ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Death Knell for the National Military

Neo-liberal Agenda

The Indian soldier is in a state of stupor. The civil–military relations in the country are in crisis. The government’s policies are aggravating the situation, alienating the armed forces by lowering their status and salaries in comparison to other arms of the state. Neo-liberal forces are using the crisis as an opportunity to introduce military transformation that would splinter the national military and replace patriotism with profi teering.

The Indian armed forces are in a state of shock. The irony is that the nationalist political party considered most sympathetic to their cause is administering the shock therapy. The expectations of the military on pay and pension have been belied. In 2015, the veterans were forced to take to the streets demanding the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP). The government unleashed the police on protesting veterans.

After vacillating on the issue, a distorted version of the OROP was announced in November 2015. Contrary to the accepted understanding of the annual revision and equalisation of pensions, the government fixed equalisation to once in five years. Initially, officers who sought premature retirement after completing the 20-year mandatory pensionable service were precluded from the OROP scheme. Later, the government relented and all officers who had taken premature retirement up to the date of issuance of the government notification were included in the OROP scheme. However, the future premature retirees are denied the OROP benefits.

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