New Regiments based on Communities? Pros and Cons?

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by pmaitra, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    In the backdrop of the ban on any new regiments based on ethnic background or nationality, beyond those that have already been created by the British Indian Empire, there have been calls for new regiment(s) for the Tribals.

    The following news in Times of India talks about this issue:

    Questions one may ponder:
    • Why regiments based on social, ethnic and regional lines? Corollary: Why not?
    • Why a ban on such regiments post Independence? Corollary: Why not?
    • If GoI is continuing with those regiments created by the British Indian Empire, why is there a ban on newer regiments?
     
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  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Most regis are named after some clans but they are filled with a good mix from all over the country. The idea of a regiment of only a particular caste or tribe is against the ethos of secularism in the army and the nation.
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Today, with education, breaking up of the joint family system, the economic compulsions of people moving out of their clan territory for a living (parents of those who later join the Armed Forces), that bond that used to be the bulwark of one community regiment is no longer strong.

    Hence, whether one community or all India mix, it is the same thing!

    The clamour to raise Tribal units is but the fevered brainwave of some politician who has reached his tethers end to find a solution and so wants to do the usual - have a gimmick!

    Also, to imagine a Class 8 chap understanding the workings of a missile or a computer controlled equipment and is employed to fire and direct the same!
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  5. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I agree with you. India must uphold her secular character. However, keeping up with the same logic, what are the reasons for and against maintaining the ethnic nomenclature of regiments which were created by the British Indian Empire?
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  6. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    you are right....british india created those regiments to divide us....we cant continue with the same policy....why cant we have regiments with no name associated to any clan....??!!
     
  7. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Sir, since you have been involved with the military and have vast experience, could you please shed some lights on the Naga Regiment, which was raised post Independence? I am aware of the ethnic mix. My question lies more on the nomenclature.

    If I may disagree with you, I think there are plenty of youngsters who are actually working on defense related projects. I have myself implemented part of a system that is used to seek targets for Heat-Seeking Missiles using FLIR images. Although not a class 8 chap myself, but it is my humble belief that every opinion needs deliberation and that is why I decided to open this discussion.
     
  8. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    I think the Tribal regiment is not to promote caste/class etc, but rather an incentive to let the Salva Judhum and other tribals who are fed up of Maoist violence, join the mainstream forces. It is a good move considering that this will integrate the tribals, give them a stable job and desist them from joining Maoists. Something smart from a rather dull and incapable government that we have. I appreciate the man/woman who came up with the idea.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It is heartening to note that Class 8 chaps can understand and operate Heat Seeking Missiles using FLIR. I will confess, though I am a post graduate, I find operating a computer and getting rid of glitches a real harrowing task.

    The Naga Regiment was raised to accommodate the Nagas since they had displayed good military attributes. It is composed of Nagas.

    That maybe true, but then who will identify the wheat from the chaff?

    Would it not also increase the clamour for regiments from each State?

    It will open up an unnecessary Pandora's box

    The Salva Judam chaps could go into units without there being anything classified as a Tribal Regiment. As it is there are enough tribals in the units. My hockey players had a large number of Adivasis and Tribals.

    Why not a Sikkim Regiment too? Would work wonders against the Chinese who claim that Sikkim is a part of China, even though they have dropped this claim and why not an Arunachal Regiment just to irritate the Chinese? They are also genuine causes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  10. jatkshatriya

    jatkshatriya Regular Member

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    Well to my dear friends...i know there are some cons to such divisions but there are also some plus points...u see i am from rajasthan and so will try to explain in the perspective...in rajasthan Rajputs take alot of pride in being a rajput..A Rajput has entire diff rules and ways to adress each other and to talk to each other...they feel much more comfy with other rajputs...so when a rajput regiment is formed a soldier though posted anywhere feels like home with each others company...they feel more courageous as they cant allow any harm to the pride and honour that is associated with the word Rajput and so they are more charged up...the same goes for the Jat Regiment...or the Meena regiment...hope i have made my point...all these communities are warrior communities and have certain diff traditions and cultures..i think its better in this sense to have such regiments..I dont think that with such regiments any communal disharmony is introduced ...not in any way
     
  11. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    I don't see any particular reason in creating a tribal only regiment. If the government is enthusiastic about enrolling tribals into the regular army, then they should make them join the regular regiments, why create a new regiment to accommodate them ! I think they need to open up and mingle with other people, this way they will be able to shed their inhibitions and being with the mainstream population will also give them a sense of belonging to the masses.
     
