If social media enhances and expedites reach, it also exposes people twice as fast. I recently came across an online article on 'One Rank, One Pension' (OROP) written by a suave former diplomat-turned-politician, which had little thought and no action behind it. To counter the breakout of Modi sarkar (military lingo for rapid expansion),the self-styled generals of Congress have been scoring countless self goals. As I write, I look up intermittently to skim through the TV news channels, and see the Congress taking the contrarian view on the 'Pakistan boat issue' demonstrating a decade-old mentality -- wait for Delhi to sanction action. Old habits die hard.
That is not how the Indian military and paramilitary have been trained. Being one of the best and most selfless in the world, a warrior's code of conduct is driven by his 'farz' or duty, honour of his 'Paltan', and his nation's 'izzat'. The monthly remuneration can in no way compensate these sacrifices, as a soldier routinely and regularly goes beyond the call of duty for the 'izzat' he holds so dear. And this fact is closest to the heart of the BJP.
BJP has a common thread with the armed forces -- that of the ideology of nation first. Narendra Modi declared his commitment to stand by servicemen, veterans and OROP at a rally in Rewari in 2013. Congress, sensing a potential vote bank did not want to miss the bus so they hurriedly announced OROP and dished out a meagre sum towards it. Therein lies the difference, the uniformed forces are not a vote bank but a value bank for us. Our defence minister went on record, committing to deliver OROP and the finance minister did so in his budget speech. Assurances on the floor of the House are sacrosanct and only in rare circumstances does their completion go a little beyond the financial year. The departments involved in OROP are defence, defence finance, finance and personnel. To get them to speak in one voice and have one view may take time but it will be done. This in itself may lower the satisfaction levels of a few impatient ones and that's when the defence minister spoke of delivering 80% satisfaction he did not say 80% pension. When we have waited for decades, what's a few months more? The armed forces can rest assured that the OROP is perfectly within the credible sights of the PM, FM and 'RM' of this government.