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Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Biggest Stake Holder in Unity of India the Army treated Scurvily by Modi and BJP

India is a diverse nation with ethnic races and diverse regions and cultures. This nation was made into a cohesive entity by the British who brought far flung areas like Naga Land into the state of India. How did the British make India into a nation? In this they used the Indian Army officered mostly by the English as  their main  instrument. After the British left India in 1947, the leadership under Nehru and others should have consolidated the Republic But for a strange phobia of the army, the leadership began a policy of neglect of the armed forces. Perks and privileges were denied and latest weaponry not arranged.

The army was allowed to go to seed. During this time insurrections came to the fore in many parts of India and Hindu-Muslim riots began with great frequency.  The army was called in to handle these movements , some of which called for secession from India. Right from 1955, when Mr Phizo raised the banner of revolt in Nagaland, the army was called in to stop the secessionist movements. Such movements however continued to spread and the result was that almost 40% of India is gripped by groups who want either to secede from India or change the basis of the constitution. It is the army which has become the biggest stake holder in the unity of India as politicians have played a dangerous game and many actions like article 370 of the constitution and inner line permits in the North East have contributed to these balkanizaton tendencies in India. 

The political leadership has not recognized this fact and right from the time of Nehru and now Narendra Modi  the governments are in a denial mode as far as the army is concerned.. Perks and privileges are regularly watered down and a long pending demand of One Rank One Pension(OROP) not honored, despite two parliaments and two different political parties ( Congress and BJP) having accepted it as a national necessity.

Nehru was known as a man who was allergic to the armed forces and he paid a terrible price for him and India. It was expected  that with the arrival of the BJP and Narendra Modi, things would change and the old policy of denial of rights to the army would change, especially when Narendra Modi became prime minister. This man went and even addressed troops that OROP is approved and sanctioned. Unfortunately the reality is different as the Narendra Modi government has under pressure from its own top leadership and the bureaucracy decided that the promises made to the army be watered down or not accepted. A nefarious scheme bordering on evil is launched and the  honor and dignity of the army and its retired personnel given short shrift.OROP is not approved and some insidious proposals to water down the proposal floated.

The BJP government is no better than previous regimes and Narendra Modi is perhaps another Nehru. The failure to recognize the army as an instrument of national prestige and the biggest stake holder in the unity of India  will have dire consequences.Such antics do not do justice to the army which unfortunately also has a weak leadership, that is non-assertive.

What of the future? the failure to accede to genuine demands like OROP won't be good for India. In the long run it can have disastrous consequences. Another sad part of this story is the role of soldier politicians like Colonel Rathore and general VK Singh who have been towing the official BJP line. One wonders how they feel in not getting legitimate demands honored by the political leadership, presently headed by Narendra Modi.

India is at the cross roads and the future course of the nation can be in peril. Nehru paid a terrible price and one wonders whether Modi will have to answer also. One hopes that a change in the political thinking takes place and old soldiers and army be thought off , not as  a necessarily evil, but a exponent of the glory of india. narendra Modi will have to answer this question to future historians.