1. There is no reason except the government’s insensitivity, arrogance and self-righteousness for the continuing delay in implementing the ex-soldiers’ much-promised and most reasonable demand for “One Rank One Pension”.
2. On September 15, 2013 in his first election rally at Rewari after becoming BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi assured a very large gathering of ex-servicemen that ‘‘ONE RANK ONE PENSION’’ scheme would be implemented immediately after BJP got power.
However, after winning 2014’s parliamentary elections, BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have forgotten ‘ONE RANK ONE PENSION’ issue. They have also forgotten who had voted for them and why.
3. On 14th June, 2015, fed-up with the inordinate delay in implementation of ‘One Rank One Pension’, those who were earlier defending the country’s frontiers came on the roads demanding ‘One Rank One Pension’. The ex-servicemen’s agitation has been continuing every day since June 14, 2015.
4. Shocked by the government’s prolonged inaction on ‘One Rank One Pension’, Col. (retired) Pushpender Singh and Havildar (retired) Major Singh began their fast unto death on August 16, 2015. And Havildar (retired) Ashok Kumar Chauhan started his fast unto death on August 18, 2015. On August 24, 2015, Col. (retired) Pushpender Singh and on August 25, 2015, Havildar (retired) Ashok Kumar Chauhan were hospitalized since their health deteriorated. On August 25, 2015, some more veterans have begun their fast unto death.
The government’s continued dithering on this issue has led to such unfortunate developments which can have very serious implications for the nation.
5. Several lacs of ex-servicemen and widows of war heroes deserve much more than mere “One Rank One Pension”. The ethos, the pride and the traditions of ex-soldiers deserve to be respected. Ex-soldiers deserve justice with grace; and without asking for it.
6. Since before the Parliamentary elections in 2014, BJP and its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had promised One Rank One Pension to ex-soldiers, it must be implemented straight away; and sincerely. There is nothing to discuss, nothing to negotiate and nothing to bargain with ex-soldiers in this regard. It was a straight-forward commitment; and it should be implemented in a straight-forward manner without any haggling and without any further delay.
7. The government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have lost much of their credibility due to unnecessary delay in implementing the ex-soldiers’ much promised and most reasonable demand. If the government continues its prevarication and double-speak on this issue, it can lead to serious consequences.
8. Since the serving soldier of today is the ex-soldier of tomorrow, the government must implement ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme immediately so that the ongoing agitation does not aggravate into a bigger problem.
The government is going to achieve nothing by any further delay in implementing this scheme.