Tuesday, 8 July 2014

AIEWA WRITES TO HON'BLE SH NARENDRA MODI THE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA - 01 JULY 2014

Dear Friends,

This is our latest effort in our struggle to get the desired and rightful place for Veterans in the Society.

Regards

Inderjit Singh

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Respected Modi Bhai Saheb,

By virtue of my age you are my CHHOTA BHAI, but you have much greater BUDHI and experience in dealing with NATION'S problems. I therefore am sure you would comprehend easily what I am going to say for achieving your desire to ensure that the Armed Forces get their due importance and respectability in the Society.

Your first laudatory step after taking over was your directions that the MOD will not take any decision about Armed Forces unilaterally. All decisions pertaining to them will be taken after due consultation with them. This is a big step in removing to a great extent the trust deficit that the Armed Forces have been subjected to over the years.

Over the last over 32 years that I have been involved in Welfare activities of Veterans I have never found the Leadership of whatever hue or political grouping wanting. They always reacted positively and with the spontaneity that was nothing but most admirable. Every time the Leadership promised to do something good for us, it is the inimical elements in the Administration that scuttled their good intentions by bringing in extraneous factors.When that did not work they even spoke blatant lies to achieve their aim.

The NDA in their previous Avtar also was robbed of the credit for giving OROP to us despite our revered Atalji's promise given first in the Manifesto and then repeated by him in my meeting with him on 26 Jul 2001.

The modus operandi was simple. First cut our communication with the leadership and then feed them with blatant lies to scuttle our submissions. Can you believe they didn't even stint at speaking blatant lies to the Parliamentary Committee for Defense in the premises of Mandir, that is Parliament where you bowed your head before entering first time. This happened after my presentation to the Defense Committee on 28 Apr 2003.

I have compiled a paper about the lies they had spoken over the last 32 years, to scuttle our submissions. I present it to every Defense Minister on his taking over. I also gave it to Koshyari Committee on the basis of which they rejected all their lies and recommended strongly that the OROP must be given. I can send it to you also if desired.

Our problem is not lack of goodwill of the leadership Modi Bhai Saheb, It is the inimical elements. Imagine the MOD which is there to look after our interests to ensure for us the best, is the one which is opposing every thing that is good for us. The problem of lack of our communication with the leadership is what is needed to be addressed if you want to fulfill your desire. This can not happen by off and on issuing orders to this effect. This can only happen by placing instruments on ground. The detailed paper on instruments that needed to be established/reformed for ensuring regular institutionalized inter action is given at Appendix A attached. In brief these are given below :-

a) Standing Committee of Voluntary Associations (SCOVA)
b) Department of Ex servicemen Welfare
c) Representation of Armed Forces at the MOD
d) The Armed Forces Tribunal
e) The Exservicemen Resettlement Commission

I appeal to you my CHOTA BHAI Saheb to kindly help this hapless community of Veterans by establishing these essential effective instruments for ensuring for them their rightful dues. The Armed Forces and Veterans will ever remain grateful to you.





The Hon'ble
Sh Narendra Modi Bhai
The Prime Minister of India
South Block
New Delhi 110 010


Appendix A

INSTRUMENTS FOR ESTABLISHMENT

Standing Committee of Voluntary Associations (SCOVA)

We have this Committee in the Ministry of Pensions. It has twelve members. Nine are civil employees Association and three of Veterans. 

They meet every quarter under the Minister and resolve all problems. By the time they finish discussing the submissions of Civil Associations, hardly any time is left to discuss our problems. Besides our problems are of different nature which they hardly understand. What is required is that we have a similar SCOVA of the MOD. I got it going in 1992/93. Couple of meetings also took place. Then bureaucrats found it too hot to answer and gave it a quiet burial. This must be established as soon as possible to ensure regular Institutionalized interaction with the leadership.

Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare
This Department was set up by the leadership in their wisdom to ensure that the problems of veterans could be taken care of with greater authority and effect. Unfortunately rather than use their additional authority to solve our problems the bureaucrats running the Department are instead misusing their powers to create even more difficult problems.

What is required is the restructuring of this Department with the staff being a mix of serving and retired soldiers of the Armed Force. This would to a great extent help in solving rather than creating problems for Veterans which is happening now..

Representation of Armed Forces at the MOD

I am sure you are aware that the Armed Force are the only uniformed Service which has no representation at the decision making level in the controlling Ministry. Why? Are the Armed Forces untrustworthy or are they incompetent to handle their own affairs? It is neither. It is the fear of a coup that the bureaucracy has been creating in the minds of the leadership regularly that has resulted in total trust deficit. This kind of an attitude rather than prevent it, is a sure shot recipe for disaster.

This situation must be quickly reversed by placing Armed Forces officers at various decision making levels in the MOD. This will automatically ensure consultation and participation of the Armed Forces in all matters pertaining to them as per your noble desire.

The Armed Forces Tribunal
The Veterans had been subjected to all along with problems emerging out of flawed orders or their wrong implementation. Some Veterans who refuse to accept the injustice go to the Courts for reprieve. That is when their trouble begins. If they get favorable decision from one Court the Govt drags them to the next higher Court. This process goes on till they are dead. When the orders come neither they are there nor are their problems.

The Leadership realizing these difficulties decided to set up an Armed Forces Tribunal so that they could get a quick redressal of their grievances through judicial intervention if they could not get reprieve elsewhere.

Ever since the AFT was appointed in 2009 around ten thousand cases have been filed by serving soldiers and Veterans. Majority of these cases have been decided in favor of these suffering Armed Forces Personnel and veterans. Almost in all those cases the MOD through Deptt of ESW have gone in for Appeal in higher Courts. The Armed Forces agony has been prolonged by creating another level of judicial intervention rather than reducing it.

This has happened because the AFT has been placed under MOD and has been made toothless. The matter needs to be attended to by placing them under Ministry of Law and giving them all the powers of a High Court. Finally MOD be directed to treat all orders of the AFT as final unless there is serious violation of the Constitutional provisions.

The number of cases filed should be a matter of serious alarm for the leadership. The inimical elements to prejudice the minds of the leadership will project this phenomenon as a revolt against the Govt by the Veterans. In actual fact it is indicative of their malafide intentions for denying us our rightful dues at such an enormous scale. To tell you in simple words the actual situation? Almost every notification of any consequence, issued by the MOD is flawed and which denies us our rightful dues or takes away already granted facilities.

The Ex-servicemen Resettlement Commission

We are delighted that this all important instrument for Veterans welfare has already been announced by the President in his address to the Joint Session of the Parliament. This was first recommended by the High Level Committee headed by RRM, of which I was a Special Invitee, way back in 1984. The bureaucracy has been stalling it all this time.

You have very kindly decided to give us this all important Instrument.Now it needs to be quickly established with full powers. We appeal to you to kindly ensure that the Armed Forces are consulted while drafting the terms and conditions of this all important instrument for Veterans welfare before it is reduced to toothless wonder like the Armed Forces Tribunal earlier.

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