Army rejects calls to raise new units based on caste or religion.!!!

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by bhramos, Jan 30, 2013.

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  1. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    NEW DELHI: The Army has once again strongly rejected calls for raising new "single-class" units like the Gujarat, Kalinga, Dalit, Ahir, Paswan or Tribal regiments as well as attempts to tinker with its "time-tested" regimental system.

    "The policy since Independence is not to raise any new regiment on the basis of a particular class, creed, community, religion or region but to have a force in which all Indians have representation. This is the well-defined position of both the defence ministry and Army," said a senior official.

    Added a top general, "Politics should not be played with the apolitical armed forces. The Army is an inclusive, secular force, open to all. It's for that reason the force had even opposed the religious headcount proposed by the Sachar Committee in 2005-06."

    Having just finished with the Republic Day celebrations as well as the Army Day on January 15, which marks the day when Field Marshal K M Cariappa became the first Indian chief of the force in 1949, the 1.13-million-strong Army is equally steadfast about resisting any changes in its regimental system.

    But it's the existence of this system, with a preponderance of "single-class" regiments like the Sikh, Gorkha, Dogra, Garhwal, Jat and the like, which propels politicians and others to demand a Dalit Regiment, like LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan often does, or a Gujarat Regiment, as proposed by L K Advani when he was the deputy prime minister.

    Single-class or "pure" regiments were raised during the Raj based on the classification of certain communities as "martial races". After 1947, India, however, decided to continue with these caste or community-based units because "regimental history, ethos and loyalty" was considered to be the main driving force in combat effectiveness and operational performance.

    "Soldiers from the same clan fight better from the same foxhole. These tradition-bound regiments have proved themselves in combat in all conflicts since 1947. They should not be dismantled," said a major-general.

    This "battalion esprit de corps" was quite evident during the 1999 Kargil conflict. Quizzed why they had made those daredevil assaults against fortified positions held by Pakistani intruders, the common refrain among jawans was that the "paltan's izzat" (the battalion's honour) was at stake, more than loftier notions about fighting for the flag and the country.

    While officers can be commissioned into any unit, the infantry's 23 regiments — with over 350 battalions under them — are basically of three types. Single-class units constitute around 60% of the whole. Even among them, the further sub-divisions are based on community or caste. The Army's seven Gorkha Rifles, for instance, recruit separately from the Gurung, Rai, Limbu, Magar and other communities, both from India and Nepal.

    The aim after Independence has been to raise "All India-All Class" regiments, like the Brigade of Guards, where jawans are recruited from all over the country irrespective of class and percentage. "The endeavour is to progressively move towards such regiments," said a Brigadier.

    In between these two are the "mixed" and "fixed" class units like the Grenadiers or the Mahar Regiment. The 4 Grenadiers, for instance, has two companies of Jats, one company of Muslims and one company of Dogras. Similarly, Rajputana Rifles has an equal mix between Rajputs and Jats, while the Rajput Regiment mainly has Rajputs and Gujars with a sprinkling of Muslims and Bengalis.

    "Jawans, with similar language and eating habits, have kinship, brotherhood...they form a cohesive fighting force. Even in mixed class regiments like Grenadiers, individual companies - the basic fighting units — are `pure'," said a Colonel.

    The other "fighting arms" like the armoured corps and artillery also have several instances of "pure" units among them. Many artillery medium or field regiments, for instance, are "pure" ones recruiting only Gorkhas, Sikhs, Jats, Ahirs or Marathas into their respective folds. But "support" arms like ASC, EME, Ordnance, Signals and the like are resolutely "all-class" units.

    Army rejects calls to raise new units based on caste or religion - The Times of India

    Jai Hind
     
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  3. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Army rejects calls to raise new units based on caste or religion.!

    Good call by the Army.

    IIRC when Mr.Deve Gowda was the PM, he had tried to push the Army raise a Karnataka Unit. At that time also the Army had very firmly turned down the proposal.
     
  4. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    Re: Army rejects calls to raise new units based on caste or religion.!

    what about Naga regiment, Ladakh Scouts etc ?
     
  5. K Factor

    K Factor A Concerned Indian Senior Member

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    Re: Army rejects calls to raise new units based on caste or religion.!

    Naga regiment consists of Nagas, Kumaoni, Garhwali and Gorkhas and not just Nagas, unlike the current demands for a Gujarati or Dalit "only" regiment.
     
  6. Sukerchakia

    Sukerchakia Regular Member

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    Re: Army rejects calls to raise new units based on caste or religion.!

