EX-SERVICEMEN OF INDIA SEEK JUSTICE WITH REGARD TO PENSION AND RESETTLEMENT
1. With extreme anguish, we the former soldiers of India express our deeply hurt feelings to our Supreme Commander on the indifferent attitude of the Government towards our genuine demands.
2. After exhausting all other options, we the Ex Servicemen were forced to take to airing our demands in public. Our main demand is 'one rank one pension' implying equal remuneration for equal work. The demand is for justice and not for money per se. unfortunately, the government continues to ignore this demand. They have yet again rejected this demand that had been supported by the All Party Standing Committee on Defence in their report tabled in the Lok Sabha on 07 May 2010. The existing situation, where a pre-2006 pensioner gets less pension than their juniors who retired after 1.1.2006, is highly anomalous and the veterans cannot reconcile to it.
3. The government also continues to contest in the courts every legal decision that goes in favour of the Ex Servicemen. It is pertinent to mention that Armed Forces Tribunal had in the last one year decided around 4000 cases of armed forces personnel. Nearly 90 percent of these cases were in favour of the Ex Servicemen and were against the authorities, but the MoD is not complying with the tribunal's orders. This has been stated by head of the country's highest military tribunal, Justice (Retd) A K Mathur recently. It is beyond one's comprehension as to why the Government is not giving their due to its veterans, who have devoted their all and have demonstrated their patriotism, bravery, valour and courage and have in great measure assisted the country in strengthening its sovereignty and integrity?
4. In order to arouse the conscience of the countrymen the Ex Servicemen have also had to resort to depositing their medals. This serious development could have far-reaching consequences. For a soldier to part with his medals that he has won at great risk to his life and limb, is a tough decision and is reflective of his extreme disenchantment with the government's obduracy.
5. Ironically, the Service widows were kept out of the purview of government orders dated 8 March 2010, where the pension of junior commissioned officers and other ranks were enhanced. When this was pointed out in a letter to the Hon'ble Prime Minister, the government's reply was that the enhancement for widows had not been recommended by the Cabinet Secretary's committee that was constituted in the wake of widespread disenchantment with the Sixth Pay Commission. This was a strange response where the government has claimed to be bound by the dictate of a subordinate committee that the government itself had constituted. Whether it is a mere excuse to deny the Service widows their genuine dues, or whether this is an admission of the tail wagging the tiger, it makes strange and sad commentary.
6. Under the circumstances, the Ex Servicemen have no choice but to continue with their struggle for justice.
With best regards,
Lt Gen (Retd) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Copy to :-
Dr. Manmohan Singh,
Shri A.K. Antony