Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Committee to look into pensionary anomalies? Don't kid yourself

Been out of Delhi for a while, but just heard that the Election Commission has issued a notice to the Cabinet Secretary. The UPA government has apparently violated the election code of conduct by (a touch desperately) setting up a "High-level Committee" to look into implementing the one-rank one-pension (OROP) demand and correct certain other pensionary anomalies that ex-Servicemen have been calling for for years.

What strikes me as particularly shameful about the Congress government is that it waited until now to set up this so-called Committee. Bang in the middle of elections when passions are fluid. Last week, a large congregation of ex-Servicemen met at the Constitution Club in Central Delhi to firm up the call on their brethren to vote for the BJP. Not that the scurrilous BJP will ever implement OROP within 100 days of coming to power as promised.

It's hard for someone not directly affected by the anomalies (including me, I admit) to understand just how emotive the issue is. Of course, after four months of protests by ex-Servicemen organisations at Jantar Mantar, and the depressing return of gallantry medals to the President, it was an issue just begging to be politicised. Indeed, those who run these ex-Servicemen organisations saw prudence in pro-actively politicising the issue themselves, creating the definite aura of a pan-Indian votebank, and then handing it on a platter to whoever was shrewd enough to grab it. In the event, it was LK Advani who saw it fit to actually land up at their protest site and make the promise, even if it will turn out to be a cheap, hollow one.

But the question I'd really like to ask -- and I hope to do so when I get back to Delhi -- is, what the hell happened to the Congress government's conclusion, enunciated in Parliament no less, that the OROP demand had been examined and that it was found to be,.. hang on, let me quote back for you what Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju told the Lok Sabha on December 15 last year: "The demand for ‘One Rank One Pension’ was not found acceptable due to administrative, financial and legal reasons." Ok, well in that case who exactly are they tying to delude with this High-level Committee tamasha? That's the infuriating part. But there are huge numbers of people just sitting and waiting to be deluded. Just like those who believe the BJP will deliver on the OROP promise. Remember, nothing stops the BJP from ordering a Committee of its own if it manages to come to power. And we all know what Committees do when it comes to defence. They're an artful, sinfully wasteful exercise in running circles around the core issue. You don't have to be a pessimist in India to know that.

Which brings me to a final point. Our Defence Minister, Mr AK Antony is an unusual man. He is every bit the politician, but his commitment towards propriety and integrity above all else, separates him from the usual flock of mantris. Mr Antony is also an intrinsically compassionate man, with an earthy humanity. I cannot, for the life of me, imagine how such unfeeling handling of ex-Servicemen demands could have happened on his watch. I cannot help thinking it couldn't have been his decision. He was always receptive, always listened with sincerity. Then how could he stomach this vulgar display of political desparation that the appointment of a High-level Committee bang in the middle of elections constitutes? I, for one, give him the benefit of the doubt, for my own reasons. But he should have, at the very least, made his anger over the government recent decree on the issue more known. I suppose there's a line where practical humanity ends and political consideration begins.

It's just there's no line that draws an end to political consideration. That's the real tragedy.

Photo source: Indipepal.com

16 comments :

Moderator of Indian Military Policies said...

Hi Shiv,
Good to see you back in action the blog after a long time. A really well written article. I fully endorse your view that this is absolutely an election gimmick. There has been no reaction to the ESM protests since the last 3 months and on the day prior to elections in delhi Another committee whose...reports will never see the light of the day has been ordered. The Cabinet secy and a few more babus with him will take a few months/years and by then will retire/shift out to some other ministry and that will be the end of the high powered committee. I've completely lost faith in this govt and finally after the Supreme court has already given its verdict and given this govt 3 months to implement OROP to the Maj Generals has this Govt worken up from its deep slumber. The Congree has been playing on the sentiments of the ESM for quite some time now and this was a promise done by Rajiv Gandhi and even the last congree manifesto had a mention about this. I'm sure Mr. PC chidambaram....and his likes will never ever implement it and it is some other Govt that will do it.
regards

Anonymous said...

kudos shiv. very succintly put. the real tragedy is indeed the fact that political interests take importance over and above everything else.

Sonny said...

