Why soldiers have a right to be angry

In continuation of the last post on 6th Pay Commission award to central government employees and the anomalies noticed in it vis-a-vis the military, here are some more examples of discrimination pointed out to me by friends in the military (and I have no reason to disbelieve them). When I ask friends in the Civil Services about this, they dismiss the issues as a minor aberrations and say the “military whines too much.”

To which my counter is: who has brought the situation to this pass? There is no clear answer then.

In my view, these “minor quibbles” have created a reservoir of resentment that might just burst one day to everyone’s detriment. In every interaction I have with soldiers from Andamans to Amritsar and from Kohima to Kargil, I hear the disgruntlement getting louder. I don’t know if any one is monitoring/listening to these voices of  hurt in India’s cantonments.

For instance, a soldier or an airman posted in Shillong (which is not an insurgency area) doesn’t get any extra allowance or is not allowed to retain any house in Delhi or elsewhere but when he hears a CRPF or a BSF employee posted in Shillong getting extra allowance just by virtue of being posted in the North-east (see table), naturally the Army jawan feels let down. He after all takes the same time to travel back home and faces the same hardship in dislocating his family. This is just one instance. One can quote many more examples.

But the powers-that-be better take heed before the situation gets out of hand.

 I feel if the country wants to retain the edge enjoyed by the soldier, these anomalies need to be addressed forthwith, otherwise a day will not be far off when it will be difficult to even get soldiers to join the armed forces.

Take a look.

Name of allowance
(For Officers & ORs)
Central Armed Police Force/Central Govt employees
Para allowance (For spl forces and Para personnel)
Rs 800 to 1200/pm
Rs 7,200 to 11,000/pm for COBRA Battalions (commando battalions)
Disabled employees
Thrown out of service immediately
Govt has to retain them till 60 yrs under Disability Act
Kashmir/NE Regional HRA
Double HRA
When posted in Peace stations in NE like Shillong, Aizawl, entire Sikkim and Ladakh
12.5 per cent of basic as Spl Duty allowance,; double HRA, hardship allowance 25 % of basic pay (for IAS officers of UT cadre) and detachment allowance of Rs 300 per day for all CAPF personnel
Home loan
Rs 2.1 lakh
Upto Rs 7.1 lakh
HQ allowance
Rs 4,000
Instrctor allowance (in NDC, War Colleges etc)
Rs 1800 for Col & above
Rs 19,000
Non-functional upgradation
JS Pay at approx 22 yrs. Add Sec pay at 32 yrs
Outfit allowance
Rs 3,000 (per three years—8 Uniforms)
Rs 7,500 per three yrs
Deputation allowance
5 per cent of basic pay
10 per cent of basic pay
  1. July 20, 2012 -

    Please do not compare Army/Navy/Air Force with CRPF or anyone else. There is absolutely no comparison. Defence Forces does not claim or demand anything just because someone else is treated better. On the other hand others are bidding for everything the defence forces get more than others. Govt should give the Defence Forces what they deserve.

  2. July 20, 2012 -

    It really pains at this callousness. The comparison is also with Central Govt civilian employees. So argument of Col Kurup on comparison with para is not correct

  3. July 21, 2012 -

    PMO has already instructed MOD to form a committee for reviewing all the issues related to pay and allowances of serving and retired defence personnel. However MOD babus under a strategic policy to gradually suppress armed forces in status coupled with their awareness of colonial attitude of serving Army Generals towards their own officers & subordinates , are just sitting on it. PMO desired to announce the outcomes on 15th Aug but till date, no committee has been announced by MOD. I request if Mr Ghokhale can help out the nation and the Army by telecasting the topic on NDTV.

  4. July 21, 2012 -

    @yogesh, The last HPC stated and it has been quoted by the UoI/MoD that it cannot agree with the Supreme Court judgment of 8/3/2010 because it will mean a payment of Rs 1623 crores as arrears to the Armed Forces officers. But the Govt paid Rs 50, 000 crores as loan waivers for farmers; Rs 600 to 5000 crores to Kalmadi and his cohorts; Rs 1,76, 000 crores of thereabouts to Karunanidhi and family; Rs 8000 crores to Kingfisher as equity from PSU banks.This HPC has only bureaucrats (people like Expenditure Secy who will not give a penny to the Armed Forces and will be supported by the Def secy) whereas they will gibe NFU just because one IAS officer is promoted as Jt Secy etc. There isn't a single Armed Forces officer on the Committee. So what justice does one expect?

  5. July 21, 2012 -

    A good piece of write up but will anyone bothered about logic in this country.

  6. July 21, 2012 -

    I agree that the committee does not have a military rep but the service chiefs have pushed for one and hopefully when they meet next (most probably on 24th July) the chiefs will be more forceful.

