Yesterday, 18 November was the anniversary of the Rezang La battle.
It was on this day in 1962, that 'C' Company (Ahirs) of 13 KUMAON had fought the classical 'last man last round' battle against thousands of attacking Chinese in Ladakh, losing 114 of their members. On the annual commemorative function, I was invited to Mahendragarh, in the Ahirwal belt in Haryana. There were over 500 officers, JCOs, OR and Veer Naris present on the occasion.
After paying homage to the martyred colleagues, and after recounting the historic battle, they asked me to speak about 'one rank one pension' (OROP). Most of those present are members of the IESM and have been actively involved in the OROP struggle right from 2008. The shortcomings of the notification were explained and options available at this stage to us as veterans, were spelt out. At the end, all of them, without a single dissenting voice, favoured the view that we take what is offered now and then present our case before the Judicial Commission. They disapproved of the ongoing agitational approach. It may be relevant to mention that vast majority of those who were present, neither work on the social media nor on the internet and their voice does not get heard on daily basis. But they and their ilk form the vast silent majority that has a stake in OROP.
Lt Gen Raj Kadyan