From: VIJAY OBEROI firstname.lastname@example.org
To: email@example.com; TRUNCATED
Sent: Tuesday, 15 September, 2009 12:20:36 PM
Subject: RE: Welfare Ex-Servicemen
Dear Shri Davar,
Thank you for your mail propagating the achievements of your party relating to the recommendations of the Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary on OROP and related issues. As a loyal worker of your party and a Secretary AICC - a very important position, you have no doubt tried to impress the veterans, but has it had any effect? Please read on.
If the intention was to get grateful responses from the veterans, then you must have yourself seen the news of a massive 5000 medals being deposited, in protest and anguish, with the Rashtrapati precisely one day after you had sent your mail. Actions always tell the tale better!
In addition, the replies you must have received to your mail should give you a fair idea about the feelings of neglect and frustration that the veterans feel. You may well be under the impression that this state of affairs exists only amongst the veterans and that the serving military personnel do not harbour such sentiments. If you and the hierarchy of your party think so, then I am afraid you do not have a feel of the ground situation, which is a great shame, especially for a party that is governing the nation! The serving community may be gagged by the rules and regulations, but they are equally concerned and frustrated by the inadequate and anti-military policies of the government. The leadership of the party may like to ponder over this state of affairs, as it is not at all conducive for the security of the nation. I do not think I need elaborate any more on this aspect.
Coming to the specifics of the recommendations of the Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary, the measures listed are not even a drop in the ocean and do reflect the bureaucratic machinations in totality. How strange that the leaders of stature in your very old and established party have either not been able to fathom them or are so helpless that they do not know how to deal with the burgeoning clout of the bureaucrats and the lengths they would go to for the continuation, nay increase of their power and pelf.
Since I head an NGO for the long-term rehabilitation of the war disabled, let me elaborate, if I may, on the minuscule recommendations so grandiously stated in the recommendations of the Committee. The major issue of treating the pre and post January 2006 war disabled at par and giving them war injury pay as a percentage of pay (as applicable for the post-January 2006 war disabled) has not even been addressed. Only two peripheral issues, largely meaningless, have been recommended. What a farce, especially when the total number of war disabled is so small. It is strange that even for the smallest and most neglected segment of the veteran’s population, the Committee had neither remorse nor sympathy! All it reflects is the callous attitude of the government even for those who fearlessly went into battle for the nation, knowing well that they may be maimed and disabled for life. This is no way to treat war wounded soldiers; no other nation does so. Perhaps the reason is the lack of any political oversight over such committees comprising wholly of bureaucrats.
Let me make one more point relating to the recommendations. Slogans and homilies may have some effect on the ignorant masses, but the veterans as well as the serving military personnel, being mature and aware, are no longer impressed by them. The situation has now gone much beyond that and if it is not retrieved at an early date, the consequences for the nation may well be catastrophic. Need I say any more!
I am sorry I have made this mail too long; you may not even have the time or the inclination to read it! However, since you are a very senior and influential functionary of the party, I thought it may be useful for you to know all the facts, especially the ground situation.
(Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, Former VCOAS)