Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The fracas over the OROP implementation.

Right from the beginning, when the agitations(?) for the implementation of OROP had spilled into the streets - the clarion call coming from the haloed Jantar Mantar itself - I was wondering whether it was right for us to be demanding our rights, like any other set of government employees, however just and deserving they were. I mean, if an ungrateful nation decides to give the short shrift to its armed forces and forget the sacrificing of their today for their tomorrow, so be it.

That sort of finer feeling must come from within, willingly and should not be demanded! Perhaps, it will evolve over a period of time.

I've a couple of queries in the manner that we're going about the OROP agitation and they are:-

     (a) Why can't all the ex-servicemen come under a single outfit and have a set of office bearers
           - elected periodically - who'll take up the cause of their brethren with those in the corridors
           of power?

     (b) What's this gimmick of returning the medals? The shiny little things depicted the milestones
           of one's service career, remind one of having been part of important operations/expeditions
           and significant acts of gallantry during operations and quite a few of them entitled us to
           monetary allowances. So, returning them to the government doesn't make sense! And as
           I'd said in an earlier context, if one's hell bent on returning them, then the monetary 
           allowances received, thus far, also need to be returned!! And if and when someone were to
           come to me and ask me for my medals, I'm gonna refuse for this very reason. My Naosena
           Medal(Gallantry) that I got during Operation Pawan(The Sri Lanka operations) is
           something that I cherish. Period.

Where are all the nice traditions and customs that we've inherited during our long service career - from the NDA days to the service life, thereafter? We've cribbed about a lot of things, from being excused to proceed on shore leave immediately after a hectic period at sea to an obnoxious senior to a senior, who was a hard taskmaster. At the end of it all, we'd end up at the Mess/Gun Room/Ward Room, have a good drink, laughed the whole stuff off as being a part of life and was up and about the next day, all excited, to meet it head on. There were neither grudges nor ill feelings, life was to be enjoyed to the fullest - the essential ethos of every man in uniform!


Quite a while back, I was Liaison Officer to the late Field Marshal Sam Maneckshaw. His words, "Never take yourself seriously", echo in my ears even now!

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