Defence Civilians Raise Voice In Support Of Army Personnel

Recently the Chief of Defence Staff made an announcement of reduction of Pension for the premature Defence Retirees and increase in their age of retirement. This is a serious retrograde  step and there are protests against this announcement. Many organisations have represented to the Government to reconsider its decision. The Defence Ministry is already at loggerheads with  the  Defence Civilian Employees by declaring Corporatisation of Ordnance Factories, GOCO Model in Army Base Workshops, closure of many Defence Units, declaring surplus of Defence Civilian  Employees and restructuring  etc.,  The Federations of Defence Civilian Employees had served a Strike Notice on the Government and the Strike has been put on hold after intervention of the  Chief Labour Commissioner (C). For the Defence Civilian Employees there are Trade Unions to fight for their cause. However, for the Armed Forces Personnel, there are no Unions to fight for  their cause. contacted  C. Srikumar, General Secretary of the All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF) and views on the Government decision are given below for the benefit of our viewers.

The  decision  of  the  Government  has  a  resulted  in  demotivation  and  demoralisation  amongst  the  Armed  Forces  Personnel  and  even  Ex-  Servicemen. If  these  proposals  of  the Government  is  implemented  then  the young  talented  people  who  wish  to  join  the  services  will  be  forced  to  reconsider  their  decision  and  it  will  be  un  attractive  to  the  youth  of  our  country  to  join  the  Armed  Forces.  The  present  Government  always  claims  that  they  are  the  only  Government  which  takes  care  of  all  the  needs  and  welfare  of  the  soldiers.  However  the present  decision  is  a  total  deviation  from  its  claim.  The  Military  profession  cannot  be  downgraded  and  degraded .  Armed  Forces  Personnel  at  all the  levels  of rank  have  to be  motivated  and  they  should  feel  that  the  country  will take  care  of  them  and  their  families,  then  only  they  can perform  their  assigned  task  during  the  peace  time  and  war  time.  Their  morale  should  be  always  at  the  highest  levels.  

If  the Government’s  proposal  is  critically  analysed  then  its  very  damaging.  A  young  officer  after  getting  commissioning  and  on  completion  of  13 years  of service becomes  Lt. Col. The  pyramidical  structure  of  the  Army  is  such  that  more  than  60%  do  not  reach  the  next  rank  of  Col,  then  the  question  comes  that  for  the  next  23 years  what  will be  their  role  and  where  they  will be  posted.  One  fail  to  understand  that  what  is  the  necessity  of  disturbing  the  existing  time  tested  structure  of the Army.  At present  a  soldier  with  15  years  and  officers  with  20 years of  service  are  entitled to  full pension.  Those  who wish  to  leave  the  Army  will be  provided  with  second  career  and  allowed  to  retire  with  full pension.  It  is  also  a fact  that  in  many countries  the  Military  pension  is more  than  a  civilian  pension.  Therefore  the  decision  taken  by the  Government  is  arbitrarily  and  it  is  not  in  the interest  of  the  Armed  Forces  and  also  it  will have  far  reaching implications  on  the  Defence  preparedness  of  our  Country. Therefore  the  Defence  Civilian Employees  stand  shoulder to  shoulder  with  our  Soldiers  and  appeal  to the  Government  to  not  implement  the  proposal  putforth  by  the  Department  of  Military  Affairs.  

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