Subedar (retired) Ram Kishan Grewal’s suicide should be a wake-up call for the government as it is a reflection of the deep anguish among the veterans over the OROP issue
Rahul Dass | November 3, 2016
Subedar Grewal’s decision to consume poison and kill himself over One Rank One Pension (OROP) has brought back into sharp focus an emotive issue that has seen veterans waging a battle over what they perceive as something that is unfair and unjust.
The veterans are right.
The government needs to pay serious attention to their demands and quickly remove the anomalies. After all they have served the country in exceedingly difficult conditions and then after retirement they now have to fight for OROP. After much dilly-dallying the government had said in 2015 that it was implementing OROP. However, shortcomings remain and that rankle the veterans.
Take the case of Subedar Grewal who was reportedly drawing comparatively less pension than he was authorised for. It must have been quite frustrating for the veteran to get the anomaly rectified. That frustration probably led to him committing suicide.
His last telephone call to his son should be enough to shake our collective conscience. He can be heard saying: “I am sitting near India Gate and I have consumed poison. The government is doing injustice to jawans and I can’t tolerate this. I am a man of principle. I am sacrificing my life for the betterment my family, ex-soldiers and my nation.”
OROP implies that military personnel retiring at the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement, will get the same pension.
On September 5, 2015, the central government decided to implement the scheme.
Just days before Grewal killed himself, prime minister Narendra Modi said that the first installment of nearly Rs 5,500 crore had been paid for implementing the OROP scheme.
Following Subedar Grewal’s suicide, political parties were quick to get political mileage out of it. Right from Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, all rushed to meet his family members at the hospital, where they were detained amidst much drama.
If indeed the political parties are so keen to look after the welfare of the veterans, they clearly need to do more.
The politicians perhaps do realise that Subedar Grewal’s death would have an impact on the forthcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. The state sends the highest number of recruits to the armed forces, according to a written reply by the defence ministry to a question raised by Shiv Sena MP Sadashiv Lokhande in 2014.
Subedar Grewal is dead, but the OROP issue lives on – and determined veterans will clearly not allow the issue to die out.
Read: Status report on OROP
Barely a month after the global Wannacry cyber hack, a new variant of ransomware malware has locked systems across several European countries and India. Petya, as cyber researchers call it, uses vulnerability in the Microsoft’s Windows system, and encrypts the computer files. It is understo
Prafulla Samantra, a social activist from Odisha has bagged the Goldman Environmental Prize, described as the Green Nobel Prize, for his long struggle to save the Niyamgiri hills from bauxite mining. He received the award in San Francisco in April 2017. He had fought the Niyamgiri issue right up to the Sup
What kind of ally should India consider the US?
The USA declaring Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a specially designated global terrorist may not take the sting out of terrorists’ plans in Kashmir immediately but it has given a huge setback to Kashmiri separatists who had always hoped for American intervention in the Indo-Pak standoff o
Vani Jairam’s childhood dream of becoming a playback singer was realised when veteran film music composer Vasant Desai gave her the opportunity to sing Bole Re Papi Hara and two other songs in the movie Guddi. After that, the multilingual singer went on to sing for eminent music per
Should there be death penalty for those involved in lynching?