[dropcap]R[/dropcap]am Kishan Grewal, a former Army jawan, who was protesting over the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme, finally committed suicide when government started ignoring them. Grewal was protesting at Jantar Mantar and had then proceeded to meet the Defence Minister with a group of fellow protesters where he consumed poison.
The OROP scheme was announced by the Modi government on September 6, 2015 but ex-servicemen say it has failed to address their concerns. The scheme has been executed but still controversies remain within many defence personnel — both serving and retired — feel that their contribution to the nation and to the society is not adequately recognised or appreciated by the government. Their terminal benefits bear no resemblance to the realities of life in the civilian world. A nation cannot allow its soldiers to feel that it does not care for them. OROP is essentially an obligation of the Indian nation towards its soldiers and the price it must pay for maintaining a standing Army. OROP would send a strong emotional signal to soldiers and veterans.
The scheme, implemented after more than 40 years, promises equal pension to military personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of the date of retirement. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently said the first installment of nearly Rs. 5,500 crore was paid towards OROP.
So what has been implemented if it is not OROP then the answer is one-time increase in pensions. If the anomalies are not removed, senior Defence personnel will start drawing fewer pensions than their juniors, a system unacceptable constitutionally, fairly and justifiably. The scheme is effective since July 1, 2014, with 2013 as the base year. The veterans wanted OROP from April 1, 2014 and 2015 as the base year. Around three million military personnel are covered under the OROP scheme. The arrears are to be paid in four half-yearly installments and all widows, including war widows, will get arrears in one go. First installment has been paid and second is on the way. The estimated cost to exchequer is expected to be Rs. 8,000 to 10,000 crore and will increase in future. The government has proposed a review every five years. The veterans want an annual review. Their contention is that a senior officer can never receive a smaller pension than a junior officer. The government initially said soldiers who took “voluntary retirement” would not be entitled to OROP. This hit a raw nerve as at least 40 per cent of servicemen retire early. Only those who retired before the plan kicked in would be entitled to OROP, the government has said. A single-member judicial panel set up by the government to look into various aspects of OROP, including inter-services matters, has submitted its report, which is yet to be made public.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has completed his two and half years of lavish government, in this tenure he hyped more and actually delivered less. Social network campaign, full-page newspaper ads marking the anniversaries of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government are visible. They spent crores of rupees in publicity campaigns. Religious programmes were heavily funded by the government on this occasion whereas country is grappling with crucial issues like poverty, famer’s suicide, unemployment. Unfortunately, the BJP under Modi has only done things that appeals to its core, committed base and has virtually forgotten the large section of moderates who voted for “development” not for “division”. Modi’s biggest promise to the young voter was to create two crore jobs each year. However, he failed to deliver that promise.
Modi Government announced old Congress policies with new name branding them as his original. However, those policies already existed. They are claiming that lot of reforms have been done through these policies. Real Estate regulation is just an eye wash as these regulations nowhere are in favour of the common man. Yoga Day event publicity has consumed crores of rupees; however this same amount could have reached for hospital reforms. For Yoga Baba Ramdev is there. He is promoting Yoga and using it for commercial purpose.
Hardly anyone listens to another crap Mann Ki Baat. No one listens to what PM is saying on radio, its only media who wanted to make news out of Mann ki Baat. Anyway, many times what PM talks never matches to what he implements. This radio programme is for promoting only Narendra Modi and nothing much constructive comes out of it yet.
Digital India (limited to twitter), Jan Dhan Yojana, LPG subsidy reforms, Swachh Bharat Mission (Big Flop), India-Bangladesh land boundary agreement, Pathankot attack, Uri attack, Ghar Wapsi, Beef & Murders, Masood Azhar, India-Pak relations, hate and divide, Dissidence in Central Universities, Black Money (15 lakhs jumla), Land ordinance, Uttarakhand fiasco, Women’s Bill, Silence on fringe right-wing groups, Make In India (confused status), EPFO reforms, OROP, NITI Aayog, Ganga rejuvenation and too much nonsense as history books being changed, corruption had increased not decreased. No one is happy with this government and its false promises. A party which came to power by politicising #OROP, now says don’t politicise the issue. What a farce.
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