Friday, June 19, 2015

How stalemate over One Rank One Pension can be broken - The answer lies in an honest interlocutor, acceptable to both sides.


Delhi has been treated to two unseemly sights since June 14.                             The first, dozens decorated soldiers, Generals, Admirals and                                 Air Marshals squatting on the road during a fast at Jantar                                     Mantar. The Modi government’s delay in implementing the                                   One Rank One Pension has succeeded in uniting more than                               30 veteran organisations. The second, is the sheer helplessness                             of defence minister Manohar Parrikar. The minister, firmly                     committed to the cause of granting OROP, has been unable to                       surmount the objections of finance minister Arun Jaitley or                                   his bureaucrats in North Block.
To add to this, the F M is believed to have suggested to Parrikar                     that the OROP issue be referred to the VII th pay commission,                             which is to submit its report to the government this October.                                 The ex-servicemen are justifiably upset by the finance minister                             statement. There is a history of broken promises over the pay                               commission. After the sixth pay commission in 2006, the Govt                             agreed to set up a separate pay commission for the armed forces.                         This promise was not met. An alternative suggested by the                                   service chiefs - a service member, either serving or retired - on                             the seventh pay commission, was turned down by the Govt.                                 At the end of the day, we have neither.
Ex-servicemen are seething and have now directed their anger                             towards the bureaucrats. The bureaucrats have two concerns.                           One, that the proposal is unaffordable, and two that it disturbs                             the pension equation with the civilians at the upper end of the                               hierarchy. Neither side is willing to budge. The sun is hot and                               the air is laden with sickening vehicle emissions. But the veterans                       are in a do or die state of mind. Talks between the Govt and the                           ex-servicemen appear to have hit an impasse. The stalemate                                 must be broken. But who is to resolve it? The answer lies in                                   an honest interlocutor, acceptable to both sides.
The interlocutor needs to be an eminent Indian citizen, not                    attached to the bureaucracy or the armed forces, either from                               the academia or from the industry. He or she should have                                       managed large numbers of people and should have a sound                   knowledge of finances. This person should be the moderator                              of a debate between the government and the ex-servicemen                                 to speedily resolve this ugly impasse.
I can think of several names who fit the bill. But I can’t think                                 of what the government gains from prolonging this stalemate.                               Time is at a premium. If heat saps up a few protesting veterans,                           the situation can take an ugly turn


  1. Sir, The leadership has not honoured the Supreme Court ruling and you are being too generous and optimistic to expect this system to accept another third party. No chance because they have given two hoots to the SC, three hoots to Koshiyari committee report and four hoots to parliamentary commitments including a Presidential one on more than one occasion as they know they are above law accountable to none and this political leadership doesn't have the guts to go against the babus. Sir, kahten hai ki kutte ki dum shayad 12 saal me seedhi ho jaye lekin babuon ki ???????? Laaton ke bhoot baaton se nahin manenge aur laaten ESM ki nahin serving soldiers ki hi kaam ayengi. Isse better solution invited , please !!!

  2. Unfortunately it is not only difficult but also impossible to expect the serving soldiers to participate and support ESM. Though I am sure they would be more than willing to do so, as they are 2morrows ESM's. Pray God to give wisdom to these murthis.

    1. It may be undesirable but the scenario is not impossible especially when these self declared all intelligent bureaucracy and only custodians of national interest this political leadership drive an already wronged and frustrated lot to the wall. There may be only a thin wall of disciplinary resistance to break . At the end of the day a serving soldier is part of the Indian social structure who is very much influenced by the goings on in the country and should not be taken as immune to any personal frustrations ---- more so when there is no justifiable or even unjustifiable reason coming from the chief opponent --- FM and veterans are almost two weeks into the Hunger Strike ........and ostrich like inaction of the government continues. Agree with you and pray that better sense prevails alround.