    I think the benefits of maintaining 'pure' regiments are well established. There are also certain problems though, like the mutinies by Sikh soldiers during Op Blue Star.

    IMHO, I believe certain pure regiments will cease to be so in a few years. Sikhs are a case in point. Not many are joining the army as opposed to 20 years back. This might be true for other regiments too.
     
  7. lcatejas

    lcatejas Regular Member

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    Re: Army rejects calls to raise new units based on caste or religion.!

    I think this whole idea came from UPA As#%$%....:mad:
     
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  8. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Re: Army rejects calls to raise new units based on caste or religion.!

    Waiting for BG @Ray to weigh in on this.
     
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  9. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Re: Army rejects calls to raise new units based on caste or religion.!

    Advani, Paswan, Gowda made calls for single class regiments. There must be others too. God knows what will happen if Maya comes to power !
     
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  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Army rejects calls to raise new units based on caste or religion.!

    Why there were class and caste based units and Regiments is well covered in Philip Mason's book A MATTER OF HONOUR.

    It would be worthwhile knowing that only the Bengal Presidency Army had this type of class and caste units.

    The Madras Presidency Army interestingly did not have this distinct classification. And the Madras Presidency Army was also had Marathas!

    The reasons are too vast to enumerate in a post.

    Suffice it to day that it served its purpose given the close bonding the North had as far as caste and class was concerned.

    It is also interesting to note that companies of some Regiments had different classes. The British were very intelligent. This ensured that there were differences and so there would be very little organisation to rise against the British within that unit.

    These days, we have no such distinction in the new raisings amongst the non class units.

    These units have fared well.

    The class and caste bonding having gone very diluted in modern India, there is no raison d'être to have new raisings based on class or caste.

    The clamour for single class or caste units by politicians is merely a political stunt to appeal to their vote banks and is most dangerous.

    As it is the politicians have done much to ruin the cohesiveness of the military.

    The Army should keep the politicians and their filthy political paws away as far as possible - the farther the better!
     
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  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Army rejects calls to raise new units based on caste or religion.!

    There is the Ladakh Scouts but then their role is different since they are totally accustomed to the High Altitude and can react faster than the average soldier of the Indian Army who would require acclimatisation to react even in emergencies.

    Ladakh is a place where emergencies can occur in a flash.

    On the issue of a pure Dalit Regiment, my Regt the Mahar Regt is a Dalit Regiment.

    However, it is very lucrative to get the stamp of military service and quit before time since there are better govt service readily available being a Dalit and even better with a 'military stamping'.

    This was a huge problem and so some new units when raised had to go in for a Mahar cum all India mix so that the Regiment could be brought up to strength.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
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  12. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    Re: Army rejects calls to raise new units based on caste or religion.!

    But isnt the name Naga quite specific ? Its an ethnicity based name.

    p.s.:I'm opposed to the ridiculous demand of Dalit and OBC regiments. Why ? A Marathas number of Marathas are considered SC, the tribals in Bihar and Mahar regiments + the Nagas come under ST and the Jats, Gujjars, Yadavs, Ahirs etc are OBC.
     
  13. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Re: Army rejects calls to raise new units based on caste or religion.!

    We should not think its Sc or bs or anything else, The main purpose of the men as a tough fighting unit with tradition and Army culture behind..

    Sikh, Gorkha, Naga, etc are just names, there are no specific people of specific background here but Culture of the regiment is inherited whoever serves under it..

    I for one very much lived within Gorkha Rifles..

     
  14. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    Re: Army rejects calls to raise new units based on caste or religion.!

    I am not in anyway for tinkering with Army tradition. The army must be allowed to function in an autonomous way in a manner it seem fit and which will deliver the best operational efficiency even if that means raising new ethnicity/caste based regiments like the long standing demand for a Gujjar regiment.

    I'm just saying that the army claim of not raising ethnicity based regiments after 1947 is not entirely true in context of the Naga regiment.
     
  15. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Re: Army rejects calls to raise new units based on caste or religion.!

    They wouldn't if they knew people will politicize army Now, It was done long back in past and it remain there..

    There is no worth talking and discussing about this issue as it will do more harm than any good..

     
  16. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Re: Army rejects calls to raise new units based on caste or religion.!

    Army should not be politicized >>

    1. How many Muslim in Army ?
    2. Raise new ethnic and Religion based regiments ..

    Should not be talked for sake of Integrity of Army..
     
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