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OROP: BJP’s gift to the army or a political stint?

Jonathan Thangeo



One Rank, One Pension" protest

War veterans throughout the nation are celebrating for winning a battle that lasted for more than 4 decades. Sweets were being distributed, songs were sung as the effort their for demanding the implementation of OROP didn’t go in vain. But even after Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave his nod to the cries of over 24 lakh widows and ex servicemen, there are some people who are still sceptic about the centre’s latest decision.

Will it really be beneficial?

Modi made a public announcement that the OROP will be implemented within 48 hours. Surely it calls for a celebration but one must not forget that it is the BJP party who implemented it. Not to support the NDA government but instead a reminder that they are no political party whose players were born just yesterday. The media is busy titillating about the OROP implementation, but no one is talking about the little asterisk sign the BJP didn’t forget to add , yes the conditions apply.

Some war veterans are still continuing their protest as they say the government only approved one of their demands and rejected the other 6

PMR (premature retirees) will not be included in the OROP

Defence Minister, Manohar Parikkar stated that PMRs will not be a beneficiary of the OROP. This came as a shock for the representatives of the OROP movement as they claimed that there was no talk on the subject of PMR. Some believe that they are doing this so as to cut the budget to be spent on OROP by half as there are about 48% PMRs amongst all the ex servicemen.

However Prime Minster, Modi anounced later on that the PMRs will also be included in the OROP, but it was recieved by many as an act believed to be a last minute change.

Government’s decision of revising pension every five years

Ex servicemen had demanded that the government revise their pension every two years instead of five. They said that the 5 year revision plan would kill the definition of a One Rank One Pension.


Manohar Parrikar’s announcement of setting up a one member committee

Veterans rejected Manohar Parrikar’s plan of a One Member Judicial Committee, which will give its report on OROP in six months. Instead they demanded of a committee under the Defence Minister which will include an ex serviceman too.


Was this a mere attempt to buy votes?

With the Bihar elections nearing, and Nitish Kumar the only formidable adversary, was this all a well planned preplanned move?


Narendra Modi said that once in power his government will implement the OROP within 100 days. Now it’s not known how our PM counted the days but the veterans counted 15 months and the opposition parties counted it as just days before the Bihar assembly elections. So was this a political stint?


Now the trend of this so called act of goodwill by our political leaders have been followed down the line ever since India became a sovereign, democratic republic in 1950.

An elaborative view would just take up unnecessary space and time; here are a few handpicked selected ones.

Earlier in 2006, Before the elections in Tamil Nadu, DMK leader M Karunanidhi in one of his promises stated that he would give free TV sets to all those who couldn’t afford one if his party wins the election.

It was a sweet victory and Mr. Karunanidhi lived up to his promise, and as many as 30,000 TV sets were freely distributed. The total amount spent on the TV sets was Rs 9 Crore Rs. They were also further planning to buy 24lakh TV more, which totaled to a whopping Rs 750 Crore using funds from the state’s budget

It sure is a sweet thing to do from the government’s side as the people who voted for him got what they were promised and more so for Kalanidhi Maran, Karunanidhi’s grand nephew, who is the Chairman and MD of Sun group, the same company from which the TV sets were purchased as he became an instant millionaire right away. That kind of also explains the generosity part from the DMK leader’s side.

Last year’s National election witneesed some of the hardest campaigns, tough speeches, bitter rivalries and a 29th state.

The protest to create an independent state of Telangana had been going on for 5 decades . The then ruling party, Congress did the work within months.  After unanimously passing a resolution on 30 June 2013, just 10 months before the 16th Lok Sabha elections.

Now Prime Minister Modi in a sudden turn of event, is ready to spend 8000 Crore for our war veterans.

It was hardly a month ago that our Prime Minister expressed his views about OROP on Independence Day saying that his government would soon work on it and that it requires a lot of attention and deliberation (a political synonym for a very very long time) and till now has not come up with any resolution. Look at the scene now. It’s only been just 3 weeks and OROP (just for namesake) has been implemented. Maybe he really did work on it, why won’t he? He didn’t give the OROP the last time and the elections in Delhi didn’t really ended the way he had planned. So who knows?


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