  7. July 22, 2012 -


  8. July 22, 2012 -

    May be we are missing bigger picture. Refer as under1. The Indian freedom in 1947 was a harbinger for a much bigger change. We saw three very big developmentsa) First time in the history of the last more than a thousand years, India got a predominantly Hindu Armed Force, as almost all Muslim soldiers of British Indian Armed Forces opted for Pakistan and the British soldiers went back to Britain. b) India became one big country, big enough to be pushed around. c) India embraced democracy2. Was it a just coincidence, or a Divine Intervention for a new beginning? The enemy sensed the trouble. The Islamic and Christian world could not accept the freedom to Hindus. They knew the predominantly Hindu “Indian Armed Forces” will be their biggest hurdle. 3. The marginalization of Indian Armed Forces since then can be easily concluded to be a part of some global conspiracy. Following may be relevanta) Indian Military Industrial Complex was never allowed to grow. We were only allowed to import weapons and not allowed to export.b) Indian military requirement was conveniently equated to Pakistan, so that we never prepare to counter bigger threats like China and remain small.c) What ever meager military strength we had, we were stretched to the limits in the name of “Aid to Civil Administration”d) Our Defence budget was kept well below even the minimum of 3% of GDP, especially when our immediate adversaries were spending more than 6% of their GDPs.e) Till date we do not have a proper “National Security Policy” document in place. f) Following figures reflect ratio of soldiers to the population for a few of the major countries. We need to augment our military strength at least three times. Shall we assume some powers want to keep it that way for their strange reasonsCountry No. of persons per soldierUSA 100Pakistan 200Russia 150China 300Sri Lanka 250India 1000g) The serving soldiers have been denied their fundamental right to vote since independence by creating bureaucratic hurdles.4. But bad luck to our enemies. The 9/11 attack on USA was the final game changer in favour of India. Before 9/11, Islamic terrorism was only targeted against India and Israel and rest of the world was not much concerned. The 9/11 attacks have brought in the specter of civilisational Conflict. Two most powerful religions, Islam and Christianity have come face to face, but should we breathe easy?

  9. July 24, 2012 -

    very true, treat with dignity

  10. July 27, 2012 -

    I agree with Mr Gokhale that we have deep grouse against these discrepancies and its TIME it is addressed as my own experience is the uniformed forces are the ultimate glue to keep the indian social fabric together against all odds otherwise coupled with Maoist menace disgruntlement in the Armed forces can put India to rupture. But want to assure everyone that there will be soldiers as in India it is better to be a soldier than to be a Beggar.

  11. August 5, 2012 -

    I don't agree with you.. it is this false ego which is killing us now.. why shouldn't u compare, if I may ask u sir? The matter is much beyond this.. Pl try to understand..

  12. August 6, 2012 -

    I agree with you absolutely.I hope corrective steps are taken

  13. August 14, 2012 -

    The MoD and the services are always at war with each other, the former wanting to show the latter “their place” in the bureaucratic heirarchy. This is one good way that the babus in the MoD consistently do by keeping the soldier below his counterparts in other central paramilitary forces. WHO IS BOTHERED ABOUT THE RIGHT OR WRONGDOING OF SUCH BABUS. MANTRIS ARE TOO BUSY CHASING THEIR OWN PERSONAL AGENDA AND DON'T HAVE TIME FOR MINOR ISSUES LIKE SECURITY INTERESTS OF THE COUNTRY OR THE INTERESTS OF THE SOLDIER WHO ARE PRIMARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SECURITY OF THE COUNTRY. I would request Mr Gokhale to get in touch with Mr Amir Khan and explore the possiblity of Vande Mataram-II to highlight such and other security related issues. Our people need to be woken out of their slumber.

  14. December 13, 2012 -

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. January 3, 2013 -

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. March 7, 2013 -

    Thanks for this post. However, you have missed the biggest disparity between the defence and armed police forces. The latter are allowed to resign at any time they choose. Not so the defence forces.Secondly, prior to 1939, two thirds of the foreign service officers were taken from the military and one third from the ICS. The world war created a shortage of military officers and this practice was stopped. It is time such a system is reintroduced.

  17. March 31, 2013 -

    Well I guess our first Prime Minister was absolutely right…. This country must not have armed forced because the same kind of a job can be done by police and CPMFs. Guess the time has come that the country must take a decision to wind up the institution of Armed Forces for some basic reasons:-They indulge into corruption in defence purchases.They do not anything productive and are a massive drain on the exchequer.They enjoy some meaningless benifits which are not required to be given in a modern and a democratic peace loving India.and many many more….

  18. October 1, 2013 -

    commonwealth games….. get army. earthquakes…. get army. floods ….get army. PAY COMMISSION…… FORGET ARMY.