OROP

‘Defence ministry has remained a labyrinth’

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With political parties trading charges on the suicide of ex-soldier Ram Kishan Grewal on OROP, emotions are running high on both sides. Major Navdeep Singh, advocate in Punjab and Haryana high court, who was a member of the defence minister’s committee of experts to review service and pension matters which submitted its report in 2015, […..]

Chest-thumping and military’s downgrading can’t go together

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These are strange times for India’s armed forces. Our soldiers are caught in the middle of the biggest chestthumping and political messaging exercise since the Kargil war, which includes the PM’s laudable ‘Sandesh for Soldiers’ initiative with evocative Diwali photo-ops on the frontlines, rakhi-tying ministers in distant outposts and defence minister’s quixotic declaration that India’s […..]

Accusing veterans of insulting the nation sign of desperation

For the second time in a week Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has personally taken on military veterans who are returning their medals in organized agitations across the country over the one-rank-one-pay (OROP) standoff with the government. Speaking in Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu, he said, “burning and returning them [medals]is an insult to the nation and […..]

Why housewives back One Rank One Pension

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So, overheard a dark and disturbing joke from a veteran today. Pakistani soldiers on the border had unfurled a banner on their bunker saying “Jo ham se takraega, Jantar Mantar pe dande khaega” (Whoever clashes with us will get beaten up at Jantar Mantar). It shocked me out of my wits – it’s certainly not […..]

BJP and the soldier

The Prime Minister’s second Independence Day speech from the Red Fort was received differently in different quarters but there is one political constituency where it got a clear thumbs down. A day after shocking images emerged of police action on protesting ex-soldiers agitating for one-rank-one-pension (OROP) at Jantar Mantar in the Capital, defence veterans reacted […..]

Narendra Modi’s Red Fort fizzle

The colour of the Prime Minister’s turban at the Red Fort had changed — from red in 2014 to mustard-yellow in 2015. So had the context. In 2014, Narendra Modi was the grand new hope of India, speaking like an outsider bringing new energy to the decaying pillars of power. Now, after a year and […..]

The soldier’s right: Why the arguments against one-rank-one-pension are misleading

INDIA-US-DIPLOMACY

Roman emperor Augustus started the tradition of military pensions in 13 BC by guaranteeing life pensions to every legionary who fought 20 years for Rome. It set the bar for all modern armies and Independent India continued the British tradition of financially privileging military service until 1973, when soldiers were paid more than civilian bureaucrats. […..]