Return of military medals by soldiers to the President should have made any nation bow its head in shame. Amazingly it had little impact. The silence is a reflection of the value the countrymen have for these decorations given with such pomp for sacrifices to safe guard the country. Apparently a soldiers's pride in doning the medals is misplaced.

Brigadier C G A Pais

Anonymous said...

Nothing more usefull is expected from these jokers. The ex servicemen are the last priority of these fuckers...whether UPA or NDA or Congress or BJP....they are all a bunch of selfish bastards.....

Anonymous said...

This Congress will stoop to any level. They set up a committee to prop up the IESL which will then go around telling ESM that the Congress has decided to help them - so Vote for Congress. This has come after the IESM had issued an advisory to Vote for the BJP which had included welfare measures for the ESM in their Manifesto. The Congress did not do so.
The Retired Military Brass on the Committe are IESL members who are pro Congress. This is just another Congress trick to divide the ESM like they did to the Country by coining Saffron and Islamic terror.
Why have no serving officers been placed in the Committee? Aren't Serving officers more competant than IAS people on matters Military? Or IS THIS CONGRESS GOVT. TRYING TO TELL THE MILITARY THAT IT DOES NOT TRUST THEM AND WOULD LIKE TO USE SOME GROUPS LIKE THE IESL TO SELL THEIR CHICANERY.
From 2008 the Military and the ESM have been crying hoarse to get Justice but the Congress Arrogance coupled with Bureaucratic guile kept heckling them.
NOW THE CONGRESS IS ON A BACKFOOT. ALL ONE GETS TO HEAR IS RAHUL SCRATCHING MANMOHANS BACK AND VICE VERSA WITH MAMA MIA SONIA EGGING THEM ON.
THEY HAVE THE CBI, IB PRESIDENT ON THEIR BECK AND CALL.
WHERE WAS PRATHIBHA PATIL AND THE CONGRESS WHEN SOLDIERS WERE RETURNING THEIR MEDALS. BHAJJI RIGHTLY STOOD HER UP AT THE AWARDS FUNCTION. WHAT HONOUR DO AWARDS BESTOW WHICH ARE GIVEN WITH POLITICAL MOTIVATION AND NO GRATITUDE?
THE COUNTRY SHOULD ENSURE THAT THE CONGRESS WITH THE TRIO OF THE SARDAR, ITALIAN MADAMME AND HER SPAWN RAHUL NEVER ENTER THE HALLOWED HALLS OF THE LOK SABHA.
THEY THE CONGRESS IS UP TO ALL TRICKS LIKE SIDDLING UP TO NITISH AND EVEN THE LEFT WHEN THE LEFT HAS CATEGORICALL STATED THAT THEY THE CONGRESS ARE MORE DANGEROUS THAN A RATTLE SNAKE AND CANNOT BE TRUSTED.
ITs SHOWTIME FOLKS. KICK THE SPAGGHETTI SUCKERS BACK TO THE SCICILIAN MOUNTAINS. EVEN HITLER DID NOT FIND THEM A GOOD ALLY.

Anonymous said...

HEAVEN & HELLHEAVEN is where:
The police are British
The chefs Italian
The mechanics are German
The lovers are French
and it's all organised by the Swiss

HELL is where:
The police are German
The chefs are British
The mechanics are French
The lovers are Swiss
and it's all organised by the Italians!!
NOW YOU KNOW WHY ITS HELL IN INDIA!!!!!!

bsk said...

Shiv,I am a fan of Mr Anthony but regret to say that he has No control over Baboos in his own MOD & has not been able to curb their anti Armed Forces activities & reoccuring disregard of his orders.Look at the case of recent issue of notification on Disability Pension ( DP ) of Pre 2006 retirees.6CPC Recommendation,approved by the Cabinate,gives 30% of pay as DP for AF's retirees to bring them at par with civil,thus rightly mitigating the injustice meted out to them for past so many years.But MOD Baboos have in notification for Pre 2006 retirees given DP at FIXED RATE of Rs 3100 to Rs 5980as per rank held,completely disregarding the Cabinate approval.Since the Post2006 retirees have been given DP at 30% of pay another disparity & a massive annomaly has been deliberately engineered by the baboos.This is when the Cabinate Secy is to head another committee to resolve pension disparities & annomallies!!Clearly the Cabinate Secy either has NO hold over the concerned baboos or is himself party to create anti AF's annomallies & is heading this fraud committee for namesake only.We are hopeful that the well meaning RM is not a party to this fraud.

