from the pen of Rita Gupta
How OROP Activism Led to my Harassment
I am the proud wife of an Army Officer. The recent developments surrounding the OROP issue has forced me to speak up. This is my story.
Last few days have seen a lot of activity on the political front as two most incompetent politicians of India try to find ways and means to hog the limelight to save their dwindling political careers. Ram Kishan Grewal a retired Subedar committed suicide in the capital and the political vultures started satisfying their hunger over his dead body.
Scene 1; Delhi: A smiling, elated and self obsessed Rahul Gandhi outside RML hospital created ruckus, trying to meet Grewal’s family
Scene 2; Delhi: Looking sheepish and cunning, Arvind Kejriwal telecasted his video message declaring that Grewal commited suicide because of nonpayment of OROP and that PM Modi is telling a lie that the OROP demand has been fulfilled.
Scene 3; Bhiwani: Both Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal rushed to Bhiwani to attend Grewal’s funeral and gave statements against central government. Kejriwal went a step ahead and demanded martyr status for Grewal and announced 1 crore compensation for his family.
All these three scenes are an example of the falling political standards and the vulture politics.
I am an army officer’s wife and come from a family of army officers. The whole spectacle of Grewal’s suicide and the incidents and tamasha that followed has left me flabbergasted. For me the death of a soldier is always a sad occasion, whether it is a battle casualty or a natural or an accidental death. I read somewhere that ‘death is the best story that sells’. Grewal’s death proved that. How he died, why he died, whether the death is a suicide as claimed or he took this extreme step at someone’s instigation, only time and investigation will reveal.
But how a few politicians tried to encash the death of a soldier is really sad. If OROP had not been fulfilled and that was the cause of Grewal’s agony, I myself would have thought of raising this issue on social media. But the reality is something different. Both Rahul and Kejriwal lied when they said that OROP has not been implemented. A quick check of my husband’s bank account revealed that not only is he getting increased pension but got two installments of OROP arrears also. Once understood the facts, I considered it my duty as an aware citizen to bring this to light. No one should be allowed to mislead army men with fabricated stories and misinformation.
I decided to share the proof of received OROP dues on twitter.
I'll not let politicians politicise my husband's 22 yrs of distinguished service in Army.
Here is d proof of OROP instalments paid by GoI. pic.twitter.com/uVuubbpUIZ
— Rita (@RitaG74) November 3, 2016
I wrote a series of tweets and all hell broke loose.
I’m on twitter for last two and a half years and faced abusive trolls many times. But this time was different. For last 3 days I have faced worst kind of abuse. My gender was questioned, I was accused of photoshopping and fabricating my husband’s accounts, I was called fake and an agent of the BJP and that my husband had more than one wife.
— Im_KayB (@M_KayB) November 3, 2016
Even my dead parents were dragged into this.
— Im_KayB (@M_KayB) November 3, 2016
The worst was when someone said that my husband is dead and I am making up stories about his OROP details.
— AnArmyVeteran (@AnArmyVeteran) November 5, 2016
Some of these abusers claimed to be veterans but when countered by some real veterans, they had no answers. Most could not face facts.
— gab.ai/TheCol (@desertfox61I) November 5, 2016
Since I am no expert on OROP, I do not want to divulge into technicalities. That is for the experts to discuss but if they say that PM Modi is lying and which is false, even an ordinary army officer’s wife can take these lying politicians to cleaners. I have faced a very tough life while my husband was a serving officer. Stayed alone as a newly wed woman, as my husband was serving in IPKF. I stayed alone for years with a small kid. I travelled alone, shifted houses alone, ran to hospitals alone, attended PTMs alone. I have missed all small pleasures in life, celebrated birthdays, marriage anniversaries alone. The only thing that kept me going was that my husband is serving the nation and I should support him. I will not let these petty politicians politicise his distinguished service.
I request Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal with folded hands – please leave the armed forces alone. You do not know what damage you are causing to their morale.
The Author, a proud nationalist, was a presenter at All India Radio. She hails from a defence background.