Tuesday, 15 October 2013

An officer and a Gentleman

News of one more Officer-Jawan face-off, now at NCC Battalion in Punjab is disturbing and dangerous.   (Times of India dated 15th October) .  There has been numerous confrontation between them at various location and  time  in the past which is  on the rise. Any tension between officers and soldiers could trigger a breakdown in hierarchy and discipline besides deeply damaging the confidence and morale of troops at the sensitive postings. This worrisome trend needs to be investigated thoroughly without taking sides to understand the ground  realities and the remedial mechanism needs to be put in place to prevent further chasm in the relationship among them. Being a  sensitive and psychological subject, it needs unbiased human touch as usual Court Marshaling procedures involving all the parties is not going to eradicate the deep rooted simmering differences in the rank and file.

Soldiers these days are better educated and consequently better aware of their rights. However many of them are scarred in their duty due to prolonged deployment in monotonous and thankless counter-insurgency jobs.   At the same time, there has been  falling standards of control and command  among some of the undeserving officers who have risen to command units, is becoming a major cause for worry. The officer and soldier ties are extremely crucial and inherent in an Army Unit and ensuring healthy ties constitutes part of the responsibilities of the Man in charge.  Recently Defense Minister A.K.Antony advised the army top brass that various measures such as better man management, a better sensitized environment and adequate grievance redressal mechanism needs to be put in place to create lasting bondage.

As they say " When you are not a General, you belong to the Army, When you are a General, the Army belongs to you"  A officer is as good as the people he commands hence their good health, both physical and mental is of paramount importance to him and the country...

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