One is very sad to see veteran ex-servicemen of all rank and file sitting outside Jantar Mantar over the last 80 days asking for their legitimate dues (not demand) ofOne Rank One Pension (OROP). These are the soldiers who sacrificed the prime time of their lives so that we could sleep in peace. These soldiers had put their lives in the line of fire whether it was the freezing sub zero temperatures of Siachen heights or the heat of Thar desert, protecting our borders. Do they deserve this humiliation that they have been forced to sit on a dharna outside Jantar Mantar with their families? We can still see on their faces their pride for the country and the dignity with which they have conducted themselves, ever so disciplined. They have done well to keep politics and political parties out of their protest.
One wonders, where is the conviction of BJP with their inspirational mantra “BHARAT MATA KI JAI”. These are the same soldiers who have protected the honour and dignity of ‘BHARAT MATA’. None other than Narendra Modi at his first rally at Karnal, immediately after he was declared the prime ministerial candidate, had promised the veterans that he would honour their long outstanding dues. Even Parliament had put their seal of approval for OROP. Therefore one would have expected that the first thing Narendra Modi would have done after becoming the PM was to honour his commitment.
At their press conference on Thursday, the veterans clarified that it would cost the exchequer not more than Rs. 8,294 crores for this scheme and about Rs. 33 crores annually. Is it too much a price to pay? I feel this is the minimum the country ought to do immediately without wasting even a day more. The soldiers went so far to say that the government was misleading the country with wrong figures. By the way, what saddened me was that in between this important press conference of the veterans, many national TV channels cut the live broadcast for a ‘BREAKING NEWS’, and what was the important breaking news? Mr. Peter Mukerjea entering the Khar Police Station for interrogation! It is sad that our electronic media has lost their priorities. I salute these ex-servicemen and hope and pray that their honour would be protected as they have protected the honour of the Country and continue to do so.
I am sure somewhere down the line, the parent body of BJP – the RSS – has realised that the euphoria of Modi government is on the decline and that there is a sinking feeling among the citizens who had put all their faith and aspirations in PM Modi.
The slogan of ‘JAI JAWAN JAI KISAN’ doesn’t seem to make much sense as jawans are protesting at Jantar Mantar and kisans are committing suicide in large numbers. The Hardik Patel movement is not helping the government either, more so as it originates from the home state of PM Modi. The Jammu and Kashmir experiment is also not yielding result as cross border firing has become a routine affair. Onion prices are soaring high, industrial production is down and also the GDP figures are lower than expected.
The three day meeting called by the RSS with the BJP ministers/functionaries is a major signal that all is not well between the RSS and the BJP-led government. Perhaps, we are seeing the end of the long rope which the RSS might have given to the Modi sarkar. It is quite evident that the RSS is mighty upset with the way veterans have been treated, and I am certain RSS has given an ultimatum to the Modi sarkar to sort this out immediately to the satisfaction of the soldiers irrespective of the cost, as for them no cost would be greater than losing Bihar elections.
The veterans have threatened to take their issue throughout the country including Bihar. Therefore I am certain that the government would announce a solution soon. The major difference between RSS and the government over the Land Bill was out in the open and ultimately the government had to withdraw the same. The change of home secretary thrice has also not gone down well with the bureaucracy. It is absolutely clear that in coming days the agenda of RSS will be more prominent, especially in the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Ministry of Finance. The very fact that various ministers have given their presentation before RSS bosses also makes it clear who is going to spearhead the direction of the government which means the country will witness a definite and major course correction. This could also result in a reshuffle of ministries after the Bihar elections.
Bihar elections are crucial for both, the BJP and the opposition as that will decide the future politics of India. If BJP wins, Modi will roar, if he loses then the knives in the BJP camp opposed to Modi and Co. will be out in the open and in a political power struggle, there is nothing called mercy. But then the jury is still out. RSS has realized the danger so they have stepped in.
The global financial and economical scenario looks gloomy triggered by so called Chinese meltdown. Suddenly everything looks confusing. The tussle is not between the BJP and the opposition. The tussle is between following the RSS, Baba Ramdev and Swadeshi Jagaran Manch’s model and the economic reform model that the world is expecting from this government. The promulgation of the Land Bill thrice and then withdrawing it, was a terrible political misjudgment and immaturity on the part of the government. This also shows the confusion within.
I am reminded of a story that goes thus. A cat got run over by a speeding car while crossing the road. A wise man asked his disciples to analyze the reason why that cat got run over and died. Various theories were put forward. Some said the cat was unwell, the others said she was old and yet some argued that her eyesight was poor etc.etc.etc. After listening to all, the wise man said ‘you all are wrong. The real reason the cat got run over and died was the cat was confused and hesitant and could not decide whether to cross the road or not’. Hope the aspirations of the people do not get killed in this atmosphere of confusion.