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Thursday, 26 November 2015

THE PATHETICALLY SUICIDAL DRAMA AROUND OROP - Samuel Dhar


I joined the band wagon of the agitation just when it was getting to warm up. Till before that, I was lost in a world of my own, engrossed in multifarious activities, one of which was struggling to complete a two year MBA, (Finance), at my ripe old age. My entry on to the stage was accidental, due to a CCed letter by a course mate. I was, willy-nilly, just sucked into the ongoing day to day acts.
I had, however, not bargained for the plot building up to a series of climaxes, almost on a daily basis, not just due to the Govt, but by those Heroes amongst us enacting on the National stage, a few of them just for a slice of the limelight.
I have not kept records, but if my failing memory serves me right, the stage started to take shape when the threatened agitation started getting postponed, again and again on the fortnightly promises of the Govt from Feb to May this year. It was a series of climax-anti-climax-climax-anti-climax, on and on.
While the Govt was cunningly stage managing the puppetry, we Veterans were practising brinkmanship of our own. A course mate of mine was removed from his post, on grounds of inaction, mismanagement of funds and alleged surreptitious sympathy with the Govt’s stand. He retorted by refusing to hand over the accounts. UFESM was born but soon came unstuck and became UUFESM(Un-United Front).
A section of us suddenly found merit with the Govt’s stand, probably by those still harbouring infallible belief in the legitimised reincarnation of Natwarlal, the modern day personality of the Hitlerian Goebbels, the hard core Sanghi, that master dramatis-personae , the Anthonyan orator who spins a web of lies over mass audiences, the Madari with his hordes of Jambhuras, making promises galore and leaving his chamchas to later scorn at the masses for believing his ‘Chunavi Jumlas’.  The cowardly Chappan Chaati who dares his opponents with hordes of fanatics lurking by his side.
I have an unenvianble task of stating my take on the issue, through the maze of many a take, some written by my course mates and friends of the same Corps as I. But state shall I, without malice, in view of the latest very visible thrust to split the movement wide open, to the advantage of the unrelenting Govt, hell bent to demoralise the soldier into abject submission.
When I took my PMR in 1988, my pension was fixed at around 5,000.00. It is now more than 10 times, despite the lack of OROP. Yet we have slandered the previous govts, mostly Congress, for not sanctioning OROP to us Veterans and neglecting our welfare. Some of us are now prepared to gather crumbs under the table, saying, “OK, agreed, it is not OROP, but something is better than nothing”.
My Sisters, Brothers and Friends of Bharat, tell me, are you satisfied with your Soldiers gathering crumbs under the table of the ‘Pradhan Sevakturned Pradhan Ruler’? Are we, the Defenders of our Nation, not entitled to our much deserved ‘Honour and Dignity’?
I have been steadfastly urging the leaders of our movement to stop harping only on OROP, for our struggle is NOT just for money, but for the 'Restoration of the Soldiers’ lost Honour and Dignity', so ruthlessly, steadfastly, deliberately and often cunningly, snatched away, bit by bit, by all the previous govts, just so that they would have the soldier crawling at the dirty & soiled booted feet of their Political Masters and their frontmen, the Bureaucrats. Sanction of OROP  is the first tiny step towards that goal. We have much more lost pride to regain, many more snatched entitlements to be restored.
To understand the gravity of the situation, My Sisters, Brothers and Friends, you have to know the real plight of the Soldier.
Are you aware that a Soldier, (Sepoy), highly skilled and trained to kill the Enemy and not be killed, is graded by our politicians and bureaucrats even below their chaprasis?
Are you aware that civil servants, while enjoying the comfort of their air conditioned offices and homes, pushing only pens often not even for the mandatory 8 hrs a day, within 14 years, automatically rise to a rank and grade of pay where an officer soldier can only aspire to struggle through an acutely pyramidical hierarchy by the dint of his 24x7, day and night toil, sweat and blood in the battle fields and heights of Siachin, in not less than 33 years. Trust me, I had gone through this grind with pride, for almost 26 yrs.
Is that acceptable to you my Sisters, Brothers and Friends?
Are you aware that every civil servant can automatically rise to the level of a joint secretary and retire with the highest salary and pension that all civil servants are entitled to, while a soldier in the ranks, (Nearly 50%), has to compulsorily retire with a service of 15 yrs at an age of 35 yrs and that 95% of the soldiers, (All ranks), have to retire before reaching that magical level of joint secretary, a level that every civil servant can elevate himself to, blindfolded ?
Are you aware that most of the civilised democratic countries of the world, honour their soldiers by giving them at least 10% edge on their civilian counterparts and follow it up with a substantively generous rehabilitation programme at the cost of the tax pair they defend.
About equalisation of pension, a few of us, including some friends of mine, are saying, “What’s the difference between 1 yr and 5 yrs or even 10 yrs, the difference is marginal”.  They are also saying, “What if the PMRs have been excluded?” These spokes-people forget that our struggle is NOT for a few Rs here and there, but for the Honour and Dignity of the Soldier. The descendants of Raghukul, whose motto is, “Pran jae, par vachan na jaye”, are now saying, “It’s your fault that you believed our ‘Chunawi Jumlas’”.
We have asked before and we ask again : 
What if the Soldier, in the times of war or internal unrest, turns around and tells the Sevaks turned Rulers, “It’s your fault you believed my ‘Naukari Jumla’ to be a 'Solemn Oath' to defend the Nation with my life”? If the Soldier is not expected to say so, then how can the 'Chappan Chaati' term a solemn promise he made to the same Soldiers, (On the back of which he got elected with a massive majority), as his ‘Chunawi Jumla’ ?
Tell us, my Sisters, Brothers and Friends, can a Nation survive such a treachery?
In our glorious Bharat, we have a Chappan Chaati who proclaims to the Nation, "I have to rob the poor", to throw crumbs at the Defenders of the Nation.
Do you, my Sisters, Brothers and Friends, accept such a statement ?
Are you aware that this chest thumping Govt is in the process of taking away whatever vestige of honour and dignity is left with the Soldier, by paying its civil servants more Extreme Discomfort Allowance for just being in the State of Assam than the Soldiers braving the Enemy at the extremes of Siachin, with temperatures plumeting to minus 50 degrees C and heights rising to 17,000 ft? 
Incidentally, our highest post, highest in the World, is at 20,000 ft, where none of these suited, booted blokes have ever gone even in their dreams.
At the end, I can only quote what the soldiers at Kohima, during the WWII, wrote as they died defending the Nation :

“Tell them that for their tomorrow, we gave our today”. 

My tail piece is the famous line from what a famous Indian proclaimed centuries before : 
“A Nation which does not know how to honour its Soldiers, has no right to exist”.
The signs are already there : 
Brothers and sisters defiling and debasing each other, through threats arson, rape, riots and targetted murders; brothers at the throats of brothers; friends turning foes at the drop of a hat; neighbours turning on neighbours; prices of essential commodities sky jetting, (Tur daal @ Rs220/Kg; Onions @ Rs80/Kg; Tomatoes @ Rs80/Kg), despite a saving of US$80 billion in the Crude import bill.
Tell us Oh! our Sisters, Brothers and Friends of this great Nation called Bharat : 
Will you let this ‘Jumla sarkar’, led by a dogmatic, self-illusioned, chest beating Chappan Chaati, Pradhan Sevak’ turned ‘Pradhan Dictator’, lead our Great Nation to its doom and destruction.

1 comment:

  1. Very well narrated sir. When the so called prsdhan sevak turns into pradhan dictator, then the fate of that country is surely doomed. Shame on political class of our country to degrade our forces.

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