An Ex-Serviceman at whatever age is a dedicated person. Wherever he maybe he has the well being of the nation prime most in his heart. If clubbed together for whatever cause they make a formidable force. One such cause for which ex-serviceman under various forums came together over the last so many years was to peacefully agitate in a disciplined manner for their long standing demand of one rank on pension from the government. They held public discussions, wrote letters to concerned ministers, wrote articles in newspapers held awareness rallies to make the government and general public aware that the conditions service of the men in uniform was one of its kind. In no other service was life at such risk where it was difficult to say an individual would come back alive once he left for duty. Postings in far flung places and at times detrimental to health permanently was a routine matter.
The retirees of yore had made very little financial planning and most of ladies then were purely home makers therefore the only means of subsistence for the retired couple was their meager pension. Having risked their lives on the line of duty many a times, and posted in tough inaccessible terrains with very makeshift living quarters the grand old men felt they were unable to cope with high living index of today. Most of them were unable to understand why their pension was lesser than that of present day retirees?They argued the conditions of service in their times were much tougher than those prevailing today, so why were they being short changed. Most of the people in the government understood their cause and tried to help but the all powerful babu in the government on one count or the other used to send the proposal into a tail spin! Sometimes the fear of uprising in other services was brought up, sometimes clever jugglery of dates, price index and numbers were brought about to convince the government that it was impossible to be admissible. Seeing how the government babus used to react to the proposal of “one rank one pension” one was reminded of the popular British serial “yes minister.”
Putting all this behind Sh. Rahul Gandhi vice president of the Congress Party held a meeting with the representatives of the ex servicemen and assured them he would work out a way to achieve this! We are thankful to him that he managed to overcome the formidable babus and one rank one pension for the armed forces was announced by the Union Finance Minister in his budget speech in parliament on 17 Feb 2014.
I as Chairman of the Ex-Servicemen Cell of the Congress party for Haryana, congratulate all Ex-Servicemen across the country who led a disciplined agitation for so many years to achieve this goal. Hurray!
Till recently, the author an ex Army
Major, was a member of the Haryana
Legislative Assembly from the Congress