As a pensioner himself, Lord Desai empathises well with our retired armed forces personnel. He, however,unwittingly ignores the socio-economic circumstances that push our youth into seeking government jobs. Unlike in the UK, from where Lord Desai hails, we have to reject a majority of the applicants for all such jobs, including in the armed forces. They are too eager to sign the contract which also imposes upon the Government of India the responsibility of training/teaching the recruits to become efficiently-performing entities. The exchequer invests a fortune in ensuring the highest standards of care are also provided to the families of such recruits in the armed forces.This is the only employment in our country where actual civil supplies/rations are provided to serving personel, besides ensuring a lifetime of healthcare for the families and dependents. Now, to demand inflation-proofing and parity with the new employment scenario is to renege on an existing contract which will be at the cost of the taxpayer as also the poorest of Indians who live on subsistence wages. It is unheard of to renegotiate a contract after the service period. The attitude adopted by the protesting retirees reflects very poorly upon the true values and integrity of our armed forces. The government will be opening a Pandora’s Box if all other services too start demanding similar benefits. The next to fall in this domino-like scenario will be the private sector who will demand something similar towards gratuity and other benefits. Simply put, we will be creating a nation where all businesses become like Air India! No wonder, Indians hate to pay taxes.
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