In a recent tweet, the Additional Directorate General of Public Information (ADG-PI) of the Indian Army stated that a ‘misinformation’ campaign was being carried out against them. It said that the material, which has been printed on the letter heads of MoDs or branches of Army Headquarters, is being attached to social media messages and circulated.
Here’s the whole tweet.
While the tweet didn’t specify which incident in particular the Indian Army is referring to, sources indicated to The Quint that the notice seemed directed towards the antics of ex-serviceman Major Priyadarshini Chowdhury. He reportedly circulated confidential, and often controversial, documents regarding the OROP (One Rank One Pension) and NFU (Non-function Upgradation) schemes, which contained the army seal, on Whatsapp.
In response to the ADGP’s notice, Major Chowdhury took to Twitter to declare that he had indeed shared some official documents on Whatsapp and even posted a link to them, so they could be ‘verified’ for authenticity.
He went on to add that he had only shared information which was crucial to understand how the Army is being wronged and why the concerned parties should fight for their rise in status.
Major Chowdhury wasn’t the one criticising the government’s response to the Army. The conflict regarding the NFU escalated when serving military officers took to WhatsApp and Twitter to speak about it. Veterans too had been criticising the current government for not having granted the NFU scheme, and instead ‘downgrading’ them to Group B.
As for OROP, former veterans have taken to both physical (as indicated by events at Jantar Mantar) and virtual (social media) protests to express their dissatisfaction with the government for not implementing the scheme, which will reportedly benefit all army personnel.
The Indian Army, however, is taking a cautionary step. As per this tweet, it is clear that it doesn’t want to get washed into this tirade between veteran officers and the government forces. At the same time, they do not wish for outside-army personnel to be using their slogan or tagline to make their case.
The OROP refers to a uniform pension being granted to personnel based on rank and length of service, irrespective of the date of retirement.
The NFU refers to a scheme which ensures that all IPS and civil servants, at a minimum, retire at the HAG pay grade – a grade which is equated by the government with Lt Generals, Vice Admirals, and Air Marshals of armed forces. It was implemented by the UPA government in 2008, as a reward to the Central Group A civil services.