I Feel Cheated...
This is an extract of redressal of grievance by an Army officer regarding the degradation of status, submitted to the Central Government through proper channels vide Letter No. 533/ARK/ROG dated 29 October 1993. It is pertinent in view of the accumulated grievances over the years in the armed forces, which has now resulted in the rejection of the certain recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, which if not addressed may manifest in unknown ways in future.
“My father, who was Chief Minister of Bihar in 1970, motivated and encouraged me to join Sainik School Tilaiya with a view to make me join Armed Forces as an officer. He always spoke of the Indian Armed Forces with highest regard. I at that time was only about nine years old. At that impressionable age I became highly motivated. I do not deny that I was thrilled by the prospect of joining the most noble profession, where one gets a chance to make supreme sacrifice for his country. Accordingly I competed and joined Sainik School Tilaiya. But I did not want to leave any stone unturned in my ambition to become an Army Officer. When I came to know about Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun (RIMC), which was considered to be the best, I competed and joined RIMC in January 1973.
I at that time was only about nine years old. At that impressionable age I became highly motivated. I do not deny that I was thrilled by the prospect of joining the most noble profession..
Even though my enthusiasm had not faded, by the time I reached 11th standard, with whatever understanding I had, I started enquiring about the career in the Armed Forces. My seniors who had come to Indian Military Academy by then told me about some comparisons. Firstly, they showed me that all the Class-I Services officers (including IAS and IPS) started their career with a basic salary of Rs.700/- per month, whereas in the case of Armed Forces officers it was Rs.750/- per month. (I later came to know that this extra Rs.50/- was special disturbance allowance, which was merged with basic pay by Third Pay Commission). Secondly, they also showed me the orders where one saw that a Major was equated with an IAS Officer with not less than 12 years of service. …….. The obvious conclusion, which will be drawn by any 16 or 17 year old boy, will be that Army as a career was almost equal and certainly better than IPS or other Class-I central services.
Having convinced myself, I put in my best in the NDA exam. In the final merit list I was eighth amongst the candidates finally selected. Thereafter having successfully completed my training at NDA Khadakwasla and IMA, Dehradun, I was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in June 1981 in the 7th Battalion the Sikh Regiment, on my own choice i.e. after exactly 11 years of hard training and Spartan living. But due to injury sustained by me, attributable to Military Service, I was placed in permanent low medical category. Consequently, I was transferred to Army Ordnance Corps in 1988 i.e. after seven years of regimental service in Infantry. On transfer I was posted to Ordnance Depot, Shakurbasti, Delhi, and here I learnt that whatever I had been thinking about the career in the Indian Army is wrong.
The point has only been made to emphasise the arbitrariness and irrationality of orders regarding relativity of ranks.
In the Ordnance Depot, I discovered that the JCO’s who are gazetted Officers (I have seen gazette Notification of JCOs) are equated with non-gazetted civilian employees and that too of Class-III i.e. Group-C. ……… The point has only been made to emphasise the arbitrariness and irrationality of orders regarding relativity of ranks.
As the defacto equation stands today, there cannot be any service with worst career prospects than the Army except some Group-B services. Then that is the meaning of continuation of the false Warrant of Precedence which states that a Major is equal to an IAS Officer with not less than 12 years of service and a Superintendent of Police with not less than 15 years of service when it is not correct? Is it to lure gullible young people into joining Army by false representation of facts? I do not think that any one today, if he knows these facts, would join the Army except to earn bread. As for myself, had I known these, what to talk of joining Sainik School or RIMC, I would have never joined Army. But since I have joined the Army and discovered the truth very late, I am complaining for correction of relativity of status as today this relativity is irrational and arbitrary, against the letter and spirit of the constitution and violates my fundamental rights.”