indiraji on 22 feb 1982. After that pursued it all the time and am still at it. We were instrumental for every step taken by successive Govts. If i said that the history of my association is the history of the welfare Measures by the govts i would not be exaggerating. You should therefore grant Me that i should know more about this matter than you who has sent this pack Of lies and half truths in the shape of misleading presentation for us to swallow. From the tenor and tone of the mail it seems that mr sehrawat you proabely are a member of the elitist group of the natons services, if not then perhaps, their proxy for sending this rubbish. What can we expect from you but this absolute distortion of facts. When your colleagues can go to the Sacred house of parliament and speak lies and get away. How does it matter if you spoke few lies here and there and distort the facts in this mail.

If you want to see the lies spoken by your colleagues, we can have a separate meeting For that, for one can not cover those in any mail what ever one likes to do. Now your basic lies that you have tried to impress us with. What I state is not heresay or things picked up from here and there. It is personal knowledge acquired by 30 years of dedicated work for this cause and After having forced government to appoint these committees, been member of every committee appointed by the government except the inter ministerial ones you mentioned for obvious reasons.

A) it is right that the estimates committee had considered this on their own in 1982. They however did not reject it, on the contrary they desired that it be Considered favorably. This kind of recommendaton lands the matter in the lap Of your colleagues. Once it comes there you play merry hell into it as they did with this report.

B) this issue was raised by us first time on 22 feb 1982 when I landed with 5000 Veterans at the pm's residence and presented the first ever memorandum which had five points, OROP being the top one. Indiraji was busy that day, so Rajivji accepted the memorandum on her behalf and promised to see that it was accepted.

We held another rally in honour of respected Indiraji on 25 june 1983, she promised to do it in one go if the monsoon that year was normal and in phases if necessary. Soon after we announced 10,000.00 war medals return to the President of India and our C in C on 15 Aug 83. I was invited by Mr Venkataraman the RM on 10 August 1983 where I suggested that a committee or a commission be appointed to go into the entire gamut of our problems and solve these. The RM took it to Indiraji and informed me that our suggestion had been accepted by her for appointment of a high level Committee. On this we dropped the idea of medals return.

This committee was headed by the RRM Mr KP Singhdeo. I was a special invitee for this committee. It made far reaching 68 recommendations covering all aspects. OROP was strongly recommended by them for consideration of the Govt and not as you have suggested its reference to the fourth CPC. This report was presented to the prime minister two days before her assassination. To our great misfortune she was snatched away by destiny. Otherwise we would have got it in 1984. She was one leader who could put your colleagues where they belonged and fulfilled her promise given on 25 June 1983 to us.

This report then landed in the hands of your colleagues. Do you know what they did. They accepted 52 recommendations like we should maintain discipline in Society, and rejeected 16 of these which gave us any tangible benefits,OROP being the first one. To give you an idea about how low you can go I narrate. One recommendation said orop should be accepted. Then the next one was that after this was accepted all special facilities given to ex servicemen should be withdrawn. They accepted the second one without accepting the OROP. Ha ha ha. Isnt that amusing ?

C) I must educate you before proceeding further about a High Level Empowered Committee (HLEC). This is not a recommendatory committee, it is an empowered Committee whose recommendations are final for implementation. The fact that you are bigger than them is a different matter.

The biggest lie you have spoken is that hgh level empowered committee Rejected orop and gave one time increase (OTI), First let me put you wise about how this committee came about. In 1991 Congress govt was heading a minority government. The opposition was motivated by some politically motivated and misguided elements to move a resolution in parliament that if the govt did not immediately accept to implement vp singh govts ad hoc increase formula they will pull down the govt. This formula I had termed as betrayal of trust by Sh VP Singh previous PM. Its implementation would have been disastrous for us. I moved swiftly to stop it. Walked into Mr Pawars office and demanded OROP instead. After heated exchanges he accepted my request for reconsideration. After another meeting and discussion he went to the parliament and announced the HLEC to improve the pensions.

