In 2014 Narendra Modi started his election rally with a speech to100,000 veterans at Rewari, Haryana. He promised the restoration of veterans perks and more important assured the gathering that once in power he would sanction One Rank One Pension for soldiers. The veterans voted en masse all over #India for Modi as he swept to power with a clear majority. But two years down the line Modi has not followed up his promise and he and his finance minister Arun Jaitley have sanctioned a moth-eaten OROP that is not as laid  down by the Koshyari committee. The findings of this committee were approved by two parliaments in 2013 and 2014, yet Modi has dithered in accepting the concept of OROP as defined by the Koshyari committee.

Modi and armed forces

Modi has projected an image of toughness towards Pakistan and China and adopted a pro-active stand against Pakistan. This resulted in a surgical strike by the Indian army on the other side of the LOC (line of Control). Even a novice will know that if Modi is to be a success in his plan which is the Modi Doctrine, then the lynchpin of this is the Indian armed forces. This doctrine envisages close relations with the USA against China. The army presently is the only organized force in the country and the instrument that holds many parts of India together. The army is active from Kashmir to the North East.Indian states.

The Indian state has however, from the time of Nehru not realized that the #military is the source of power projection. Modi has also succumbed to this fallacious belief that the army is grade II. One wishes he had a look around the world as to the perks and privileges of the armed forces. He has not approved the recommendations of the Koshyari committee which had stated that pensions of  veterans are to be revised every year. The 7th pay commission set up by the earlier government did not have a service representative from the armed forces headquarters and came out with a clutch of proposals that downgraded the status of the armed forces further. As an example, the hardship allowance for a civilian posted in the operational area is 50 percent more than the army equivalent rank.

Narendra Modi has to bite the bullet and restore the perks and privileges of the army, if he wishes to counter the deadly combination of an unfriendly China and its ally Pakistan. #NarendraModi