Major Gaurav Arya on Short Service Comission officers

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During my time, Short Service Commission Officers served for 5 years. After that, they could opt for 5 years extension. Some were absorbed permanently. Now the rule for SS Officers is 10 years plus 4 years extension.

No pension or benefits. 

SS officers are left on the road. They have no where to go. Imagine an officer who is 36-38 years old, with a wife and 2 kids…just standing on the road…lost. The struggle SS officers face is unimaginable. 

Today, I am financially comfortable. 23 years back, I decided not to identify myself as Major Gaurav Arya. For sake of anonymity, I dropped my rank. I took my LML Vespa scooter and went from shop to shop in Noida, asking shopkeepers to take a look at velvet samples and buy it from me. I understood that this work was not what was expected of me, and so I hid myself from the world.

I did odd jobs.

Today, the Major Gaurav Arya you see on TV and social media is the result of a long and terrible struggle. The confidence is a result of a hundred failures and a thousand humiliations. I came out stronger. I survived.

I remember taking a morning bus to Bhikaji Cama place and Nehru Place. Handing over my CV to numerous consultants, hoping for a job, I would return in the evening. 

Later, I started using my rank when I thought that the job I was applying for was more fitting and my rank would be respected.

"Do you know how to operate a computer?" they asked. This was 1999.

"No. I was on the line of control. There was no electricity there", I would respond.

They looked at me as if I had crawled out of a cave.

I struggled for 10 years before I could manage a semblance of financial stability. 

None of us SS Officers became terrorists or sharpshooters for the mafia. None of us became anti national elements. No one broke the law.

Today, when I see people so worried about Agniveers, and rightly so, I want to ask them…where were you when thousands of SS Officers struggled for survival? Where are you when thousands still struggle today? Why is there no concern for us? 

Didn't we wear the uniform? 
Didn't we fight? 
Didn't we bleed? 
Didn't we die?

Confused, I spoke to a senior who was also an SS officer. I asked him why  were we neglected.

"Do you know the full form of SS, Gaurav?" he asked.

"Yes Sir. Short Service" I responded promptly.

He looked at me with a twinkle in his eyes and said "No. Its Step Son"

*Major Gaurav Arya (Retd)*

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