I was made a member of this HLEC. This committee was very inclined to give OROP but the economic conditions in which we sent our gold to UK to run the country prevented that. What was given brought us almost there. The bureaucrats wanted a clause to reject the OROP but I strongly opposed it. This was as a result not commented upon so that it did not close the door for its consideration and grant in future.

Despite the total opposition from the bureaucrats, the award of this Committee was very good. This award had to be converted into notification for implementation by the bureaucrats. You know what they did. The notification did not even give 1/3 of what was given by the HELC . What they could not achieve during the proceedings of the committee they tried to achieve it through the notification.

I took up the matter with the rm mr sharad pawar. He immediately appointed an anomalies removal committee again of bureaucrats. You know what they did. They created even more complicated anomalies that I could only have removed through the Fifth CPC. After their experiences in the high level empowered committee where we did not let the bureaucrats get away with their lies they probably vowed never to have such a committee in which we are represented. So far they have succeeded in this matter. They started new system of having inter ministerial committees or group of ministers (GOM). Of these committees they never told us their composition or their charter. Nor did they tell us when they were meeting.

D) Your all information is wrong and inadequuate. The decision of Govt on Fifth CPC report came on 18 Jul 97. It gave modified parity to all govt servants including Armed forces. We started an agitaional program at the red fort on 22 Aug97 that lasted for 107 days. We were seeking full parity which in other words meant OROP. On the second day PM Mr Gujral called for a meeting with me where I explained to him the entire problem. He promised to examine the matter and come back.

During this period we had three major rallies, besides indefinite fasts, medal returns and relay fasts. Ultimately a meeting with the Defence Secretary was fixed for 03 nov 1997. The secretary had been empowered by the PM to accept our three to four major demands for implementation after approval of the cabinet and rest could follow in normal routine. OROP and removal of 33 years conditionality were the ones accepted besides two more for implementation. The defence secretary reqested me to give him a paper on these four accepted demands which he could put up straight to the cabinet. I gave him the paper the next day. The bureaucrats did not put these up quickly enough. Then to our misfortune the govt fell and the matter went into tizzy again.

The next govt took over. I gave seven demands to the next PM Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee. My meeting was fixed with him on 26 july 2001. In that meeting he accepted 3demands and for remaining 4 he appointed a committee headed by the RM, which was to give its report in three months. This committee never met for over six months and after that the RM wrote to me rejecting all the demands. We then called a rally at the Ram Lila Ground on feb 23 2003. On this rally we invited the chairman of defence committee Mr Madan Lal Khurana. He promised to invite me to Parliament and after understanding the matter do every thing possible to help us.Presentation they made a very strong report to Govt demanding that OROP be granted.

The bureaucrats formed an inter ministerial committee to find ways and means to reject the defense committee report. In their action taken report (ATR) they spoke blatant lies to reject the report.In the meantime Govt changed. The new chairman of the defense committee called me to understand the mess created by this report. It was disgusting to see the level your clan had stooped to somehow reject our demands so strongly recommended by the committee. I picked up eleven major lies out of the report and submitted the paper to the chairman. On this he made another strong recommendation for its grant rejecting the ATR and as submitted by me asked for a high level empowered committee in which we were represented to resolve the issue.

I hope you now understand when this committee was formed and what they did.

E) After the second report of the defense committee the govt appointed a group of ministers (GOM), headed by Mr Pranab Mukherji the RM, to re examine the matter in may 2005 and not in jan 2005 as you have mentioned. This was not acceptable to me so I went to see the RM and told him so. He asked why I did not accept it.

I asked him in turn what was he going to base his recommendations on. Obviously what the bureaucrats put up to him. I gave him the paper on what lies hey spoke in the parliament and pointed out that if they could speak such lies in the parliament they were not going to say anything different to him. The result of such an exercise is a foregone conclusion. You would reject these submissions of ours. He was kind to tell me that the reference for this committee had come from PM’s office, he therefore could not change the format, but promised to invite me for presentation before he made his report. I then accepted to go along. When the bureaucrats learnt about it they went into action to scuttle my presentation. When i realized this I went and met the RM and requested him to stop the mischief of the bureaucrats, hold the meeting for my presentation and then give his award as the entire country's ex servicemen were waiting for the award.

