By Kriti Gupta
[su_quote cite=”David Presley”]There will be no withdrawal without written orders and these orders shall never be issued. -Sam Manekshaw (Core Commander, 1962)[/su_quote]
It seems that our Army men have still not withdrawn from their services no matter how bleak their future is but the question we need to ask ourselves is how long before the necessary orders come into place?
[su_pullquote align=”right”]Last week, a video of a BSF Jawan, Tej Bahadur Yadav went viral on social media revealing the poor quality of food the soldiers were being given.[/su_pullquote]
On the 69th Indian Army Day which is observed on the 15th of January annually, the entire nation pays tribute to our brave hearts. On numerous occasions like the Republic Day, Independence Day people cant help but adore their courage and the determination that inspires millions of people. Perhaps, it has continued to motivate the citizens but in a different light this time.
Last week, a video of a BSF Jawan named Tej Bahadur Yadav went viral on social media revealing the poor quality of food the soldiers were being given during their duty. Later in the week, two more videos had surfaced where men in uniform were seen gardening, polishing boots and taking their officers dogs for a leisure walk. This has raised concerns regarding the kind of life a trooper lives at the border.Constable Tej Bahadur Yadav posted a series of videos on Monday about burnt rotis and watery dal served to the BSF at the Line of Control. | Photo courtesy: Livemint.com
Is this only a diet, or food problem?
The issue runs much more deep than just a dietary problem. It detects much bigger problems like lack of scrutiny and transparency by the Central Police Organization and the Government. The army personnel feel much more comfortable in sharing their miseries with the general public than their immediate seniors. BSF officers do not always command their battalions as there are elite Indian Police Services that are dropped into such command posts.
It is the lack of this camaraderie between the officer and his immediate contingent that has resulted in an outcome like this.
The power of social media
Jawans like Mr. Bahadur were smart enough to effectively use social media to reach the masses. While the Chief General of Army, Bipin Rawat has said, Jawans taking to social media to complain can be punished, his statement has many connotations to it. Firstly,India doesnt have ideal relations with her neighbors.
[su_pullquote]This not only signifies a lack of discipline within the army but a severe breakdown of the military culture as well.[/su_pullquote]
Such videos lower the morale of those guarding the frontiers of the country. Secondly, what kind of image is being portrayed to other countries? Indias rigorous efforts to restore tranquility at the Line-of-Control would go down in vain as rivals could exploit such sensitive situations. This not only signifies a lack of discipline within the army but a severe breakdown of the military culture as well.
Possible remedies to ease the situation
The Central Police Organisation and the Border Security Forces should make the procedure as transparent as possible. A monthly review should be carried out and made accessible to the public.? Military personnel should be given a free hand to contact the government or the Army General without any fear of harassment from immediate seniors. A grievance committee should be put into place that would efficiently look after the lifestyle of the troopers. Just like the Army, the BSF too should be given a supply and logistics arm. Criticizing the soldiers for expressing genuine concerns is definitely not a favorable solution but using the wrong medium is equally dangerous as well.