1965 War Heroes Fight a New Battle as India Celebrates its Golden Jubilee

DoThe Best
By DoThe Best August 28, 2015 12:35

1965 War Heroes Fight a New Battle as India Celebrates its Golden Jubilee

As India celebrates the golden jubilee of India’s victory in the 1965 war with Pakistan, most of the veterans who fought in that war, are fighting a very different battle on the streets now, demanding One Rank One Pension from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance government.

Even after 50 years, memories are crystal clear for veterans like Wing Commander (Retd), Vinod Nebb. At just 22 years of age in 1965, he had not even completed the entire training course, but he convinced his superiors to be permitted to fly the Hunter fighter bomber. He was awarded India’s third highest war time gallantry award, Vir Chakra, for bringing down a Pakistani Sabre aircraft.

But the recent deadlock between the government and ex-servicemen over the implementation of One Rank One Pension has led to disappointment.

“We deserve a better deal. Unfortunately it’s not happened. The government should go ahead and announce it which will enable me to go ahead and take part in the celebration which happens once in a lifetime I don’t think I’m going to live beyond a 100 years to celebrate another function,” said Wing Commander Nebb.

Wing commander (Retd) KS Parihar, proudly displays his medals, he was a part of the team that foiled Pakistan’s plans to divide Jammu and Kashmir through operation Gibraltar, by winning the Haji Pir Pass on August 28, 1965. But the retired officer seems determined to take on the government.

Wing Commander Parihar told NDTV, “If it doesn’t come through tomorrow I will join the strike instead of celebrating 50 years of the war.”

The implementation of the scheme is a promise made by the BJP before last year’s general elections. The scheme will give equal pension to servicemen retiring with the same rank regardless of when they retire.

At present, a soldier who retired many years ago is paid far less than someone several ranks junior to him retiring now. The scheme is expected to benefit 30 lakh former soldiers.

DoThe Best
By DoThe Best August 28, 2015 12:35
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