I got the greatest shock of my life when he told me that he could not invite me. The bigger shock was to find such a senior minister like Mr Pranab Mukherji not being able to flfill his simple promise to hear me. I wondered what could be the helplessness of the other ministers in front of these true masters of the nation . Shocked and astonished i worked up my way to Soniaji with the help of my benevolent friend Mr KP Singhdeo and sought her intervention to save the day for us. Her kind intervention resulted in the Govt announcing Parity with the fifth cpc rates on 25 Jan 2006. In other words orop with fifth cpc rates. This means that the GOM did not reject the OROP, they put the entire processes right by giving parity with the Fifth cpc rates and set a precedence for all future pay commissions to give armed forces parity with Their rates, in other words OROP. I hope you now understand this matter better. In case you dont i can personally come and further clarify your doubts so that you do not make such sweeping statements in future.

F) The sixth pay commission stated what suited them to deny us the rightful dues. When i went to make my presentation they were working on the same assumption quietly supressing the fact of parity with fifth cpc rates given to the armed forces by this GOM. I clarified this to them and demanded that they have to maintain this precedence by giving us parity now with sixth cpc rates. When the report came i was shocked to see that they have continued with their canard of 5th CPC and ignored the GOM award.

I called them and was told that they have consciously taken the decision not to give parity with sixth cpc rates. Obviously they had to do that to justify their mischief.

G) Well if the govt improved the pensions in the budget what is so great about it. They have done it for you as well. On the contrary the govt had failed to give the armed forces their rightful dues by not giving OROP. Not only that what the govt has given is totally demeaning because they have totally downgraded the status of the armed forces.


It seems that you believe in the adage that if you continue to speak the same lie, a stage will come when every body would start accepting it as truth. Let me educate you on this matter before i proceed. The nakra case was that the liberalized formula sanctioned by the government should be applied to all irrespective of date of retirement. The liberalized formula said that penson should be fifty percent of last pay drawn. The organization which filed this case, less said about them the better. They are actually the cause of our miserable plight. Some highly intelligent members of that organization, without applying their minds, filed the supreme court case saying that the govt had committed contempt of court by not granting us the orop on account of this ruling. The court then proceeded to examine if the orop came under the ambit of the rulng on liberalized formula.

A word about these two things. Liberalized formula meant giving fifty per cent of last pay drawn as pension. That means whatever salary one was getting at the time of retirement he gets fifty percent of that salary only. Since at different points of time men got different rates of salary so they could only get different rates of pension under the purview of this order. The orop means that same rank personnel got the same pension irrespective of date of retirement.

How could they then get same pension for same rank under this order.. The court very rightly concluded that orop does not fall under the ambit of nakra case. The govt have therefore not violated their order. It was therefore dismissed. The govt in actual practice had given more than the liberalized formula gave by bringing all the sepoys to rs 150.00 pm pension even to those who drew far too less a salary and were drawing rs 4 and later rs 17 as pensions. It was not orop that was rejected, in fact the contempt case was rejected. These gentlemen asked a wrong question from the court and got a wrong answer.

This case has not done any good for us, on the contrary this case has left a permanent handle in hands of your colleagues to flaunt to the unwary leadership and have this matter rejected every time it comes up.


The leadershp of the tiniest nation Singapore and the mightiest one USA , get on house tops and blair away that they would give the best tangible and non tangible benefits to that section of the society who do the most difficult job for the nation. Then they go onto elaborate that it is the armed forces which are doing the most difficult task for the nation and they would therefore get the best of tangble and non tangible benefits and then they give it with pride. What happens in our country. When the nation is confronted by a calamity natural or man made the armed forces are brought and squeezed to the hilt and after the job is done they are hanged on the nearest pole till they are dead.

IN A MEETING OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE OF THE VOLUNTARY agencies (scova) in the ministry of pensions, I was asked as to what are our demands. I after narrating the above facts told them I seek attitudinal change of the bureaucracy from hanging the armed forces to the nearest pole to gving them the best, every thing will be covered. There was a total furore and protestations but no answer given. You want to know what means you employ to deny us our rightful dues ? I can tell you separately if you so desire.

