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TOPIC: Take Charge of OROP (One Rank One Pension)
BLOG: THE HINDU
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MEANINGS are given in BOLD and ITALIC
An army may march on its stomach, but for the force at large, izzat (dignity) has been a highly held ideal as well. In a country that boasts one of the world’s largest military forces that operates on the principle of voluntary (acting of one’s own free will) enlistment (Enlistment is the act of joining the army, navy, marines, or air force.), the government should try to resolve the current stand-off over the One Rank One Pension (OROP) issue with a realisation of this fact. Some of the responses heard from various quarters of the government so far do not indicate they appreciate that. Among other aspects, the latest OROP notification issued by the government goes against the spirit of encouraging younger officers by allowing premature retirement. It is a serious anomaly (a deviation from common rule or arrangement-गति-विरोध) that goes against the post-Kargil military reforms that have helped bring down the average age of field commanders. In seeking a solution to the outstanding issues, appointing yet another committee to look into the grievances will amount to nothing but a travesty (a false, absurd or distorted representation of something-हास्य जनक अनुकरण). The military has a core function in a democracy, and ensuring its apolitical (not political) nature is critical to the future of a maturing nation. Indeed, strained ties with the larger military community could have unintended fallouts in the long term. The widespread protests could contribute to disaffection against the government, going far beyond the cantonments (a military garrison or camp).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to take personal charge of the situation and deal with the veterans’ (a veteran is a person who has a long experience in a particular field) concerns credibly and earnestly (with sincere or intense conviction , seriously). The first step should be to ask his Cabinet colleagues, including Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar himself, to be more circumspect (cautious, careful) in their reactions to the agitation (a state of anxiety or nervous excitement). Concerted campaigns against the veterans, that the media tend to mirror, and attempts to ridicule (If you ridicule someone or ridicule their ideas or beliefs, you make fun of them in an unkind way) their methods of protest are not solutions. Once a cohesive (togetherness or linkage–जोड़नेवाला) and viable response is formulated after addressing all the concerns that have been highlighted, the Prime Minister has to involve himself in the process and ensure that the veterans are dealt with in a manner that ensures dignity. The OROP agitation is not a mere (You use mere to emphasize how unimportant something is) episode involving some disgruntled (angry or dissatisfied) retirees; it has already found significant resonance (deep, clear and strong-गूंज) among the serving ranks as well. That is worrisome. The protests may be dispersed, but the fact is that its effects are felt across the country. The Modi government should also not forget that its journey to power in the summer of 2014 was significantly aided (helped) by widespread anger against the United Progressive Alliance government on various fronts, and the ex-servicemen community — which had felt short-changed by that government’s approach to the implementation of OROP — formed a vocal part of the anti-establishment wave. Mr. Modi’s personal promise during the election campaign to implement the OROP scheme in full had given the community of veterans so much confidence in his government. For that reason too, the Prime Minister cannot shirk (avoid or neglect – काम चोर) political responsibility when it comes to resolving the OROP issue in a fair manner.
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