Competing interests can result in some rather odd sights. Take the case of the Bharatiya Janata Party: a nationalist, sometimes bellicose, outfit committed to the integrity of India and the importance of its troops. Witness also the unwillingness of that same party, now in power, to account for a longstanding demand from India's retired military personnel: One Rank One Pension, the idea that pensions should be determined by rank and not length of service.

This results in uncomfortable pairings for commentators who pander to the nationalist, military-loving portion of the public, like this Op-Ed, which seeks to argue that while the demands for OROP are honourable, actually doing the demanding could damage the country.
"What message are the veterans giving to that young major who the nation depends on to safeguard our borders - that should he not get his due from the government, he should start boycotting the government and resort to hurting national interest? Today, has that OROP that the government owes to veterans become more important than wearing their medals and marching past the saluting dais at Rajpath?"

India's veterans seem to be leaning towards the yes column. In the run-up to the Prime Minister's annual Independence Day speech, what had begun as a slow drumbeat has now turned into a fever pitch. Agitations are being planned across the country. Four former service chiefs have written to the President about the dangers of a politicised military if OROP is not passed.

And on Friday, Delhi Police had a direct confrontation with veterans who were protesting at Jantar Mantar, as they sought to clear out the area for Independence Day celebrations. Although the incident was finally resolved with permission granted to 25 ex-Servicemen to continue their protest, the sight of police officers attempting to evict veterans did plenty of damage.

There is still tremendous hope that Modi will in fact announce OROP on Saturday during the Independence Day speech. Anything less than a full announcement would have serious consequences. The Bharatiya Janata Party not only promised OROP in its manifesto ahead of the Lok Sabha elections last year, Modi also stood at an ex-servicemen rally during his campaign and said in no uncertain terms that it would be passed.

But the government has been concerned about the fiscal impact of OROP, which could cost the exchequer more than Rs 7,500 crore, at the same time as the Seventh Pay Commission is expected to hit, which would already raise the Centre's Salary Bill to over Rs 1 lakh crore.

Earlier this month, former Army deputy chief Lt Gen Raj Kadyan said he had been assured that OROP could be completely resolved with all procedural matters solveable in just 10 days, with those guarantees coming from no less than BJP President Amit Shah himself. Indeed, many across the military believe Modi was aided in his path to the prime ministership through the support of those in the armed forces expecting a more assertive leadership that will pay its dues to the military.

If Modi's speech on August 15 doesn't end up including, however, the fallout could end up being more ugly than the scenes from Jantar Mantar on Friday.