Two veterans and a lady, Mrs Sudesh Goyet, wife of a Major had gone on Fast Unto Death, since 15 Jan, 2017! A departure from the previous Relay Hunger Strike! A movement which has entered 19th month at Jantar Mantar and in rest of the country!
The lady had to be shifted to the hospital on 5th day due fast deteriorating health as she was weak due long relay hunger. They had to break their fast due pressure by the colleagues, as they realised that the government was totally immune to this mode of struggle! However, this has galvanised the movement of the veterans
Another highlight of this movement is complete ignorance of the media; the electronic as well as the print media, undoubtedly ordered by the government!
Reflection of the present situation.
1. BJP promised a white paper on the soldier’s problems and also formation of a military commission. In last 2 years nothing has happened on it?
2. After BJP formed the government, its defence minister clearly said “OROP” cannot be given. Soldiers are asking salary for life. That triggered agitation. Then their Home Minister tried to break the agitation using force. An RSS leader in its first ever political durbar in Delhi, as reported, passed ‘instructions’ to the present Defence Minister in a very derogatory manner “Give them something and make them quite’! It further aggravated problem.
3. Government has accepted recommendations of the VII pay commission which has given a very humiliating treatment to soldiers, cutting them further in status and compensations. There are issues pending since IV, V and VI pay commissions. Nothing was addressed, rather more cuts have been implemented. It has happened for the second time, while the civilians have been given their dues, soldiers are still struggling. It is the first time in the history of India, where three service chiefs have politely declined implementation of VII pay commission till major anomalies are resolved.
4. On issue of disability pay government has created yet another controversy.
5. Now fresh controversy over status parity has erupted in MOD, where civil officers of the Grade B are being treated much superior than the commissioned officers.
6. On all these issues, one can notice deliberate leaks and motivated article to defame soldiers! In VII pay commission report, an attempt has been made to put down soldiers and show them as greedy.
7. A new fund has been created for public to donate money giving an impression that as government has no money for soldiers, as nation is poor, public must pitch in donations.
On 614th day of strike, I was at Jantar Mantar and came to know very disturbing news. Here it is.
This was my question in a whatsapp group:
“A case has been lodged by General Raj Kadyan against Gen Satbir Singh, Gp Capt Gandhi and Wg Cdr CK Sharma for forgery of United Front.
This is outright treachery by the opposition group, working for the ruling class.
Do they think the soldiers will be deterred & stop their rightful demand for OROP?
Sir, what’s the truth?
“Friends, it is sad but true that Gen Kadyan has got a false and Concocted FIR Lodged at New Delhi against me, Gp Capt Ganndhi and Winco CK Sharma in connection with Funds at JM. I can only say the God above will do the Justice.
Maj General Satbir Singh SM”
Is this not the method of the ruling class and their henchmen, sycophants to intimidate the opposition? To blackmail them? And now even against the veterans, who never hesitated to sacrifice their family life, self-comfort and even the life?
Earlier they erected different tent adjacent to counter the OROP movement, inserted agents, who tried to break unity in name of religion, caste which was never felt while serving in Armed Forces. In fact this dirty tactics, if penetrates into the serving personnel, will be a very dangerous trend, but the rulers, in their philistine world, ignorant of the movement in the society are careless!!! Their sole aim remains profit & more profit!
What is to be done? The soldiers are determined to carry on their fight for their pride and genuine demand till the victory. Old veterans, nearing 90 years, from all over the India, are seen there. Relay hunger strike continues. Women are part & parcel of this struggle. Even other exploited sections, protesting at Jantar Mantar, are attracted and do visit them for interaction. A good progress for the unity of soldiers, peasants and farmers!
Effort to float “Fauzi Janata Party” has failed due treachery. Nonetheless, the talk of politics is common now, among the soldiers. They are talking of change in society to eradicate wide prevalent corruption, crime, unemployment. They are able to identify the similarities among various political parties, serving the ruling class and are not for the people. They want to see Secularism on the society, in which they lived, while in service.
(Today is 614th day of struggle of the veterans and the result is coercion and blatant lie by the government!)
I am not hinting at any revolutionary movement but must say that out of many pictures and slogans displayed at their tent, Bhagat Singh is prominent! The movement is pregnant with many possibilities and in not far future, the result will be visible!