Friday, October 5, 2012

IESM 2 Years ago: Will future Jantar Mantar Protests yield any results?

On the Ex-Servicemen Rally of 28 Nov 2010 organised by IESM at Jantar Mantar, as against the earlier ones of 8 Feb 2009 & 12 Apr 2009; I observed that:
  • Attendance. The attendance was comparatively thinner, not exceeding 1000, as against the claimed 5000 Ex-Servicemen having taken part in the Rally. It is necessary that we all realize that until & unless IESM spreads its wings all over the Country, ONE RANK ONE PENSION will only remain a mirage. And, our presumption that 1000 Ex-Servicemen rallying at Jantar Mantar would coerce the Govt. of India to grant ONE RANK ONE PENSION, is badly misplaced.
  • Signing of Petition in Blood. At Jantar Mantar, the venue of the Rally, on Sunday, 28 Nov 2010; around 10.00 AM, I saw a Nursing Asst. draw blood from Ex-Servicemen and store it in a bottle. When Col Himmat Singh Kaushal from Ambala and Lt Cdr Mayil Vahanan from Tanjavur (Tamil Nadu) went the table where Ex-Servicemen were busy signing their names in blood and stretched out their hands for blood to be drawn; they were told to dip a quill in the bottle of blood kept on the table and affix their signatures. It is felt that drawing of blood from Ex-Servicemen and their signing the Petition in blood ought to be done more visibly, in full glare of the Media to enable photographs of the same to appear in leading media, on the next day.
    Finally, considering that the elections for a pan-India organisation were conducted without enabling any serious level of participatory credibility; with immense pain, I hereby choose to resign from the primary membership of IESM, an organisation of which I had the privilege of being one among the Founder Members.
    Col SS Rajan
    click here for the full report
    Comment: Lessons learnt in earlier Rallies must be analysed before jumping into another protest rally. OROP is slowly losing steam because the case is not projected precisely with adequate legal baggage. Just harping on OROP like a broken record will not enhance our Pension rights/ entitlements to satisfy all sections of the Military. What will be more prudent is to fight for enhanced pay and pensions for our Sepoys, NCOs and JCOs and removal of all anomalies. The Rank Pay case should act as an eye opener. IESM need to employ advocates who can fight our cases in a befitting manner. Wasting money on Rallies will bear no fruit unless backed with at least a lakh of protestors.
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