Hon. Mr. Narendra Modi Ji,
Prime Minister of India
South Block, Raisina Hills,
Subject : About planned hunger strike at Ramlila Maidan on October 2, 2015 for implementing One Rank One Pension Scheme for war widows and servicemen....
I had written to you in connection with this subject earlier on July 7, 2015 too. While campaigning for elections, you had promised repeatedly that once your government is formed, it would implement the One Rank One Pension Scheme at the soonest. Your party had included the assurance in its election agenda too. However, now when more than a year has passed since your government has come to power, the One Rank One Pension Scheme is yet to be implemented.
The Sainik Welfare Department of Ministry of Defence, Government of India, convened a meeting on February 26, 2014. Defence Secretary as well as the chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force had attended the meeting, which was presided over by the Hon. Defence Minister, Ministry of Defence. Important decisions pertaining to the One Rank One Pension Scheme were taken at the meeting. However, none of them was implemented.
Some people had moved a petition in the Supreme Court on the issue of One Rank One Pension Scheme and during the hearing on the petition held on February 16, 2015, the Supreme Court had directed the Government to implement the One Rank One Pension Scheme within three months. However, no decision has been taken in this connection as yet.
Injustice is being meted out with a number of ex-servicemen due to the failure to launch the One Rank One Pension Scheme. These ex-servicemen are forced to meet the end with meagre pensions. As a result, they find it impossible to live a respectable life. Wife of a martyred soldier gets amounts as less as Rs 3,500 to Rs 4,500 as pension. Our widowed sisters, who have a couple of children, have been finding it impossible to meet the expenses on their necessities and education of children in this little amount in the present days when the prices have skyrocketed. As a result, such widowed sisters of ours are unable to live a life of respect. They are forced to face several problems. Our Jawans spend their days and nights in snowy terrains of Himalaya like Leh-Ladakh. And despite all these hardships they are facing, they are forced to live a difficult life after retirement just because they are being paid peanuts in the name of pension. The Jawans who became disabled while fighting wars have done a huge sacrifice for our nation and society and hence they must get their basic pension as well as the board pension.
Even in my earlier letter, I had pointed out that the parliamentarians elected to either house of parliament have been getting a hoard of facilities such as travel in first class of trains, airfare, free power supply, free telephone and residence. Moreover, they get salary of Rs 50,000. Still they are demanding salary of Rs 1 lakh. On the other hand, our sister who becomes widow at the age of 30 or 32, gets pension as little as Rs 3,500 to Rs 4,500. This is no good for the society.
On one hand, the Government issues ordinance to acquire lands of farmers of our countries on three consecutive occasions despite opposition to it in the Rajya Sabha. On the other hand, the same Government does not take decision about implementation of the One Rank One Pension Scheme and pensions to war widows although it had promised to do so. This is unfortunate. Pensioner Jawans have been on hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in Delhi for the last several days to demand implementation of the One Rank One Pension Scheme and still nobody even goes to talk to them. This is unfair.
Several organisations of farmers, United Front of Ex-Servicemen as well as the organisations of pensioner Jawans approached me. They appraised me of the problems faced by Jawans and our widowed sisters and requested me to participate in the agitation. Being a pensioner Jawan myself, I have decided to participate in the agitation for the demand of implementing the One Rank One Pension Scheme and redressing the problems faced by the war widows.
Kargil Vijay Dwas will be celebrated at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on July 26, 2015. Widows of the war heroes will be felicitated in the function. Our Late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri had given us the slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan!’ Rallies to spread public awareness, awaken the people and to organise people together to redress the problems faced by the Jawans and farmers will be organised in every state of the country. The dates on which various states are to take out the rallies will also be announced at Jantar Mantar on July 26, 2015.
These rallies will be organised in every state in the months of August and September. The future course of the planned agitation at Ramlila Ground will be decided at these rallies. I shall commence by hunger strike at Ramlila Ground in Delhi on October 2, 2015, the day which happens of be the birth anniversary of both Mahatma Gandhi Ji and the originator of the slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan!’ Late Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri. All those pensioner Jawans and widows of soldiers who are pressing the demands will also join my agitation. The indefinite agitation will continue till the demands are fulfilled.
The pensioners who cannot reach Ramlila Maidan will agitate in their respective states, districts and tahsils. When the Jawans will agitate, the farmers will support them. When the farmers will agitate against land acquisition ordinance, the Jawans will support them. Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan!
The country-wide Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan agitation will be peaceful and non-violent. There will be no violence anywhere.
The agitation will not be against any specific party or individual. The agitation will be staged to demand rights of Jawans and farmers.
Flag or no party will be displayed at either the rallies in the states or the agitation to be staged at Ramlila Maidan from October 2, 2015. Leaders of any party will not be on the stage. This will be purely the agitation of Jawans and farmers.
Our demands include implementation of the One Rank One Pension Scheme, paying full pension to the war widows, the Jawans who get less pension must get pension in accordance with the new pension scales. The prices are increasing day by day and both those who get less pension in accordance with the old scales and those who get pension in accordance with new scales have to buy the necessities. I am forced to stage the agitation because my earlier letters to the Government about the issues of Jawans and farmers, pension as well as land acquisition bill have gone unanswered. There are many organisations of both the Jawans and farmers in the country. However, they do not get success because several of these organisations indulge in one-upmanship. Several organisation collect funds but there is no transparency in maintaining the accounts of funds. This also results in differences. Workers of all organisations must come together to address the problems of Jawans and farmers. Only then the problems will be redressed.
Therefore, I seek to state what I have done in the past. I have adopted schemes involving funds of crores of rupees but I have no bank balance. I have received crores of rupees in cash in the form of national and international awards. I have formed a public trust of the money. The trust gets around 11.5 to 12 lakh rupees in the form of interest, which is spent on serving the people. I own nothing other than my bedding and a plate that I use to eat. I live in a temple. However, I am happier than a billionaire.
Not everyone is expected to adopt the lifestyle of Anna Hazare. However, the organisations working for betterment of Jawans and farmer must emerge as idols serving humanity. Every organisation joining the Jai Jawan Jai Kisan agitation must maintain transparency in the accounts of their funds.
K. B. alias Anna Hazare