Anonymous said...

Antony is an useless idiot. He is a good for nothing fellow.There is no need of sympathy by him. This useless guy who do not have backbone was utter failure as Chief Minister of Kerala.Nothing moves during his rule. Sonia put him as defence minister mainly to ensure that not much of allegations will be there on various military deals as nothing moves during his time.

Anonymous said...

THE BABUS ARE IN FOR A SOUND THRASHING.
MoD BABUS BETTER SAY THEIR PRAYERS

Anonymous said...

"The scurrilous BJP"

why is the BJP scurrilous for trying to do the right thing?
Or will you apologise to all the readers on this blog when the BJP implements the policy?

Anonymous said...

ITs TIME FOR ALL THE HAG PLUS OFFICERS TO STAND GROUND AND ACCEPT NO MORE SH*T.
RECTIFY ALL ANOMALIES - PERIOD - NO COMPROMISES. IF Rs 8OOO CRORES CAN BE FORSAKEN BY THE GOVT BY REMOVING SERVICE TAX ON COMMERCIAL RENTALS , THEY BLOODY WELL COUGH UP Rs 2000 Crs TO SORT OUT THE ANOMALIES - AND WITHOUT MISCHIEF.
THE PRESENT LOT OF HAG+AND OTHER MILITARY BRASS MUST BE HUMILIATED IF THEY WHIMPER AFTER RETIREMENT. IF THEY COULD NOT STAND UP LIKE MEN WHEN THEY COULD MAKE A CHANGE THEN POST RETIREMENT THEY MUST BE TREATED LIKE THE NEUTERS THEY HAVE BEEN WHILE IN SERVICE.

Anonymous said...

THE CONGRESS SEEMS TO BE USING THE IB TO MANIPULATE THE MEDIA. YOU HAVE BARKHA DUTT, WHO HAS NOW RELEGATED HERSELF TO A TWO BIT JOURNALIST BY PROPPING UP THE CONGRESS BY HER SLANTED QUESTIONS.
THE CONGRESS IS HARPING ON THE BJP BEING NON-SECULAR, BUT WAS 1984 RIOTS SECULAR/ WAS VICTIMISING THE ARMED FORCES SECULAR. WAS INCITING COMMUNAL TENSIONS BY CREATING MUSLIM AND SAFFRON TERROR SECULAR?

IF BY A REMOTE POSSIBILITY AND TRICKERY THE CONGRESS GETS BACK TO POWER IT WILL BE A SLAP TO THE HINDUS,MUSLIMS SARDARS AND THE MILITARY AND TO ALL INDIANS.

THE NEXT FIVE YEARS WILL SEE A MAJOR UPHEAVEL.

I D Sharma said...

Sir,
I am an admiror of your writings. But I am not a member of any Ex Service Mens" organisation.We were trained to put a problem with at least three solutions. The OROP is one problem which has been in the news for so long but I have not come across any solution thereof.To me we have to select any one of the Impractical ones,viz Fixed the pay of each rank With ot any increment or excude it for calculation of pension Or give 50% of the inrement to the pensioners also whether Justified or not. Alernatetively Freeze pensions rank wise ones for all. I donot think any sane person will recommed any one of the above. If so what is the Pay will go on increasing

Anonymous said...

Shiv, Can you confirm the recent civilian death toll in NFZ as publicized by Tamil net being around 2000.

Anonymous said...

to shiv,

can you please post the salaries in armed forces

i mean salaries from lowest rank to highest rank officer

and salaries from lowest rank non officer to highest non officer rank

because everyone here sayin that armed forces get very less

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
to shiv,8:07 AM
When the salaries are posted you must read to understand that 3% of Army officers reach the pay slabs that 95 % that civil service officers (IAS/IPS etc) reach without any fileration. And that is why they are so irresponsible since they are unaccountable and will reach the top slabs by just getting through the Civil services exam. Also compare the State Civil Service Cadres and understand how a Brahminical class has been created by the IAS. On one hand the Constitution is trying to remove caste bias from the Country and on the other the IAS is bringing it in to the Govt. system.