Are the Indian Armed Forces Dissatisfied?
The armed forces were modeled on the British forace and laws and acts as well as regulations were all courtesy the English. The army was er lier the East India army which later became the British Indian army. After 1947 when the British voluntarily left India the same army was christened the Indian army. The same applied to the other 2 arms the air force and navy.
The British granted India freedom by an act of the British parliament duly passed in the 2 chambers of the UK namely the house of commons and house of Lords. Called the government of India act it received its assent from the King of England . Control of the armed forces passed into the hands of the new Indian government led by Jwaharlal Nehru, who became the first prime minister.
The new Indian leadership had spent a lifetime in organising protest and civil disobedience. They had no concept of what is power politics or geo political power. Nehru , Patel and Gandhi had thus no concept of the role of military power, Most likely they had never heard ofClausewitz or the dictum that the army is an extension of the political aim. Thus the new Indian leadership led by Nehru adopted policies that were detrimental to the army. In particular Nehru who was the main leader and prime minister had a phobia of the army. He feared a military coup and with Burma and Pakistan under the boots of the arm Nehru lost all sence of military as a source of power.
Nehru thus started to defend the army. In his limited horizonhe started by abolishing the post of Commander in Chief. This post had existed for a hundered years and was an extremely negative step. The C in C is there in all armies and coordinates the 3 services. It exists in the British and American militry as the Chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. Nehru foolishly thought he had achieved his aim. He followed up by refusing the latest weaponry as well as reduced the pay and perks. Hisaim to have de- fanged army that would not be threat to him. Most of his fears were imaginary, but he paid a terrible price for his foolishness . The Indian State lost the initiative against both China and Pakistan. A border war with China in ,1962 ended in a rout and on the world stage Nehru cut a sorry figure. He was humiliated and spent the next 2 years in hiding. He passed away like a defeated leader
.Nehru's death did not end the discrimination against the army. The new leadership still feared the army and worse followed. In 1973 Indira Gandhi further cut the services to size by reducing pensions and other benefits. The order of preference was so formulated that army officers were reduced in status. The ministy of defense was entirely manned by a civil cadre and in in any committee or the pay commission th armed forces were studiously ignored.
Governments of Narsimiha Rao and Vajpayee and even Modi continued the Nehruvian concepts. The latest flip by Modi is reduction of disability pension for soldiers much below their civil counterparts. Modi has also approved approved a disproportionate increase in allowances for civilians while army is pegged low. This is hard to understand as all along Modi had trumpeted that he not only would sanction OROP but also restore the izzat of the forces. This has not happened and the armed forces under him are down graded. His failure to sanction OROP as per the approval of parliament which had approved it as per the Koshiari commission is a blot on him. His talk is to claim credit for army action by chest thumping while downgrading the military.
There is a fire all around and the Indian State must take note of it. Otherwise I am afraid the Indian State may not have a leg to stand on. One must remember that Mao stated" Political power comes out of the Barrell of a gun". Modi is a fast learner and he better learn this dictum for the good of India.
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