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Boost the morale of the Army

The article “Army needs a changed perspective” (Jan 17) by Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi (retd) was a comprehensive and thought-provoking article on the challenges before the Army and way ahead. Of course, the Army needs modernisation. But the biggest challenges before the Army are not these issues. It is the change in the outlook of officers. Earlier, most joined the Army out of passion and led a noble life. Today, a large number of youth join the Army as a career, the way they join a corporate sector. This leads to careerist officers rather than good regimental officers.

To check this negativity, the senior officers have to set a personal example in selfless service and uprightness, so that the organisation remains healthy internally. Once the officers are upright, troops follow them. 

The second problem is of promotions. After the rank of Lieutenant- Colonel, the promotions are limited due to a steep pyramidal organisational structure. There must be a provision of lateral induction in the BSF, the CFPF, the police, and even PSUs taking into account the rank and service of officers opting for such a handshake. This will reduce the frustration of the superseded officers, as also enable the induction of young officers, resulting in making up the existing deficiency of officers. Also, the system must ensure promotion of merit and not manipulators. Why should a ‘black sheep’ be allowed to become a Brigadier or a General? Let good officers rise and bring pride to the uniform.

And to maintain that pride, the bureaucrats have to treat an army man with the respect he deserves. The political leadership must deal with the service Chiefs directly, and give them authority along with accountability. This will not only boost the morale of the Army but also improve functional efficiency.

The ex-servicemen are as much a part of the Army family as the serving soldiers, and have a great influence on the organisation. Their demand of for “one rank, one pension” has to be considered favourably. The Army is a unique organisation. When a jawan stands on the Siachen border, at a height of 18,000 ft, in minus 40 degrees temperature, away from his family, it his self-discipline, training, and a sense of duty, which makes him tackle hardship. Any dilution in these values will make him weak. So, let us respect the soldier.

Colonel R D SINGH, Ambala Cantt

Urban amenities

The editorial “Unplanned urbanisation” (Jan 17) was timely and rightly stressed that India is unprepared for growth. I strongly feel that as more people shift from agriculture to industry and services, cities are faced with a massive influx of migrants and given limited capacities, poor planning, the urban infrastructure is bursting at the seams.

Unless, the government provides urban amenities to rural areas and gives a boost to agriculture, India will be not be able to cope with the ever increasing reckless urbanisation. Given our traditional lacklustre attitude towards urban development and miserable neglect of rural population along with criminal neglect of agriculture under the hypnotising influence of market economy and jugglery of growth rate, not only our cities but also rural areas are looking at a bleak future.

The media should build up public opinion as rightly stated against the horror of directionless growth that would continue until voters insist on responsible governance and punish non-performers.


Counter hate campaign

BG Verghese’s article “Darkness falls on Pakistan” (Jan 13) was analytical and informative. It shed light on the self-crafted and US-nurtured ‘’medieval barbarism” that our western neighbour now finds itself in, thanks to Prof. Abdul Ghani Bhat’s shocking disclosures on how the Hurrriyat and other Pak-trained and funded Islamic outfits have been ‘ martyring’ their own leaders in order to feed their proxy war in Kashmir.

But notwithstanding Pakistan’s motivated and intensified hate-campaign against India, we must eschew a tit-for-tat reaction and rather address the aspirations of the people of the subcontinent for permanent peace in the region and revive initiatives for intellectual and cultural exchange and discover the immense potential for co-operation in mutual and global trade as well as for protecting the fragile environment of this region.

Due caution should, however, be observed to thwart the evil designs of the forces of fundamentalism that lie dormant in India.

Prof MOHAN SINGH, Amritsar

No time for history

The editorial, “A historic “non-event” (Jan 17) is yet another reminder that man learns from history but Indians do not seem to. Indians have been subjected to foreign onslaught for centuries. Mercenaries came, plundered and left with the spoils of war, with little or no resistance from us. We were a divided lot and could not unite even in the face of external aggression. Later the colonial powers came and ruled us with impunity.

Some educated Indians awakened the masses, led the freedom struggle and got India its freedom. Hundreds of freedom fighters kissed the gallows so that we could be a free nation. But we do not value the hard-earned freedom. Today unscrupulous politicians rule the roost, the civil servants act as middlemen for their political bosses for want of plum postings. Our national game has lost its audience and reputation to cricket. Our national bird is not seen in our dwindling forests and the national animal is on the verge of extinction. So who has got the time to remember that Marathas fought valiantly with Ahmad Shah Abdali 250 years ago? After the failure of the legislature, executive and the judiciary one can only hope that the media awakens the nation.




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