A conglomerate of ex-servicemen associations and welfare bodies has decided to boycott all celebrations and events to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Indo-Pak war, to protest the delay in the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP).
According to Brig Harwant Singh (retd) of the All India Defence Brotherhood, the ex-servicemen will not attend the President’s felicitation programme, to honour those who took part in the war, while he has decided not to attend a seminar being held by the Army’s Western Command in Chandimandir on the occasion.
In a letter to an official of the Western Command, Brig Harwant Singh, after being invited for the seminar, has written that the United Front of Ex-Servicemen, has decided to boycott all government functions till OROP is implemented or a firm date is given for it, without any dilution in the definition of OROP, as approved by the Koshiyari Committee of the Parliament. “We do not wish to be treated as show pieces to be used only for ceremonial and decorative purposes and thereafter contemptuously discarded,” the letter reads.
Brig Harwant Singh adds that since the seminar on the war by Western Command is being held at the behest of the government, it falls under the category of ‘government functions’.
There, however, seemed to be divergent views over boycotting Army functions by ex-servicemen. Lt Col S S Sohi (retd), President of Ex-Servicemen Grievances Cell, said that there was no need to boycott the Army as the call was only for staying away from functions being held by the civilian government. “The Army is our own kith and kin, they are with us and we should not boycott them,” Lt Col Sohi said.