The death ( I refuse to call it suicide) of a decorated veteran Veer Grewal raises several questions and punctures many claims that were being made by the Modi government over the last few months. Just recently, on Dussehra the PM and his party, that has been chest thumping on the surgical strikes, trying to appropriate credit for the brave action taken by the Army, declared that the OROP had been fulfilled and a sum to the tune of approximately Rs 5500 odd crores had been disbured for this.
By all estimates the cost of OROP was almost Rs 9000 crore so one wondered – had OROP really been granted in the manner the veterans were expecting or was it just another Jumla– something the PM has expertise in?
As it turns out, it was all a big hoax. The photo op of spending Diwali with the troops, the pre-election speeches by the PM- all of it was just a sham which has been ruptured by the note left behind by Veer Grewal- his death warrant – signed and cleared by PM Modi himself through his betrayal.
The betrayals have been at many levels. Recent roll out of 7th Pay Commission has exacerbated the disparity between forces and civil employees. The status of military officers vis a vis civilian counterparts has been downgraded by Modi government if reports are to be believed. Just days after the brave action by our soliders on Pakistan, Mr Modi did a surgical strike on the troops by drastically reducing the disability pensions given to injured soldiers!
Under Mr Modi if a government bank employee got injured in an accident and a soldier gets injured during combat , the bank employee would draw a higher pension! Doesn’t this match the ‘Mann ki baat’ of Saheb Modi who once said that traders take more risks than soldiers? It seems this is his philosophy!
When the UPA was in power, it had cleared OROP without any changes or alterations and got Parliament to commit to it and allocated Rs 500 crores towards it while appointing an expert group to work out the modalities of implementation in 6 months.
All recommendations made by the Khoshiyari (a BJP MP) committee had been taken on board and the veterans were given a commitment by Parliament that they would get OROP as sought by them. To further this point pensions of forces were revised thrice in 10years to close the gaps between civilian and forces. Now, Mr Modi’s version of OROP- which falls woefully short of the expectations of the forces, is a betrayal of the commitment made in Parliament too.
It prompted many veteran’s groups to continue protests and agitation across India and Major General Satbir Singh in August 2016 wrote to the Modi government calling their move a ‘ betrayal’, a ‘serious breach of trust’ and an ‘attitude of neglect of defence personnel’.
What added insult to injuries in the last 24 hours is the manner in which the Modi government and Delhi police have behaved. Opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia were detained and prevented from meeting the son of veer Grewal!
Why and under what law was that done? Are they terrorists? Should leaders not express condolences to the kin of a shaheed? BJP leaders like Nalin Kohli and Zafar Islam claimed politics was being played by visiting the family in hospital.
Hypocrisy clearly knows no bounds- those who put up posters in UP to take credit for surgical strikes, those who claimed RSS teachings inspired surgical strike and those who said that the Army was like sleeping Hanuman whose full potential was only reached under Modi- are talking about politicisation?
Union Minister Mahesh Sharma visited the family of an accused murderer (who killed Akhlaq, father of a defence personell Sartaj) and had the tricolor placed on his dead body- that is politics sir-of the worst kind. Visiting grieving families is not politics- it’s humanity.
And what justifies action on the son of veer Grewal? On a day the family is suffering this huge loss? Dragging and beating him up. Is Mr Modi so insecure? Under what law was he being detained?
What prevented the Delhi police to stop an elected MP and opposition leader Rahul Gandhi or a sitting CM from Delhi to visit the Grewal family?
Wasn’t this an undeclared emergency of sorts? Mr Modi truly showed his fascist, Hitler streak- manipulating the forces for his own personal gain and using the Delhi police like his Gestapo (Hitler’s secret service) to arrest opposition and silence critics!
What’s worse is that Modi has remained silent on serial offenders like VK Singh, a minister in the Modi government, who called Dalits ‘dogs’ and the media ‘Presstitutes’ insulted Veer Grewal again by questioning his mental condition.
One must now come to terms with the fact that whatever has transpired in the last 24 hours has the overt and covert support of PM Modi. Why else would he retain VK Singh after such a comment unless it was his ‘Mann ki baat’. And Mr Arnab Goswami who often behaves like Saheb’s Geobbles – furthering his propaganda- is questioning why Rahul Gandhi and Kejriwal are ‘making a beeline for Grewal’s funeral’!
If these leaders would not have gone to meet the family what would have Goswami said? I dare Mr Goswami to ask the PM to go and face the son of veer Grewal! Does he have the conviction to sack the chief of Gestapo- the officers of Delhi police who used force on Grewal’s family?
Veer Grewal did not lose his life fighting Pakistan. But his sacrifice is greater. It is a fight that showed us who are the real anti-nationals. It showed us the true face of a fascist government. He died fighting the enemy within. May his soul rest in peace.
(The author is Congress’ Maharashtra secretary. Views expressed here the author’s own. Janta Ka Reporter does not endorse them)