Editorial

Agnipath Scheme, a conspiracy to bring-in Manusmrithi

The die was cast days ago for future recruitment in the Indian Armed Forces with the announcement of the ‘Agnipath’ (or “Tour of Duty”) scheme by the Ministry of Defence, to bring radical change as to how young people to be inducted into the armed forces as soldiers, sailors, and airmen for their arms and Defence training at the cost of the nation, but RSS and BJP’s working circumstances demonstrate in reverse.

Gone were the days of factual nationalism in earlier long-term commitment of 15 years (or more), as per details given in a comprehensive press briefing by the three service chiefs in the presence of the Defence Minister, the new policy entails inducting young people, in the 17 and half to 21 years age category, for a four years’ short employment Hindutwa training in military uniform at the cost of exchequer.

Of these four years, their training would be for just six months, the remaining time being taken up for deployment as needed, including in operationally-challenging assignments, if done right spirit will help the nation, but history of 8 years Narendra Modi’s misrule always cornered mother India. No attractive pay, no special allowances, and nothing to nil package on leaving, without obligation to any gratuity or pension to serve the nation at the peril of their lives would demoralize the rank and file of the Indian armed forces.

The hidden agenda to make Bharath a Hindu Rastra is in RSS store. Authors of the policy, fallen to the trap of RSS, giving colour of patriotism to youth in serving the nation, earn credit for likely future employment and help bring in greater young blood into the armed forces, this all will suffice them to be trained on lined secularism, but Narendra Modi’s Government is bent upon to destroy the constitution in phases.

This is yet controversial, makes the scheme only future route for serving in the armed forces, has not been well-received by potential entrants. In the light of rioting and arson taking place across the nation, demonstrate the people got fed up with hidden agenda of RSS to make Hindu Rastra.

The questions on many peoples’ minds including a vocal veteran community, have been many, especially as to why tinker with a time-tested system that is doing well in catching young volunteers, shaping them as Hindu terrorist to work Hindu Rastra, instead of utilizing their patriotism to expertise gained fin training in strengthening the respective wing of armed forces for the optimum period of time.

In case the Govt do not to abuse with the State’s sovereignty, with the proposed largest volunteer army in the world, should pay an increased salary, pension bill on par with corporates, should not steadily erode the capital side of the defence budget, but to keep to in mind the security of the nation. This seems to have been the main catalyst in evolving the Agnipath scheme, with other benefits seemingly look like a losing the confidence of youth of the Country.

But process matters. How the armed forces select, train, and induct human resource talent into their units, squadrons and frontline ships is a critical component in how well these perform in peace and war, but the hidden intention of the RSS to abuse the State and enroll Hindu Terrorist at the cost of the nation.

What led to the necessity of now changing the very bedrock of unit cohesion and esprit de corps especially for the Army, that would entail a faster churn of young basic trained recruits in all three services, when the very nature of future wars seems to be headed in a direction that demands greater expertise and technical skill in operating sophisticated systems by all three services.

The need for motivate and well-equipped ‘boots’ will remain for our security concerns. And yet, having stepped into the arena and taken a bold step to alter the very nature of the nation’s contract with the soldier, the nation needs to look at the whole issue of reforming the military much more holistically.

Changes in Humen Relations’ policies should be the last but necessary step in a series of reformative moves to prepare a 21st-century military ahead. Government has done sufficient damages to the rank and file oif armed forces by planning to create the post of the CDS or Chief of Defence Staff along with the Department of Military Affairs, is an apex-level reform with juniors of Lt Gen rank superseding seniors of General rank, which should have led to a clearer enunciation of our national security objectives by now, from which would then flow future missions of the armed forces, their structure and equipping perspective plans, budgetary support for these, and finally, the HR policy needed to ensure the right man/woman for the task for an ideal length of time.

But now that the government in haste announced a new policy for military recruitment, it would not be worthwhile for all involved in drafting the fine print and implementing its execution to consider a few well-intentioned recommendations.

A good sign of that the powers that be are listening is the one-time age waiver just announced to accommodate candidates who’ve not had a chance to appear for recruitment over the last two years due to the pandemic. The list of suggestions to give 2 years waiver, is not very elaborate, yet it covers many of the sore points in the new policy.

This should make the period of the contract for new recruits longer than four years. Issues of not wishing to pay gratuity, etc. is a miserly way of asking a person to commit to possible loss of life or limb, and still not compensating them adequately for such a willingness to serve.

It is not necessary to relook the 25 percent re-enlistment at the end of the contractual period but 100% absorption. Ideally, it should be over 100 percent retention for long-term posts, but there are no ways and means to ensure higher than 25 percent re-enlistment through identification of select trades or mission occupation specialties that require longer terms of service, otherwise it will result in matinees. A blanket application of this rule should be made feasible for healthy set up.

Unlike in officer cadres’ leaving after their short service, do obtain a binding commitment from CAPFs (Central Armed Paramilitary Forces), states’ police forces and other organizations that they are willing to absorb them as Sub Inspectors at least which will modernize their respective force with this trained military manpower.

It is advisable to continue with existing regular enrolment, in reduced numbers, and gradually shift to the Tour of Duty once it stabilizes after fifteen years of regular service that guarantee job security will result in laying down one’s life for the nation.

The new entrants can even be placed under a contributory pension scheme to reduce the burden of pension payout if other recommendations are accepted.

A nation should never compromise with the personnel who make up the fighting sinews of its armed forces. The best way to prevent such an impression is to look upon them not as a burden to the exchequer, but as rough diamonds, to be cut and polished to their maximum capabilities and then deployed in the defence of the nation.

It may be kept in mind that a diamond is forever, our future men and women in uniform too deserve to serve to their maximum for the betterment of the nation and their own lives.