Army gears up for life without its 'buddies'

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by Yusuf, May 3, 2012.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    NEW DELHI: It's a system that is often decried as colonial, but evokes considerable nostalgia among children of Army officers who grew up thinking of the 'Bhaiyyas' as members of their extended family. Now, in a surprise move, the Indian Army has come up with a proposal to end the 'sahayak' system, or deputing trained soldiers to do personal work of officers.

    The proposal was submitted to the defence ministry in early April, and has received a "positive" response from defence minister A K Antony, sources said.

    Estimates vary, but at least 30,000 combatants, more than an Army Corps strength, are believed to be deployed to assist serving officers and their families as part of the buddy system.

    The Army headquarters has suggested that the 'sahayaks' be replaced by civilian personnel. Sources said Shimla-based Army Training Command carried out a detailed study of the concept of buddy system existing in major armies around the world. The study was ordered by General V K Singh early on his tenure as Army chief. The training command submitted several scenarios, from which the final 'solution' was submitted to the ministry.

    Besides instances of misuse of these soldiers, there has also been concern about the kind of jobs they are made to do, and it being an affront to soldiers' self-esteem. The parliamentary standing committee on defence had called for its end, and Antony too has been in favour of abolishing it.

    The Army proposes to replace soldiers with two kinds of civilians - Service Assistants (SA) and Non-Combatant Assistants (NCA). It would require 2,358 SAs and 22,620 NCAs to replace sahayaks. The Army has projected a monthly expenditure of Rs 3.54 crore for the SAs and Rs 11.31 crore for NCAs. The annual expenditure for the civilian setup to be brought in place of 'sahayaks' would be Rs 178.20 crore a year, according to Army estimates.

    The proposal is to provide service assistants to all the 'flag ranks', officers above the rank of brigadier. There are 1,510 officers in the flag ranks of brigadiers, major generals, lieutenant generals and general.

    Of the 1,414 colonels holding command of battalions, the 848 who are in family stations would also be entitled to SAs. Together, 2,358 SAs would be required, Army says. Each of these SAs would cost the exchequer Rs 15,000 per month.

    There are 30,450 'field ranks' (major, lieutenant colonel and colonel), excluding the 1,414 colonels who are commanding battalions. Of them, 18,270 are in peace stations while 12,180 are in field stations. The Army has proposed that those in peace stations (18,270) would be authorized a non-combatant assistant each. The NCAs can be hired on a contract of Rs 5,000 per month, the Army suggested.

    In the rank of captain and lieutenant, the Army has a sanctioned strength of 14,500 officers. Of them, 8,700 are in peace stations while the remaining 5,800 are posted in the field. Only those posted in peace stations would be entitled to NCAs, that too two officers will share one NCA. This would mean that 4,350 NCAs would be required for captains and lieutenants.

    http://m.timesofindia.com/PDATOI/articleshow/12972175.cms
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Another populist fraud.

    It will still go on!

    If flag rank can have, do you think non flag rank won't have on the sly?

    Even the tea for a section commander is brought by his 'buddy'.

    Civilians will never understand the relationship. It is mutual and not a Lord serf equation!
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  4. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Falls under General duty..

    Involving a Civilian in a officer`s home is not wise, Specially near the desk..
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    We have civilian orderlies in our Schools of Instruction.

    We have to ensure that our valuables are locked before we go out.

    I have never locked my almirahs or the house when we went out!

    It was total trust with our sahayaks.

    When I was a bachelor, my money used to be with my Sahayak and he paid the tradesman or whoever I had money to give. When I went out, he used to hand me some money and warn me not to waste it on frivolous things!

    He even told me not to visit certain areas since officers should not indulge in bad habits and get disease and demean their stature in front of troops!
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
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  6. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I agree with Ray Sir and Kunal.

    Said that, if the army is in favour of this move, I think it is fine.
     
  7. Naren1987

    Naren1987 Regular Member

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    I think it's a great move, I think the Army's waayyyy too hierarchical, even from a military standpoint.
     
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  8. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    A friend and a wife at the same time.
     
  9. lemontree

    lemontree Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    So true sir, my chappie did the same. He even use to inform me well in advance when I had to withdraw additional cash from the bank/ field cashier.

    This new system should work well in the non-combat arms and services, but it would need a lot of time and evolution in the fighting arms.
     
  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Not really.

    Command and control cannot be without an organisational hierarchy.

    Look at our Govt.

    Rudderless even with an hierarchy.

    The reason - too many cooks!
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Wife?

    That's new!
     
  12. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    Final Curtain Comes down on the Army 'Sahayaks'?