For your benefit i wish to tell you that the usa gives OROP to the armed forces and not to the civilians. Further the armed forces pensions are fully paid by the govt. The armed forces are entitled to 50 % of their last pay drawn as pension after 20 years service. The civilians pensions on the other hand are contributory. They pay 7 % of their emoluments all their life to get 33% of their last pay drawn as pension that too after 30 years service. No wonder that they are the greatest power on earth today. Can you match that great power. I dont think so unless you change your attitude towards the armed forces and not advance the ridiculous argument of we knowing the terms and condition before joining to justify your hostile and petty conduct. I am glad i was able to have the civilians pensions converted to contributory scheme in 2001 while protecting those of the armed forces. I am however very vary of this trend continuing with the kind of games you can play.


You have given some figures on poverty and want responsible persons to be concerned about it. You obviously claim to be the most responsible citizen of the nation, what you do is a different matter. Why do you not forego your salaries my friend. What do you need your salaries for. Your all needs are taken care of by other means the moment you take charge of your first appointment. Let us see you being the first volunteer doing this being so concerned about the state of affairs in the country.

Please tell me are the armed forces the only people who should be squeezed to save the nation from economic disaster. I suppose you think so that is why thngs like fixing of disability pension for armed forces is worked out less than the civilians besides making the procedure for entitlement much more difficult than that of the civilians. If the savings are still not enough then you grant them from a much later date. There are hundreds of such examples.


Now the argument that the civilians will also demand orop and if not granted they would go to the court to claim it. This is the argument you advance finally to scuttle the efforts of the leadership. This is the bigget canard that i keep hearing. I have been interacting with major civilian unions. All of them have always been ready to support us for this cause and that too without demanding for themselves. For your information when in 1991 we were given OTI the civilians also demanded it but when told that this was for the armed forces only they as true patriots did not insist. Similar thing happened when in 2006 the govt granted parity with fifth cpc to us.

In case some people inspired by you people do go to the court for redressal they will certainly be welcome. The courts will also be ready to give them but then the courts will also tell them that the armed forces have been given these special privileges for their peculiar and difficult service conditions. They would then go on to tell them that they were willing to concede OROP to them if they were prepared to accept their service conditions also. Who among any of your colleagues are prepared to shed your position and accept these conditions. None. I am saying this because i have had an opportunity to settle this matter during the proceedings of the hlec in 1991.

There was an argument and the civilian big wigs wanted for themselves also what was being worked out for us. When nothng was resolving the issue i proposed that one chance each be given to the entire civil and armed forces personnel to change their service to the other if they so desired. Once that is given i said i bet my life that 100 % armed forces personnel would like to switch over and not one of the civilians would opt for the armed forces. There was a total furore but none to take up the challenge. They were not small fries, they were secretaries of all the ministries.

Finally since when have you started to know more about the feelings and pulse of the people more than the leadership. Every committee of the leadership have recommended strongly that orop be granted. The defense committee went to the extent of demanding that if there was no precedence then it should now be set to repay the deep debt of gratitude of the grateful nation to the armed forces for their sacrifices. Do you know this or not? Further do you know that almost 500 hon'ble members of parliament are committed through their party manifestos for giving the orop to the armed forces.

I suppose you dont care for these minions for you are not only bigger then them but also the nation. I hope after going through this mail you would think on this matter and bring about attitudinal change not only within you but also the entire bureaucracy. Sorry for taking too long in responding. It was too big an issue it had to take time even in the normal course. This mail was an attempt to demean us so it had to be given a special attention . Please therefore forgive me.

I have spent extra time so that i put down facts to enable our own veterans to know them and be able to give proper reply when required.

God bless you mr sehrawat and all my veterans.
(source-IESM website)

1 comment:

  1. Very well done Sir, keep our fight for OROP live and pursue it with authorities concerned. Congrats for the efforts put by all the leagues.