From battling ground to home ground: If hunger strike fails, ex-servicemen will march for OROP



By Ishan Kukreti

The current NDA government is drawing fire from many quarters. After students, former military men are protesting against the government for delaying the one rank one pension scheme. The erstwhile soldiers have gone on an indefinite hunger strike at Jantar Mantar since Monday.

Ex Major-General Satbir Singh, convener of the protest said that the government had not contacted the protesters. He added, “In case the hunger strike doesn’t work, we will march to Bihar around the election time and tell people about the government’s stand on the issue.”

The current pension scheme had major flaws which led the government to come up with one rank one pension scheme. Ex Group Captain, V.K. Gandhi explains, “The present scheme is very faulty. Right now, the junior ranks get more pension than the higher ranks in many cases. Those who have retired before 1996 receive less than those who retired after that year, irrespective of their ranks.”

Although the scheme was approved on June 1, 2014 and a budgetary allotment of Rs. 8000 Cr has allegedly been made, no further steps have been taken so far.

“Soldiers are here to take bullets for the country while the politicians relax and enjoy life. Why do they raise slogans like “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” when both are treated like this in our country,” said a highly disgruntled member of the gathering.