    Bangalore: The ‘sahayak’ system- Is it a system Indian Army is proud of or ashamed of? Going by the recent proposal by the Army to abolish it, it certainly seems to be the latter. This system has been in place for a long time and is one where trained soldiers are deputed to do personal work of officers.

    The Army officers’ families, particularly the children often fondly call these soldiers as ‘Bhaiyya’ and consider them as part of their extended family. But what about the soldiers? Do they feel a sense of pride in serving their officers or do they find it below their dignity and an affront to their self-esteem?
    According to sources, Defense Minister A K Antony has given a ‘’positive’’ response to the proposal submitted by the defense ministry.

    Over 30,000 combatants are deployed to assist serving officers and their families as part of the ‘’sahayak’’ system. It has been suggested that, instead of soldiers, civilian personnel be hired to do this job. General V K Singh, during the early part of his tenure as Army Chief ordered a study into the system. Army Training Command, based in Shimla carried out an extensive study of the concept. The findings and ‘solutions’ has been submitted.

    Instances of misuse and fear of wounding the soldier’s self-esteem have made the parliamentary standing committee on defense to call for its abolition. A K Anthony too has been favoring the proposal.

    According to the proposal made by the Army, the soldiers will be replaced by civilians of two kinds- Service Assistants (SA) and Non-Combatant Assistants (NCA). Around 2,358 SAs and 22,620 NCAs will be needed to replace the sahayaks. The total annual expenditure for this setup is estimated to be around Rs 178.20 crore

    All the officers above the rank Brigadier will be provided service assistants. Together there are 1,510 officers including brigadiers, major generals, lieutenant generals and general. Even colonels who are in family stations are entitled to SAs. The SAs will cost the exchequer Rs 15,000 a month.

    Even among the 30,450 ‘field ranks’, 18,270 of who are stationed in peace stations would be entitled to Non-Combatant Assistants. Unlike SAs, NCAs can be hired on a contract and paid Rs 5,000 a month.

    Among captains and lieutenants, only those posted in peace stations will be entitled to NCAs. However, each NCA will have to be shared by two officers. Effectively 4350 NCAs would be required.

    INDOlink - India General News: Final Curtain Comes down on the Army 'Sahayaks'?
     
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It will be an interesting development.
     
  14. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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  15. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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  16. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

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    Indian army shelves British colonial system of batmen

    The Indian army has finally given up the position of the “batmen”, who acts as a servant to senior officers. Recent complaints claim the soldiers were being forced to act as waiters at private parties, drive children to school and take wives shopping.

    The days are numbered for the Indian army's "Baldricks", soldiers who serve as servants to senior officers.

    The Indian army is one of the world's last to maintain the position of the batman – sahayak in Hindi. However, complaints have grown in recent years over soldiers forced to serve as waiters at private parties, drive children to school and take wives shopping.

    The use of batmen in the Indian army dates back to its use by its British officers before independence.

    The position was coveted and regarded as a path to promotion from private to sergeant or corporal. The relationship between officer and batman was portrayed by Blackadder and Baldrick in the TV comedy Blackadder Goes Forth.

    The British Army phased out the practice at the end of the Second World War.

    The Indian army wants to replace the batmen serving 30,450 officers with civilian "service assistants"

    Manas Gupta, a political commentator, said he was denounced as unpatriotic by officers' families when he criticised the use of batmen. "I think this sahayak system was just a colonial hangover which turned into a perk for officers," he said.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    THE INDIAN army plans to abolish the colonial system of batmen or personal orderlies it inherited from the British military at independence 65 years ago.

    Once implemented – sometime later this year – it would release some 30,000 combatants, or more than a regular army corps, allowing them to dump menial household chores and to rejoin their units as regular soldiers.

    In exchange, the army proposes to replace batmen – renamed as sahayaks (assistants or helpers) some years ago in a feeble effort at distancing itself from its colonial heritage – by civilian personnel.

    According to recommendations army headquarters submitted recently to the defence ministry, this change-over would entail hiring more than 25,000 civilians dubbed service assistants and non-combatant assistants at an annual outlay of Rs 1.78 billion (€312 million).

    “The system of batmen in the army is demeaning for soldiers and should have been done away with years ago,” said former major general Sheru Thapliyal.

    In recent times many of them were treated little better than domestic servants by officers and their families, a role that robbed them of their self-esteem and made them the object of scorn in their units, he said.

    Many were even forced to undertake household chores such as cooking and cleaning

    The term batman evolved in the British army during the inter-war years, before which they were known as soldier servants.

