Comparing Indian soldiers with US Army Raoutela says that has anybody ever seen the family members of a US soldier killed, demanding money and compensation. He further added that US has lost 5000 soldiers in Afghanistan but there was no hue and cry for compensation because they knew that they have to sacrifice their lives.
This gentleman should know that in US unlike India a soldier is highly respected by one and all. The family members of a soldier killed do not have to demand compensation; the state delivers it without asking. A US soldier stands very high in the esteem of their countrymen. President Obama and before him President Bush of America made clandestine trips to Afghanistan risking their lives to meet their soldiers and sup with them.
How many Indian Prime Ministers have gone to Siachen, Kargil, Ladakh, Punch and Krishna ghati the recent venue of killing of five Indian soldiers by Pakistani Army, to meet the troops and dine with them?
In America and European countries, serving in Armed forces is considered an honour and tradition. Prince Harry the second in the line to the throne of British Kingdom is an attack helicopter pilot in British Air Force, who has just returned from Afghanistan after taking part in various front line operations risking his life. Joe Beden the Vice President of US is a Vietnam War hero.
Number of American presidents had been war time Generals. President De Gaulle of France was the most respected war time General of France. In America and Western countries a soldier, after he completes his 12 to 15 years in active service and retires, is immediately absorbed in a suitable civil job. They optimise this highly disciplined and skilled force to add on to their nation’s productive capability.
Now take the case of India. Every year 60000 officers and soldiers retire from the armed forces. To keep the armed forces young, soldiers retire at the age of 40s while bulk of Army officers in their fifties. The average retirement age in civil services and police forces is 60.
In other words this highly trained, disciplined and skilled force retiring at its optimum efficiency level from armed forces has still got 15 to 20 years to give their best if absorbed in police and Para military forces. Apart from cutting down training costs in these organisations this highly trained force will greatly enhance the quality of Indian police and Para military forces.
State police forces will then on their own be able to take on Naxals and other insurgent organisations with competence and not get killed in bulk as is happening now. However, despite so many commissions suggesting this and five lakh police vacancies currently existing in the country, this is not happening and the capabilities of this highly potent force is allowed to go waste by our Netas and bureaucracy just to uphold the current corrupt Police culture, their Neta sycophancy and IPS domination.
What is even more mind boggling is that this highly skilled retiring force is not absorbed in the 39 ordinance factories, eight large PSUs and 42 state of art laboratories working in defence sector directly under Ministry of Defence.
It is time that we in India change our mindset for the armed forces and the bureaucracy is made accountable. In good old days when Indian bureaucracy did function and was not so corrupt, if a commanding officer of a soldier serving in God forsaken places like high altitude area or Siachen wrote to any DM or SSP about the soldier, highlighting his home problem it was immediately acted upon by the concerned bureaucrats and the morale of the soldiers use to be high.
Now with the advent of DMs like Rajiv Raoutela who believes that a soldier’s job is to die how can anybody keep the flag flying high for the armed forces? If we want to be a power in the world and we expect the world to listen to us, then we will have to keep our armed forces as a well honed machine. This is possible only when civil administration is made responsive to the need of the jawan.
It is also necessary that in India all IAS and IPS cadre officers do five year military service in territorial army. This will make them understand what armed forces is all about and inculcate in them sense of discipline and capability to take hard and quick decisions. Government must implement schemes to ensure that this large highly skilled force which retires so young is absorbed in suitable alternative jobs including civil police and Para military forces.