Ex Servicemen Surrender their Medals

via Press Release published on March 15, 2009

There is a growing sense of resentment amongst the Ex-Servicemen in India, on account of their pain & anguish brought about by years of neglect & apathy by the Govt of the Union of India, in not addressing the various issues relating to their pension & resettlement. On account of the insensitivity of the Govt. of India to their just & fair demand for grant of ONE RANK, ONE PENSION; Ex- Servicemen in batches of 20-30, belonging to Delhi and surrounding states, viz. Punjab, Haryana, Himachal, Uttarakhand, UP & Rajasthan are on RELAY FAST FOR JUSTICE at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, since 16 Dec 2008. As there had been no concern shown by the Govt. of India to the ongoing RELAY FAST FOR JUSTICE at Jantar Mantar, 10,000 Ex- Servicemen & their families from Delhi &  surrounding states assembled at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, on Sunday, 08 Feb 2009 and surrendered their Service Medals, including medals bestowed for Gallantry in Wars, to Her Excellency, the President of India. It was indeed a sad day for the Country to see  Ex- Servicemen, who had sacrificed their youth for the sake of their Country and taken part in Wars to protect the territorial integrity of the Nation, taking out a MARCH FOR JUSTICE and at the end of it, surrender their medals. It was indeed a poignant scene and a touching moment to witness Ex-Servicemen surrender their Medals, held so dearly and worn with pride on their chest, all these years.  A civilian passerby rightly remarked, “Faujion kaa sadak par aanaa, Desh kaa durbhaagya hai”. (Ex-Servicemen being forced to take to the streets, is indeed a tragedy for the Nation). The shabby treatment being meted out to the Ex-Servicemen is not lost on the serving soldier, either; for one can hear them say, “Aaj unke  saath, kal hamaare saath”. But who cares? Definitely not the politicians in power.

 

         To express their solidarity with EX-SERVICEMEN who are on RELAY FAST FOR JUSTICE at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, and Ex-Servicemen from Delhi and surrounding states who had surrendered their Service medals on 08 Feb and 21 Feb 2009, Ex-Servicemen from Bangalore shall be assembling at the Mahatma Gandhi Statue on MG Road at 10 AM on Sunday, 15 March 2009; to undertake a MARCH FOR JUSTICE around Chinnaswamy Stadium; and thereafter surrender their Service medals for dispatch to Her Excellency The President of  India, as a mark of Protest for the pain & anguish caused to the Ex-Servicemen by the Govt. of Union of India in not granting ONE RANK, ONE PENSION.

        To lead their retired life in peace with Honour & Dignity – the hall marks of a Soldier; the Ex-Servicemen request grant of ONE RANK, ONE PENSION. This is a long pending demand aimed at protecting the interests of older pensioners; and the issue has become very emotive with the Ex-Servicemen.

WHY ONE RANK, ONE PENSION.

 

Military Service is UNIQUE, with a highly demanding 24 by 7 work culture under hostile environments; and secondly, Military Service is the only Service wherein a Jawan is bundled out at the young age of 35, when he has a young wife, two small children, his parents & unmarried sisters to be taken care of; without the STATE bothering to give him an alternative employment. It is absolutely callous. A young man who joins service in civil as a LDC or a Police constable; serves comfortably till the age of 60 years and retires in a much higher position with a good amount as pension. Not so in the case of a Jawan. 85% of the Sepoys retire as Sepoys only after 15 years service. Most civilians who retire at 60, would live to see only one Pay Commission after retirement, considering their longevity to be 70-75 years and a few, two pay commissions; but a Sepoy would live to see nothing less than four Pay Commissions after retirement. It is the older pensioners of the Army, Navy & Air Force who are the worst sufferers. It is not only the serving soldier that the STATE is duty bound to take care of; but also the Veterans who have sacrificed their youth in service of the Nation with no other thought but, DUTY, HONOUR and COUNTRY.

