One year, one Supreme Court case, innumerable controversies- 2011-2012 just didn’t seem like a good year for the Indian Army. Starting with the Sukhna land scam, the troubles only seemed to be growing with the prolonged Army chief Vs. The government brawl. Coming to 2014-2015, we see that the infamous AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Power Act) in Jammu and Kashmir just doesn’t quit being a hot debate topic amidst the media. The pristine image of the olive greens stands tainted. Somehow the tragedy doesn’t end here and nearly everyday there is a news piece on a controversy related to the army. Consequently, the greatness of the nation’s saviors is today being questioned for the first time in the history of India. But is the questioning valid? What are the real reasons behind the re-appearance of this name in the wrong side of the news rather recently?
The life of the Indian Armed Forces is a coveted dream for many youngsters. The respect, the atmosphere and after the sixth pay commission, even the pay check is a huge attraction. There’s something about the air around the Army that makes it a recurrent dream for many Bollywood producers, directors and actors. The box office success records of the movies based on the defense services is considerably high. The way the public treats a soldier is very different from their treatment of any other individual or even the Police Force and the reason is clear: Army is the only non-corrupt organization in India. Discipline resides in the very nerves of every single Army personnel. One reason that the cases of Army see the day of light is because of the extremely strict rules and regulations.
It’s a known fact that the Police Force is shamelessly corrupt. Every citizen has suffered at the hands of the so-called policy-makers of the nation and their guards at some point of time. When a citizen so exposed to corruption and mal-practices suddenly encounters honesty, integrity and those basic human values that are novel in their characteristic and yet stand for a natural trustworthy nature, it earns respect almost instinctively. As a solid argument in the army’s defense holds the fact that filing a case of corruption or even it’s recognition is almost impossible in the Indian Police Services and in contrast, Army recently court marshaled a Brigadier. The court cases in this country go up to 10-15 years while in the Army any act of indiscipline is taken up by a court of inquiry by the special law branch of the Armed forces. The proceedings are given the highest priority and all the information is maintained at the highest level of confidentiality. The accused is provided separate lodgings and a close eye is kept on all their activities. It is no wonder hence that the case is wrapped up within weeks and proper order is restored. Another point to be noted is that the primary objective of Army is to maintain peace at the borders. The domestic mishaps fall within the purview of the Police and the Para-military forces and yet every time a bomb explodes, a train derails or a child falls in a pit, it is ultimately the Army that saves the day.
All the defense personnel work on the same pay grade then why is it that an Army man is the only one that is ready to sacrifice everything to wake up in the middle of the night to die fighting for the motherland, even when the task at hand falls well outside their realms of duty? Are they the only true soldiers of this country, the ones with utter loyalty and love above all else for “Bharat Mata”? This goes out for those who question the men in uniform: A few controversies can’t shake a system so solid on moral values. A court case can hardly stop the public from holding Army in the highest esteem. Two controversial men are nothing to worry about as the word “army” itself stands for ‘Unity in Diversity’.