Dear Mr Kejriwal, Mr Yechury, Mr Rahul Gandhi, journalists and fellow comrades…
When Subedar Ram Kishen Grewal who was also Congress leader & sarpanch of Bamla Village of Haryana died (murder or suicide must be probed) the nation saw how concerned you all are about the issues related to OROP, ex-servicemen and their plight, particularly after Modi took over. The protests that you all staged and the response of the media was predictable but looked meticulously planned, well-rehearsed and the outrage that followed, orchestrated. Each one of you played your part to perfection. I don’t want to emphasize on this one curious case of Grewal in isolation, but rather like to ask few questions that beg honest answers. I am sure, you won’t answer as it would be politically suicidal for those like you all, whose school of thoughts dwell on maintaining status quo to milk issues or at best come up with cosmetic changes to fool your target audiences.
Dear Rahul Gandhi, you and your party kept telling us proudly about how you gave us an esteemed economist as a Prime Minister for a decade. Did this economist ever come up with any plans to tap the potential in the vast majority of retired officers and men who leave forces with atleast two decades of productive careers still ahead of them ? What was the plan that the great economist or his crisp-lungi-clad stiff upper-lipped colleague called Chidambaram came up with, to utilize the potential of those who had completed around 20 years of pensionable service or 7 years of short service in one of the most professional organizations of the world, and yet who were just in their forties? Did it ever occur to you that the resources that these wise men wasted were professionals of impeccable integrity, who went about their jobs without any fuss like many others working in different sectors would, were responsible for not just achieving their goals but for the lives of men under their command, worked without ESOPs or pay-hikes or performance bonuses? A resource that knows to work in an environment where errors leave widows and orphans in their wake, not just confined to reprimands, cover-ups or job loss.
Lack of administrative experience has created a mess in Delhi. Almost all ministers and MLAs of AamAdmi Party know nothing of administration. The mess created and the havoc wrecked on Delhiwallahs was avoidable only if you Mr Kejriwal had the common-sense to take help of the very soldiers whom you remember only in times like these. During the career, an officer performs the role of managing resources and equipment worth several hundred crores of rupees. He is responsible for the well-being and training of his men, planning of logistics, controlling of deployment and coordination with other units. Exactly what your officials need to do to avoid the mess!! The retired officer would have an edge over your Babus as his experience would have made him adept in process development with a keen sense of what could go wrong.
How many trade unions waving those red flag bearing that rusted sickle and broken hammer come up with solutions or demands to induct retired officers or jawans, Mr Yechury? The retired men from the forces are the best HR professionals you can get anywhere. For years they were accountable for their men, knew what makes them tick, their strengths, weaknesses and vulnerabilities. How different is then a retired officer different from those currently hired by companies. Operations is another role where those retired from the forces take like duck takes to water. Ability to multi-task, high energy levels and ‘will do’ attitude can make them excellent operations or even project managers or team members. Forget about corporate Mr Yechury, did it ever occur to you that these brilliant men can also be employed with a lot of public sector units and Banks not just as security guards, but for close protection of high value assets, fraud investigation, disaster management, recovery management, crisis management and not just physical but today they are one of the best in electronic surveillance and some other high-end specialized roles. Did any of your leftist unions call for a strike or a hartal to press for such a justifiable demand? No. But you never fail to reach the hospitals and homes of the dead jawans to shed crocodile tears in front media cameras.
Well all of these suggestions must be raised by a responsible opposition. It’s not just about OROP. It’s also about offering a dignified life post retirement for those who deserve it the most. The opposition sadly is indulging today in just petty politics to score some political brownie points, which will not help the retired men from the forces in anyways. If the opposition is acting with such cheap narrow-mindedness, the government need not play ball. They too can suo moto consider these suggestions. It will help them politically too. In fact Mr Modi must also encourage them to come up with start-ups and then lead companies in sectors ranging from consulting to media and security services to software. We have seen retired men from the forces becoming successful authors, entrepreneurs, social activists, administrators and even leaders. The largest real estate developer and the architect of affordable airlines in India, were both from the forces. Yes, a little bit of training to cope up with the competitiveness of the corporate world would help. Finance for entrepreneurship should not be an issue now due to the slew of measures taken by this government towards encouraging start-ups.
May no more Grewals die. May no more of our brave-hearts are driven towards suicide(or be murdered for political gains by those who want to later fish in troubled waters). I urge the government in particular to take steps towards helping the retired men from the forces to lead a dignified life ahead. Finally I request the opposition to stop using the unsuspecting Jawan to meet their political ends.
To dear jawans, let it not just be about money & OROP. You deserve good jobs and equal opportunities too. I am sure you will outclass competition, if provided opportunity.
Jai Jawan ! Jai Hind !!
– Vedant Kumar.
Twitter : @VedKr