Reducing stress in the Army

It is learnt that that Baba Ram Dev has been requested  to work out a stress management programme for the Army. I have nothing against Baba Ram Dev or any other guru or counsellor. But why outsiders to distress jawans?

No one knows a jawan better than his Commanding Officer (CO) and his immediate  superiors. Through the chain of command, the CO comes to know the personal problems of his men and thereby the pulse of the unit.

Nothing happens in a good unit without the CO’s knowledge. The buck stops here. And this is the position everywhere — be it Jammu and Kashmir or the North East as the principles of Army leadership are common.

There is nothing new about yoga. Units have been doing it and a number of officers are qualified to conduct it. To meet the spiritual requirements of men, there is a religious place in each unit with a proper religious teacher as per the religion of troops. If this is the situation, why hire counsellors from outside?


There is perhaps a decline in the moral ascendancy of some commanders over the troops they are commanding. This may be due to their selfish and self-promoting attitude. The gap between the officers and men may have  increased. So, the answer lies within.

The Army is the finest organisation. Let’s restore the tenets of leadership as set by commanders like Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw. Let’s remind ourselves of the Chetwode Hall motto. Once that happens, destressing of jawans will automatically start.  If the officer is positively motivated, can his jawan be demotivated?

MADHU R.D. SINGH, Ambala Cantonment


As the Indian Army is world’s largest army, it needs to be commanded as such. It is still run by the same old rules, regulations and procedures. Earlier, troops never bothered what their seniors were doing. For, they had an unimpeachable character whereas now officers at all levels are involved in all kinds of nefarious activities.

The increasing rate of offences and suicides amongst the officers and men in the recent months is not due to the lack of sympathetic attitude of civil administration and less salaries but because of the lack of effective man management.

Since it is a professional army, commanders need to equip  themselves with all the attributes which they expect from their command so that the troops do not point a finger at them.

BRIJ RAJ, Ontario (Canada)

Pranab’s visit to Pak welcome

It is heartening to hear that External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will visit Pakistan soon. This has been agreed upon during Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri’s visit to India. Mr Mukherjee is expected to invite President Pervez Musharraf for the SAARC summit in India.

This will also pave the way for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s first visit to Pakistan since he took office. All these high-level meetings hopefully will give a new impetus to the peace process. Both countries should now simultaneously move on terrorism, CBMs and dispute resolution.

There is convergence on all important issues, but political will is needed to clinch critical agreements. It is time both governments took into confidence the people, other political parties and the Opposition on the progress made at the back channel. India and Pakistan should quickly remove the baggage of the events of the 20th century since they are long-term allies.


Coordination must

There is no cohesion in the post-Independence operations carried out by the IAF and the Army. Without effective coordination between the two forces, how can they hope to win a battle, that too, in the present-day world? No force can operate in a watertight compartment.

The Centre should take immediate steps to bring in the best possible cohesion among the armed forces. A few of the Air Force Squadrons should be allotted ground support role only. They should be allotted to the ground forces during training and war under the administrative control of the Air Force. The surveillance, interception and interdiction role be given to other specific squadrons which would be equipped for the same with ultramodern devices.

The IAF should also have an Air and Space command. In the future wars, the military utilisation of space will be of utmost importance to safeguard India’s strategic interests. The prevalent Tri Command at Andaman and Nicobar Islands should be a role model to be followed in the other operation theatres too.

Maj BALDEV SINGH (retd), Bahadurgarh (Jhajjar)



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