Sunday, November 23, 2014
Ex-servicemen are agitating to be heard : An Appeal to the Indian Prime Minister on behalf of the Indian Ex-Servicemen’s Movement.
Let us understand this important issue very clearly. OROP is our main demand and is 30yrs old. We have been demanding OROP but our demands fell on deaf ears. Some veterans got together and IESM was born in 2008. IESM changed the tactics and decided to start agitations for getting OROP because in India and Indian politics one cannot achieve anything unless one agitates. In India agitation is not considered bad but this is the only authentic method of conveying your demands.
I will not be wrong, if I say, that politicians till not long ago, did not even know the meaning of OROP and bureaucrats, who had been in the proximity of politicians, always fed them incorrect picture of OROP. They even scared them that expenditure on OROP will run into thousands of crores and even central Govt employees will start demanding it.
Let us also not forget that bureaucrats are against granting any concessions to Indian armed forces and will go to any extent to deny it. The famous remark of ex defence secretary is still ringing in my ears "OROP OVER MY DEAD BODY"
Reason for delay in issuance of OROP notification is not that GOI is short of money. Do we need any bigger certificate than Finance Minister who has committed to IESM that funds are no problem for OROP. We still remember the statement of Honorable PM Shri Narendra Modi in Leh and Siachin "OROP is my Government's commitment and sufficient funds have been allotted for it in this financial year”. In the same breadth Mr Arun Jaitley told the IESM delegation that your expectations are very high, so please lower your expectations. IESM delegation out-rightly rejected this preposterous suggestion. Please remember subsequent statements of Mr Arun Jaitley that he is referring the OROP issue to a tribunal.
Now the question arises what definition of OROP was known and explained to all stalwarts of BJP. I was personally present in a meeting with Shri Rajnath Singh, who after listening about OROP said that this is the most reasonable demand of ESM and if NDA Govt is formed at center he would personally ensure that OROP will be given to ESM. Mr Jaitley asked Chairman Gen Satbir Singh to explain the true meaning of OROP. Gen Satbir went to his house and gave him a presentation on OROP just before he left for Amritsar for his elections. To top it all Mr Modi who started his campaign from an ESM rally at Rewari and roared like a lion that had BJP Govt been in the center OROP would have been reality by now.
General Body of IESM has discussed all pros and cons of the issue and then decided to start agitation only to remind the GOI of their promises. It is not a do or die agitation. That is the reason why the plan, program and duration of the agitation has been fixed. Agitation will start on 3 Dec (The day war with Pakistan started and all ESM had participated in the war) and will finish on 16 Dec (Victory diwas the proudest day for any army when 90000 soldiers of enemy were taken as POW). I will briefly pen down the reasons for starting and ending the agitation.
1. This is a myth that GOI does not have funds. Funds have never been a shortage for GOI. Your PM and FM have committed this.
2. The truth is that CGDA and MOD are proposing a different definition of OROP which is contrary to the definition approved by both Govt (UPA and NDA). The reason for creating this confusion at this stage is very clear and leaves no doubt about the delay in issuing notification. Please remember the famous qoute of ex defence secretary "OROP OVER MY DEAD BODY".
3. Ex RM has decided to refer it to a tribunal to clear his mind. Now the moot question is if the tribunal, which will be manned by bureaucrats, gives a decision that OROP is not possible in this definition then who in this country will over-rule that recommendation. That will be end of OROP and our struggle of 30 years. We can keep shouting at the top of our voices. Even hunger strike till death will not deter these insensitive politicians and bureaucrats.
4. OROP is commitment of PM, approved by two parliaments, has approval of all parties including two big parties but it is still a mirage for us. Who can tell IESM, what is holding the release of notification? Why is Govt having cold feet at this stage? IESM has analysed this in detail and come to a conclusion that this inordinate delay is because this decision was taken to get votes of ESM and now that the political parties have got the votes they are under the pressure of bureaucracy not to release the notification.
5. Having approved OROP in principle why has there been no positive statement from any responsible Politicians giving us the reason for the delay? Why there has been a stunned silence by the Govt?
6. If the Govt was short of funds they could have issued DGL prepared by the Armed Forces Headquarters and announced deferred payment. How could IESM/ESM ever refuse this plan?
7. This agitation is to remind the Govt that ESM are vigilant and will not tolerate any dilution and deviation from the set definition of OROP. This will also indicate to Govt that it is fine you conned us and have taken our vote but ESM are vigilant and do not approve of this back-stabbing.
8. This agitation is not planned to issue threat to Govt but to register our protest that ESM are unhappy with the Govt. Agitation is the most appropriate form of registering protest and demands.
9. IESM has written many letters to all functionaries of BJP to grant IESM delegation a meeting to clear our doubts but there has been no response from any one of them. What could be the reason for this stunned silence from the Govt/Party?
10. This issue has been discussed in details in the AGM of IESM held on 16 Nov 14. Agitation mode has been approved unanimously by the AGM.
IESM has been very careful to select the aims and plans of agitation. ESMs want this Govt to do good work and will support it in all its endeavours. IESM/ESM are well within their rights to question Govt for the delay in issuance of promised notification.
IESM INVITES ALL ESM TO JOIN HANDS IN THEIR FIGHT FOR OROP. IESM ALSO REQUESTS ALL ESMs, PLEASE DO NOT CREATE ANY DOUBTS IN THE MIND OF ESM BY ISSUING STATEMENTS AND MAILS WHICH CAN CONFUSE THE EX-SERVICEMEN ABOUT PLANS OF AGITATION.
PLEASE PLAN AND COME IN LARGE NUMBERS TO CONVEY YOUR DEMANDS AND TO TELL GOI THAT ALL ESMs AND ESM ORGANISATIONS ARE UNITED FOR OROP AND WELFARE OF VETERANS.
IESM WISHES TO SEE YOU ALL EX-SERVICEMEN IN LARGE NUMBERS ON 3 DEC ON START OF RELAY HUNGER STRIKE AND THEN ON 7 DEC FOR A MAMMOTH RALLY AT JANTAR MANTAR.
Gp Capt VK Gandhi VSM
Gen Sec IESM