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
Air pollution in Delhi has been in headlines, as every year in recent times. Mumbai too has suffered from air pollution, despite being a coastal city. Apart from many other metros such as Bangalore and Kolkata, tier-I and -II cities and rural areas also have high pollution levels. Every year reports and st
The central government will provide free food grains to about 81.35 crore beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for a period of five years with effect from January 1, 2024, the cabinet decided on Wednesday. Terming it as a “historic decision”, a
Survival at Stake: How Our Treatment of Animals Is Key to Human Existence By Poorva Joshipura HarperCollins, 328 pages, Rs 499 With science now recognising animal consciousness, intelligence, emotion, and even morality, there must rise an awareness of
India`s tryst with trade through the Arctic regions, including the Northern Sea Routes (NSR), has become an impact-making endeavor recently. The Arctic of yore is now a pivot – point of geopolitics, of climate change discussions, and for economic opportunities; 40% of oil and gas reserves said to be
Investing Decoded: Simple Path To Building A Portfolio In Millions By Anirudh Rathore Penguin India, 320 pages, Rs 499
Deepfake has emerged as a serious threat to democracy and social institutions across the world. Propagation of deepfake content via social media platforms has aggravated this challenge. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has, from time to time, advised social media in