    Moreover, in the British and Indian armies prior to independence in 1947 and shortly thereafter, when officers typically came from the privileged classes, it was not unknown for a batman to follow them into later civilian life as domestic servants.

    For officers batmen were meant to be “runners”, to convey their orders to subordinates, maintain their uniform and personal equipment and drive vehicles.

    They often acted as the officer’s bodyguard and in deceptively vague military jargon were required to perform other “miscellaneous tasks” demanded by the officer.

    This latter nebulous responsibility in the British Indian army, particularly in modern day Pakistan’s North West Frontier, at times ended up as a euphemism for sexual liaisons between some officers and their batmen.

    Many 19th and 20th century regimental histories hint broadly at steamy relationships between officers and Pathan batmen which, when they became known, resulted either in dishonourable discharges or the honourable alternative of suicide to sidestep regimental and familial disgrace.

    Indian army shelves British colonial system of batmen - The Irish Times - Sat, May 05, 2012
    It's the end of the war for India's army of Baldricks - NY Daily News
     
  17. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

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    Army gears up for life without its 'buddies'; to end 'sahayak' system

    NEW DELHI: It's a system that is often decried as colonial, but evokes considerable nostalgia among children of Army officers who grew up thinking of the 'Bhaiyyas' as members of their extended family. Now, in a surprise move, the Indian Army has come up with a proposal to end the 'sahayak' system, or deputing trained soldiers to do personal work of officers.

    The proposal was submitted to the defence ministry in early April, and has received a "positive" response from defence minister A K Antony, sources said.

    Estimates vary, but at least 30,000 combatants, more than an Army Corps strength, are believed to be deployed to assist serving officers and their families as part of the buddy system.

    The Army headquarters has suggested that the 'sahayaks' be replaced by civilian personnel. Sources said Shimla-based Army Training Command carried out a detailed study of the concept of buddy system existing in major armies around the world. The study was ordered by General V K Singh early on his tenure as Army chief. The training command submitted several scenarios, from which the final 'solution' was submitted to the ministry.

    Besides instances of misuse of these soldiers, there has also been concern about the kind of jobs they are made to do, and it being an affront to soldiers' self-esteem. The parliamentary standing committee on defence had called for its end, and Antony too has been in favour of abolishing it.

    The Army proposes to replace soldiers with two kinds of civilians - Service Assistants (SA) and Non-Combatant Assistants (NCA). It would require 2,358 SAs and 22,620 NCAs to replace sahayaks. The Army has projected a monthly expenditure of Rs 3.54 crore for the SAs and Rs 11.31 crore for NCAs. The annual expenditure for the civilian setup to be brought in place of 'sahayaks' would be Rs 178.20 crore a year, according to Army estimates.

    The proposal is to provide service assistants to all the 'flag ranks', officers above the rank of brigadier. There are 1,510 officers in the flag ranks of brigadiers, major generals, lieutenant generals and general.

    Of the 1,414 colonels holding command of battalions, the 848 who are in family stations would also be entitled to SAs. Together, 2,358 SAs would be required, Army says. Each of these SAs would cost the exchequer Rs 15,000 per month.

    There are 30,450 'field ranks' (major, lieutenant colonel and colonel), excluding the 1,414 colonels who are commanding battalions. Of them, 18,270 are in peace stations while 12,180 are in field stations. The Army has proposed that those in peace stations (18,270) would be authorized a non-combatant assistant each. The NCAs can be hired on a contract of Rs 5,000 per month, the Army suggested.

    In the rank of captain and lieutenant, the Army has a sanctioned strength of 14,500 officers. Of them, 8,700 are in peace stations while the remaining 5,800 are posted in the field. Only those posted in peace stations would be entitled to NCAs, that too two officers will share one NCA. This would mean that 4,350 NCAs would be required for captains and lieutenants.

    Army gears up for life without its 'buddies'; to end 'sahayak' system - The Economic Times
     
  18. Rahul Singh

    Rahul Singh Senior Member Senior Member

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    When will Army dump RIA legacy You bloody civilians which during British RAJ was You bloody Indians?
     
  19. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    i missed batmen. i remembered my friend's father was a colonel. When i used to go to his house i saw one batmen cleaning his shoes,one ironing his shirt and one making food.


    kya baat the
     
  20. Rahul Singh

    Rahul Singh Senior Member Senior Member

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    And i have also witnessed BATMANs playing with or making officer's children play, unwillingly of course (you can tell by the facial expression). I wonder what he would have been going through when his children would used ask PAPA AAP HAMARE SAATH KABHI KYO NAHI KHELTE?
     
  21. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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