Why the Army doesn’t attractthe youth?

IN Payback time for Armed Forces (Spectrum, July 8), Vijay Mohan gives a realistic picture about the declining interest of the young generation in joining the armed forces. The data of resignations from the high ranks and the number of vacancies filled portrays the pitiable future of the forces. The spate of resignations from the Services by itself is a serious issue.

The financial soundness of a country is not sufficient by itself because it has to be supported and protected by strong armed forces. The country’s fate is in the hands of illiterate and incapable politicians. How can the most disciplined categories of employees serving the nation sustain patriotism?

The availability of jobs in multinational companies in India with high packages has changed the mindset of the youngsters. Every one is in the race for easy money and wants to live with amenities in cities instead of leading a tough life in the forces far away from home. We must evince interest in joining the forces and make the country strong in proportion to the growth achieved in other areas.




It is astonishing that a good package is being proposed for the officers whereas jawans are being ignored. They are the ones who have to face hazardous tasks and terrain and have to cope with counter-insurgency, threats (internal and external) and long separations from home.

Moreover, jawans retire between 35 and 50 to keep the Army young. In the present scenario, all jawans are mostly matriculates, plus two or graduates. Officers joining the forces are also 10 plus 2 only. The big gap between the officers and the jawans will be injustice to them even 60 years after Independence. This anomaly should be bridged in the Sixth Pay Commission and the jawans should be given a basic pay beginning from Rs 30,000 onwards.

SHIV KUMAR,Hoshiarpur


The anomalies in the previous pay commissions such as not to have any member from the defence forces show the defiant attitude of the civil service towards the backbone of the country. It is time to seriously consider and accept the recommendations of the three Chiefs.

RAMESH CHAND, Hoshiarpur


The writer has ridiculed the successive pay commissions and the Defence Ministry for keeping the armed forces out of their composition but he has totally missed the point of seniors’ manipulation in the forces.

Our generals, admirals and air marshals conceal rather than reveal the hardships and the tough conditions faced by our soldiers, sailors and airmen from our “modern maharajas”, that is, the ministers and the MPs during their official visits to the borders, warships and the air force stations in the forward areas.



Saigal, pioneer of soulful music, encouraged singers

The article When melody set the mood by M.L. Dhawan (Spectrum, June 24) was interesting. K.L. Saigal was not only a pioneer in creating soulful music but inspired almost every singer who came in the field.

Though many of them did try to imitate his voice it was confined to only a few songs. It was beyond anyone to attain his vocal heights.

During the 1940s, many singers rendered unforgettable songs, be it Suraiya, Shamshad Begum, Noor Jahan, Amir Bai Karnatiki or Zohra Bai.

Then there was one Arun Kumar who sang Sham kee bela panchhi akela in Dilip Kumar’s first film Jawar Bhata. Krishan Goyal sang Ab zingdagi ka bojh udhai naa jayega in film Dahej. There was Karan Dewan singing duets in Lahore and the everlasting Sawan ke Baadlo in Rattan. Pankaj Mullick, Jagmohan and C.H. Atma enthralled everyone with their geets.

Singers like Subir Sen, Yeshu Das, Shailendra Singh and Bhupinder came as whiffs of fresh musical breeze during the 1960s and 1970s. Similarly, Suman Kalyanpur, Salma Agha and Runa Laila also enriched the film music with their unique voice. Among the music directors, O.P. Nayyar, Salil Choudhary who had a deep touch of folk music, Vasant Desai and Chitra Gupt all gave unforgettable compositions.

H.S. SANDHU, Panchkula

Inflated ego

Khushwant Singh’s article Inflated ego (Saturday Extra) was thought-provoking. Ego is a dangerous disease and it must be nipped in the bud. Egotists consider themselves intelligent and active and treat others as fools. While others extract benefits from them by flattery, they think that they are supreme and competent. In fact, they are the ones who are made fools of. One should avoid ego which ruins life.


Single and alone

Neeta Lall’s article, Single but not alone” (Spectrum, June 24) has highlighted the plight of widows. The ENSS, an NGO is doing a remarkable job by rehabilitating them. The government should redress their problems. Their children should be given free education and free health care facilities and they should be given pension. 

Sher Singh, Ludhiana



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