OROP protests: 'If the govt had respect, it would have done this earlier'

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When the members of the armed forces take to the streets it is an extremely painful sight. Members of the armed forces who stay awake so that all of us can sleep were evicted from the streets ahead of the Independence Day celebrations.

Not many army officials were in favour of a protest on the streets. Air Marshal (retd) B K Pandey says that he personally does not believe in agitating on the streets.

In an exclusive interview with OneIndia, the retired Air Marshal says that while there ought to be a solution to the One Rank One Pension issue, protesting on the streets is not in conformity with the image of the armed forces.

One Rank One Pension

What are your thoughts on the protests at Delhi demanding One Rank One Pension?

Personally, I am not in agreement with this philosophy of agitating on the streets by members of the armed forces. It is not in conformity with the image of the armed forces. To this extent, it was completely wrong. I had in fact refused to take part in a protest that was organised in Bengaluru.

What are your thoughts on the eviction that took place in Delhi today?

It is sad to see these things happen. As I pointed out earlier that the decision to take to the streets itself was wrong. The eviction that followed was even more painful.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to make an announcement tomorrow. Do you think it would sort out the problem then?

I really do not expect anything much from the Independence Day speech of the Prime Minister tomorrow on the One Rank One Pension issue. If the government had respect, they would have done this earlier. Our veterans have spoilt it further by taking to the streets.

What will be the basis of this announcement?

These are not things that need to be dramatized and instead need to be sorted out on paper. These are not subjects to be addressed during a speech. There may be an announcement, but it needs to be put in paper. Making announcement only would be dramatic and childish.

Four retired chiefs have written to the President of India on this issue. Do you see any solution coming out of Rashtrapathi Bhavan?

I think they have barked up the wrong tree. The President can do nothing about it. The President according to me occupies the highest seat of no power.

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