Modi promised the moon before the election to the soldier, but in power, he has backtracked despite two parliaments having approved the definition and the Koshiary committee having amplified the genuine demand
When I write these lines, I am pained very much, for the simple reason that such a perfidy has been perfected that the honest soldier has been left in the lurch. People will recollect that Modi in 2014 was in the dog house. He had been denied a visa by the USA for 9 years because of the Gujerat riots and the Congress party had completed two consecutive terms as the rulers of India.
Desperate to make a comeback Modi started his election campaign from Haryana. In an election speech to ex-servicemen at Rewari in March 2014 in the presence of the just-retired army chief General VK Singh, Modi announced that he would ensure that One Rank One Pension( OROP) as approved by Parliament and the Koshiary Committee would be approved by him. He made a solemn promise, only to backtrack when he came to power. Can Modi explain why he did it?
Modi only sanctioned a one time increase in pension and accepted the 7th Pay commission recommendation to downgrade the status of the fighting man by cutting his allowance of Free Rations and parity of pay with civil counterparts.
It was a left-handed blow and Modi and the BJP must reply to the nation why this was done.
Modi after coming to power lulled soldiers by going to Army units and talking to serving soldiers that he would ensure that OROP, a demand of the fighting man from 1973 will be his good fortune to approve. good fortune?It was a joke because, under the guidance of Arun Jaitley, his finance minister and Raj Nath Singh the Home minister, he backtracked very fast. He refused to meet agitating servicemen led by General Satbir Singh and overall sat like an imperial ruler who can look to travel to foreign nations but not at the soldier holding the rifle and guarding the border.
The fact is a committee appointed by Parliament called the Koshiary committee report gave a definition to OROP and the same was approved by two parliaments. Logically Modi and the BJP should have taken off from there. But Modi and his think tank, who have little comprehension of the role of power politics and the use of the armed forces as an instrument of state policy, sat on their haunches and allowed the demands of the soldiers for OROP as per what is approved by Parliament go to seed.
Is there anything sadder than this conduct of the BJP government? Modi must know that the sands of time are running out for India as China with support from Pak is flexing its muscles Does Modi expect the army to continue to fight the enemy even when its perks and a genuine demand like OROP is negated. Can he have the courage to answer?
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