Our armed forces have left nothing from their side to ensure our country is safe. They stand on borders in extreme conditions, while we celebrate festivals. They die every day fighting for our country, while we just sit comfortably and watch the news of the same on television. Despite our armed forces doing their best, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Government has failed to respect them and with every negative move that they take only humiliate our forces.
Even the officers of the Indian Army feel the same. They are disappointed by the treatment given to them by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.
Read what they feel:
- Independence Day Function: All these years since 1947, the Independence Day was organized by Armed Forces at Red Fort, Delhi. Now after NDA-II came to power the role of the Armed Forces has been fully erased. Now the General Officer Commanding (GOC) Delhi Area is made to stand far away from the Hon’ble PM. Civilians have taken that place earlier occupied by GOC, Delhi Area.
- Republic Day Celebrations: On January 30 every year, the Armed Forces bands play martial music in front of Rashtrapati Bhavan (President being the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Now it has been replaced by folk music).
- Truncated (One Rank One Pension) OROP: The NDA–II government gives truncated OROP by diluting its definition accepted by the BJP on the floor of the Parliament. The Hon’ble PM goes to Punjab for State election meeting and tells “We have diverted funds meant for farmers to OROP”. However, the truth is that the same has already been granted to all civil services since long.
- MoD has lost its importance: Since the last four years, the Ministry of Defence has been downgraded systematically. First, the hon’ble Finance Minister is made to officiate as Defence Minister. Then they get Mr. Manohar Parikar, a fly weight leader of BJP from Goa, to head such an important ministry. The hon’ble PM discarded Maj Gen BC Khanduri (Rtd) who should have been appointed as the Raksha Mantri. Now you have a Raksha Mantri who has to approach hon’ble Finance Minister for sanction of any project, even when it is worth a paltry sum of Rs 200 crore.
- War Wastage Reserves (WWR): Our reserve stocks have fallen below 10 days of intense fighting if war were to take place tomorrow. But none in the PMO or Defence Ministry is bothered about how to equip Armed Forces to fight a battle if it is forced on us. We are back to 1962 as far as defence preparedness goes.
- Defence Budget: It was not covered in Union Budget of 2018-19. This is the importance the hon’ble PM and Finance Minister have for Defence Forces. The defence budget has been lowest at 1.58% of GDP since 1947. Looks like we are going back to 1962 while China and Pakistan are consistently upgrading their military muscle.
- Absence of PM & RM at ‘AT HOME’ in Army House: Traditionally Hon’ble PM and RM attend AT HOME hosted by Army Chief on Army Day on January 15 every year. This time Hon’ble RM and Hon’ble PM considered it a waste of time and did not attend the AT HOME in Army House held on January 15, 2018.
- Opening of Cantonment Roads: The severest blow to the respect of the Armed Forces is the mindless order of the Defence Ministry to Army to open all Cantt roads to civilians. No barricades at all. No checking of civilians at the entry points. Posing a grave threat to military installations does not worry Ministry of Defence. No lessons have been learnt from Pathankot, Samba, Sunjwan, Nagrota and many other places.
- Dilution of Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) Act 2007: Ordinarily, all Tribunals are under the control of the Ministry of Law and Justice. But AFT is under the Ministry of Defence, which is the biggest litigant. Now the administrative member can be any civilian due to a recent amendment to the AFT Act 2007. Systematic downgrade of AFTs by not appointing the members of AFT has been carried out, thereby making them non–functional. Furthermore, the required budget has also not been allocated.
- Litigation Against its Own Soldiers: India is the only country which fights its own soldiers. The Ministry of Defences challenges all most all favourable orders of AFTs given to faujis by appealing against them in the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The Hon’ble Supreme Court had to levy a fine of Rs 1 lakh on Min of Def for appealing shamelessly when the legal case was well settled by hon’ble Supreme Court in earlier instances.
- 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC): The benefit of entitled ration to officers in peace stations has been withdrawn based on silly recommendation of 7th CPC which did not go into details as to why Smt Indira Gandhi sanctioned it in 1983.
- Replacement of Special Army Instructions (SAI) with Gazette Notification: When the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) refused to implement orders of 7th CPC, the NDA–II Govt issued Gazette Notification replacing traditional SAI, listing out pay and allowances of serving soldiers.
- Non Functional Financial Upgrade (NFU): In spite of the Delhi High Court and AFT Delhi giving judgment for grant of NFU to the Defence Services, the same has been challenged before the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Again a case of Govt fighting against its own Armed Forces.
- Report of Anomalies of OROP by Justice L Narasimah Reddy NOT Yet Implemented: Though Justice L Narasimha Reddy had submitted his report on anomalies of OROP to Raksham Matri in Oct 2016, yet the same has not been implemented on the ground that the Govt of India does not have funds. Have we really become a bankrupt state??
- Surgical Strikes: It seems apparent now that the surgical strikes had been ordered only to win UP State elections. Immediately after the surgical strike, the BJP went to the towns in UP showing how they defend our country and got landslide majority in the UP State elections.
- Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) 64 KB Smart Card: The Min of Def, without consulting MD, ECHS has negotiated for the issue of 64 KB card to all 52 lakh members of ECHS with a private software company. Even though 16 kb and 32 kb cards are functioning well the online submission of data to get 64 kb card has forced a large number of members of ECHS to shell out large amounts of money to the computer centres. Information sought in online data submission is in no way connected with medical history of the ECHS member. For eg. bank account & specimen signatures, which are personal data. The Min of Def hell-bent on passing sensitive personal data of members to a private company when data already available with Server of ECHS should have been used to replace 16 kb and 32 kb cards. One page data from all those who were not issued smart cards could have been asked instead of forcing them to submit their personal data online.
- Defence Planning Committee: Now all service chiefs are subservient to a low-grade intelligence guy from IPS who is called National Security Advisor (NSA). He is in effect the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). The Service chiefs now have to report to him, and not to the Hon’ble PM, once a month which used to be the norm when Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee was the PM from 1999 to 2004.
- Intergrated Financial Advisor (IFA) System. The Integrated Financial Advisors from Defence Accounts Department (DAD) are supposed to be advisor to military commanders but they have become bosses. They contemptuously turn down proposals of GOC of Sub Areas for utilizing funds for special repairs, purchase of animal feed for military farms, construction of sanctioned infrastructure etc.
- Non Allotment of Funds to ECHS to Clear Outstanding Bills of Empanelled Hospitals: The Ministry of Defence deliberately delays releasing funds to ECHS. Crores of rupees are outstanding to be paid to the empanelled hospitals for treating members of ECHS who were recommended by MHs to go for treatment. Hundreds of hospitals all over the country have not accepted ECHS patients as their outstanding bills have not been cleared. Coimbatore has large number of corporate hospitals but none is willing to be empanelled, as ECHS is known for not clearing their bills over two to three years. Those who were empanelled have asked for de-empanelment.
The mood and morale in the forces is badly bruised. This ungrateful government has also not done anything great to boost the morale. Let me tell you, a war is first won in the minds due to high morale.
The day is not far when it will be just another job, with no commitment of the forces towards nation building or national fervor.
Probably the time has come to ensure that the people in the forces unite, show their electoral might and stand up for their rights.