Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Can selfish MsP ever ensure justice for its citizens?

This refers to the report 'Implementation of panel suggestions on' in TNIE of 26 Aug 2010.
Hope that Mr Clean, the Defence Minister has not forgotten the old dictum 'you cannot fool all the people for all the time'. We have seen how expeditiously this very government has exponentially increased the pay and perks of MPs. Even some known parliamentarians themselves have decried the way MPs had voted to increase their own pay and perks. But for the armed forces, the once-in-10-years pay commissions themselves have been nothing but farces, what with pay, perks and status being downgraded with each commission! Unfortunately for these poor souls who have been fed on the belief that they are doing a noble job worthy of sacrificing their lives, it has taken a bit too long to see through the fraud being played on them by the self-seeking politicians and the scheming bureaucrats. And ever since the 6th CPC awards were announced there have been regular protests from various ex-serviceman's organisations in Delhi as well as all over the country. Fasting, returning of medals and signing of petitions in blood have all been tried out without any worthwhile results.

The unfortunate thing has been that the media has also been found playing to the tune of these very politicians and bureaucrats. The latest has been the publishing of a statement by a stooge of the Congress that the ex-servicemen have been returning fake medals and signing petitions in fake blood, without checking the reality. One wonders how somebody can so easily forget the fact that Indian bureaucracy is the worst in the world and is actually the impediment to progress here! (Look at how the bureaucracy had torpedoed the granting of an honorary doctorate to Chess maestro Viswanathan Anand leading to a shameful situation were a cabinet minister had to apologise! But in this case the concerned minister at least apologised promptly but did any one hear the "honourable' Prime Minister apologise to the nation for the lie he told in Parliament on 3 Mar 2010? Just to refresh the memory of those who have no time to remember these small little things- Dr Man Mohan Singh had on that black day lied to the parliament that the Rs 2200 crores earmarked in the budget for 2009-2010 for effecting a 'modified parity' in the pension between pre 2006 and post 2006 pensioners had been disbursed! And, shockingly, no heads have rolled till date!)

To cut a long story short, it is becoming more and more clear that ex-servicemen will have no other go but to take the matter directly to the youth, especially those aspiring to join the armed forces, by staging protests at recruiting rally venues. They will have to be told that conservancy staff employed by local bodies are better off than soldiers, even while in service, but definitely so after retirement. As it is no intelligent youngster opts to join the armed forces as an officer (the shortage reported in the army is about 12,000 or about 25 percent of the authorisation!) Why would he? Once in, by clearing a meaning less competitive examination, he could easily go up the hierarchy in the IAS/IPS without any effort at all. (Meaning less exam because it has no relation whatsoever with the job content, which is only to write briefs and do some comprehension exercise like tasks, which are actually learnt in middle schools!) By being hand maidens of the decision makers they have ensured that all of them get in 14 years to where only 2.7 percent of the armed forces officers get to in 26 years! The cumulative loss to a soldier, joining and retiring at the lowest rank after 17 years of service, has been valued at Rs 30 lakhs compared to a person joining the govt service as a civilian at the lowest level and serving for well over 30 years!

In conclusion, a word of caution: if the last bastion of national integrity is condemned, how long will we last as nation?
Yours truly
PM Ravindran Veteran

Dear Veterans,
Do not be fooled by the assurance of the Defence Minister in the Rajya Sabha that the govt is considering OROP and that the issue will take time to resolve (the news appeared in the Times of India, Mumbai edition too), which is utter nonsense. This is not such a complicated issue that it will need time to implement. Please note that he also never said explicitly that the govt has accepted OROP (as enumerated by Veterans organisations and NOT the govt version if there is any) in principle.
It is a standard tactic by the govt to deflect the current onslaught by the opposition members and to buy time. It knows that after some period the issue will die its natural death as the MPs will have got instant publicity which is their main aim and NOT the welfare of Veterans. The minister obviously just read out a statement prepared by the Babus and the way it is crafted, it is clear that the minister was far from sincere about it.
Shashank Bendre
Wg Cdr (Retd)
Member Pension Cell IESM

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