Protest of Veterans and Retired soldiers : Rising Voice with Unity

Soldiers are the Backbone of the nation. Their well being and high morale is important for national safety and security. We can remember the sacrifice of our soldiers in the war of 1965, 1971, operations and conflicts in the eighties and Kargil war in 1999 and the continuous fight with terrorism in our North -west and North east  border areas. lakhs of soldiers has lost their lives in these war and terrorism.

Indian Armed Forces comprises three different kinds of manpower i.e Commissioned Officer, JCOs/OR and Non Combatant/Civilians.  The Army/Navy and Air Force units mainly comprise the Combatant manpower to keep functional the main role of the Armed Forces.

Though all categories of manpower are trained and deployed to defend our country from external aggression without considering their cost of life.  They all are always ready to sacrifice their lives for the safety and security of mother India.  But the policy makers have created some basic anomalies in terms of pay and allowances in the name of Command and Control. 

To keep functional the Command level and organisational hierarchy, pay of senior ranks will always be higher , there is no doubt and objection.  Thousands of Veterans JCOs are protesting at Jantar Mantar at New Delhi to bring parity in some special issues as described below 

  1.  Military service Pay – MSP is granted to the soldiers and officers for versatile nature of the duties of the Armed Forces personnel which is completely different form Civil jobs.  Risk and Hardship of the Armed Forces duties is compensated with the MSP. Since Life is equally valued for Commissioned Officers, Military Nurses and  JCOs/OR , the MSp Should be equal, demanded by the veterans.
  2. Pay Fixation of Reemployed ESM JCOs /OR – In Central Govt Dept/ministries, the Commissioned officers on reemployment are enjoying pay fixation benefit as per last pay ddrawn before retirement but in case of JCOs/OR – they are allowed to draw the pay as per entry pay means initial pay of the reemployed Post only. Veterans belong to JCOs/OR are discriminated by denying the Pay fixation benefit.

Some other issues covered in the Protest and agitation at New Delhi and other part of the Country since long is as –

  • Equal MSP
  • Removal of discrepancies in the Indian Armed Forces
  • Removal of anomalies in OROP-II
  • Fair treatment under OROP – Fixation of Pension as per Maximum – not the average of minimum and maximum.
  • Removal of disparity in basic rights of Jawans i.e ration, accommodation, transportation, Leave, fair behavior,  Removal of British Feudal system in Army etc.

The protests began on 20 February 2023 at Jantar mantar in New Delhi and that spreaded over all the states of India.  Veterans shown peaceful agitation before the office of the District Magistrate. Ex-servicemen have been protesting for over 200 days. 

OROP is a longstanding demand of the Indian armed forces and veterans. OROP means that personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service should receive the same pension, regardless of their retirement date.   But the Govt has fixed the Universal pension as the average of minimum and maximum pension drawn by the personnel with the same length of service in the same rank.  So, the scheme OROP is one Rank Many pension (ORMP).  Veterans demanding OROP and not Repeat NOT ORMP.

If we go through the motto of the protest of the veterans, it is clear that there are a number of anomalies and injustice with the veterans JCOs/OR. To make this movement successful, all veterans should be united and raise their voice accordingly.