         The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has been asking the Govt. time & again to implement ‘One Rank, One Pension’. Para 99 of the Report of Standing Committee on Defence (2003) clearly states: “The Committee have been recommending grant of `One Rank One Pension’ to the armed forces personnel time and again. The Committee observes that successive Governments and Pay Commissions have made improvements in the pension structure keeping in view the cost of living index. This has accentuated the disparity of pensionary benefits between pensioners of the same rank. The older pensioners who have become infirm in ability and capability and burdened with a larger social obligation receive pension calculated at the rate of pay at the time of their retirement in 1950s or 1960s or 1970s, which is quite paltry and the Dearness Relief quite inconsequential in today’s context of inflation and shrinking purchasing value of money. The nation must repay its debt to those defenders of the motherland with gratitude and humility. We should, instead of, looking for precedents in this regard, create precedents for the others to emulate. Any amount paid in this regard would be small token of our gratitude to them. The Committee, therefore, once again reiterates their earlier recommendation for providing `One Rank One Pension’ to the armed forces personnel”. [For purposes of ‘Pension’ the term MILITARY VETERANS includes widows/ parents /next of kin of soldiers who were killed in battle and also those who died in peace time, and in receipt of pension from Defence Dept].

         The present dispensation of Pension to Ex-Servicemen as per the recommendations of the 6th Central Pay Commission, is highly discriminatory, as can be seen from the following illustrations:

PENSION: PAST
RETIREES : PBOR

RANK

PRE 01.01 96

PRE 01.01.06

POST 1.1.06

(VI CPC)

BASIC

PENSION

REVISED

PENSION

BASIC

PENSION

REVISED

PENSION

SEP

1,586

3,764

2,065

4,667

6,860

NK

1,954

4,417

2,136

4,828

6,950

HAV

2,216

5,008

2,318

5,239

8,030

NB SUB

3,525

7,967

4,070

9,198

8,980

SUB

4,125

9,323

4,660

10,532

9,915

SUB MAJ

4,775

10,792

4,775

10,792

10,795

HONY LT

5250

13500

5250

13500

13500

HONY CAPT

5425

13850

5425

13850

13850

Injustice:

(i)            A Sepoy who retired pre 01.01.96 gets a much lower pension (Rs. 3764/-) ie. only 54% of Rs.6860/- which a Sepoy who has retired post 01.01.2006, is getting

(ii) A Havildar who retired pre 01.01.96 not only gets a much lower pension (Rs. 5008/-) ie. only 62% of Rs. 8030/- which a Havildar who has retired post 01.01.2006 is getting; but, a Havildar who retired pre 01.01.96, draws a pension even lesser (Rs. 5008/-)  ie. only 62% of Rs.6860/- which a Sepoy who has retired post 01.01.2006, is getting, despite the fact that a Havildar is two ranks senior to a Sepoy.

 

PENSION: PAST
RETIREES : OFFRS

 

RANK

PRE 01.01 96

PRE 01.01.06

POST 1.1.06

(VI CPC)

BASIC

PENSION

REVISED

PENSION

BASIC

PENSION

REVISED

PENSION

LT

4125

13500

5025

13500

15885

CAPT

5000

13850

5900

13850

17865

MAJ

6400

14464

8025

18,137

22135

LTCOL

7,550

17,063

9,350

21,131

25,310

COL

8,550

26,050

9,675

26,050

30,375

BRIG

9,550

26,150

10,225

26,150

31,170

MAJ
GEN

9,550

*26,150

11,200

26,150

33,925

LT
GEN

11,200

^26,150

12,250

27,685

38,190

ARMY
CDR

13,000

40,000

13,000

40,000

40,000

 

 

Injustice:

(i)            There is a vast difference of Rs. 12,040 (ie. 32%) between the pension being drawn by a Lt Gen (Corps Commander) who retired pre 01.01.96 and a Lt Gen who has retired post 01.01.2006.

(II)  A Lt Gen (Corps Commander, in command of 70,000 troops) with 40 years service,  who retired pre 01.01.96 draws a pension of Rs. 26,150) that is even lesser than a Colonel (Rs. 30,375) who has retired post 01.01.2006.

The most bizarre part of this sorry tale is that Secretaries to the government, Judges, MPs and MLAs have been granted one-rank one-pension. That covers the full execu

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