SEMINAR OF ESM ORGANISATIONS
COL (Retd)) TN Raman
1. The present scenario of ESM Organisations pursuing their own courses of action in communicating & negotiating with the MOD or Secretary ESMW, has left a deep divide amongst the ESM as a community. This has been fully exploited by the UPA Govt. Even the so called Core demand of our OROP has been diluted not by the Bureaucrats but we ourselves. The Consensus Committee headed by our stalwarts, produced various tables which were in no way related to the issue of OROP, but a compromise formula, as required by the Buearocrats. They gave the name as Parity or Modified Parity & got it passed. The only ESM Organisation which spear headed the Movement had been kept out of the loop, stating that it was not a recognised outfit.
2. There are a number of unresolved issues apart from the OROP. The first & foremost is, whether all ESM are being paid as per their present entitlements? What about the widows of ESM? What about the ECHS facilities? What about the second career prospects of the ESM? Do the ESM have a say in the functioning of the DSS&A Board or even have the access to the enormous funds collected on behalf of Veterans during the Flag Day? Are the Welfare Committees for the Veterans & their dependents constituted by the Centre & the States having the representation of ESM as the members? The list can carry on.
Resolving the Problems
3. If any single ESM out fit can take on the magnitude of such diverse problems, both at the Centre & the States, it is most welcome. Unfortunately, we have none at present. Even the larger Organisations, which have been in existence for decades have not developed the wherewithal to execute such tasks. More unfortunate is the political alignment of many of these Organisations, which has precluded them from taking a serious stance against the Govt. The latest victim to such a posture is the IESM, which is branded, rightly or wrongly, as the stooge of BJP. The result is the negative reaction by the Govt, even to a reasonable cause, stating that it is engineered by the opposition party. Hence, recognition to the Organisation has been denied.
4. It will be crystal clear now to all ESM, that the immediate requirement for us is to first unite & pose a common front which cannot be easily dissipated, by external agencies. All the decades old ESM Organisations will not pack up their show & join any new out fit, where they may not even be recognised.
Federation of ESM Organisations
5. One of the ways to get over the trauma is to adopt a concept of Federation of the ESM Organisations. Here, all the existing ESM Organisations retain their own colours, Office Bearers, their own Constitutions & members. They will all pool their resources to create a Central Organisation which shall be responsible to guide the Movement & negotiate with the Govt. This Federation shall be absolutely APOLITICAL. Over a period of time, this Federation can build up enough strength to be considered as a Vote Bank of ESM, so that any political party would like to deal with it with respect. However, the concept of Federation is left for the Seminar to debate & resolve & in no way a precondition or an undertaking by the participants.
6. The aim of the Seminar is not to attract new members to the IESM. I am a member of the IESM & am proud of the fact. I am not a member of any other ESM Organisation. The purpose of the Seminar, which was rightly pointed out by Maj Gen RN Radhakrishnan, is to provide a platform for all ESM Organisations & some leading ESM Personalities to hold a free & frank discussion on the options available for us. This shall include the legal option also.
7. I also wish to thank Maj Gen Inderjit Kashyap for his sane advice to the IESM. I cannot visualise a Seminar sans the presence of the representatives from IESM, which was instrumental in giving Nation wide publicity to the ESM cause.
8. The Seminar is being planned for the last week of October 09, provided we receive the assurance from the various ESM Organisations & personalities of their participation.
9. I request all ESM to kindly go through the paper. The Agenda will be prepared on the receipt of your inputs.