  12. keshtopatel

    keshtopatel Regular Member

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    [​IMG] Rajput Regiment.

    [​IMG] Assam Regiment.

    [​IMG] Madras Regiment

    [​IMG] Sikh Regiment

    [​IMG] Gurkha Rifles

    Gujus are business people, hence no Patel Regiment though.....
     
  13. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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  14. Rahul92

    Rahul92 Senior Member Senior Member

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    the regiments should be used only for local purpose this will reduce the complexities in the society
     
  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Are the Rajputs the same as those of the recent past?

    Rajputs feel comfortable talking and working with fellow Rajputs. That is fine. But then that could be a universal phenomenon across communities in India. And indeed, they too have their own codes of conduct.

    Anyway, the Rajput Regiment has Yadavs and Ahirs also as major components.

    There is no Meena Regiment.

    Reading Philip Mason’s ‘A Matter of Honour’ will give the history as to how the so called ‘martial races’ came into being. It is interesting a read.

    All ‘warrior’ communities having Regiments have not always credited themselves in war.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  16. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    As Yusuf said before ethnic name is just for regiment name purpose otherwise every regiment has good mix of armymen from all over the country.Its not a bad idea to raise a tribal regiment.
     
  17. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Ok, I see what you are saying. However, why should a Tribal be asked to join a Rajput Regiment or Sikh Light Infantry. In the converse, how would a Rajput or a Sikh feel if he is made to join a Santhal Regiment?

    My point is, if a Tribal can be expected to integrate with the non-Tribals, why not a non-Tribal integrate with the Tribals? Also, who gets to define the term 'mainstream'?

    Also, let us not forget that the Santhals and other tribals are very much martial, brave and have a lot of fighting stamina. One look at the Maoist movement in India is witness to that. Moreover, Chandragupta Maurya also hailed from the Chhota Nagpur Plateau (mainly Jharkhand and parts of Bihar, West Bengal, Chhatisgarh, Orissa) and was born in a 'smlechha' (non-Aryan tribal community) family and proved to be a great military tactician who even captured Gandhara (Kandahar) from the Greeks and made it part of the Indian Empire.

    There have been attempts to claim that Chandragupta was fathered by a Kshatriya, but there is no evidence whatsoever to support this (society in those timed did not allow this). Such claims apparently serve only one purpose, i.e. to deny the credit our Tribal brothers so rightfully deserve.
     
  18. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    Frankly, dude, you clearly misunderstood what I am implying here !! The Army being a secular institution is above caste, creed and religion ! Though, the Britishers created most of the regiments based on various communities, which is in place till today and will continue to do so, it seems, but that hasn't changed the fact that people from different communities and religion serve in all these regiments and that in essence hold the true spirit of the army. And, I never criticized the tribals, I very well know they are a martial race, its in their genes, they have been so for centuries, and their knowledge of the their landscape is absolutely amazing. They can be of immense help in the army, and FYI they are plenty of people from tribal background serving in all three services ! They don't seems to have any complaints ! And finally, only the Army can decide if they want a new tribal regiment or any new regiment, nobody else can.
     
  19. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I get your point, but also beg to disagree with some parts of your comment.

    As per law, every Indian should be treated equally. Hence, if regiments still exist today for certain castes or ethnicities, then even Tribals are entitled to the same. It would make a lot of sense if Tribals get a feeling of ownership in their work and get the due credit to their name. Today some Tribals have joined the Maoists. Would it not be better if they were fighting for India under their own regiment instead of against India?

    It does not matter that the current regiments were created by the British Indian Empire. Even landlords, kings and queens existed in the British Indian Empire, who were vassals to the Empress of UK. If the GoI could abolish landlords and the Princely States, they could have as well abolished this caste and ethnicity based nomenclature of regiments.

    Logically speaking, only either one of two things are possible to show that every Indian is treated equally:
    • Any caste or ethnicity may be part of the name of any regiment.
    • Any caste or ethnicity may not be part of the name of any regiment.


    Personally, I'd go with the first one; but then that's me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  20. jatkshatriya

    jatkshatriya Regular Member

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    well the rajputs living in villages that form the backbone of the rajput regiment are still the same....and yaa that is the point i wanted to make...it is common with all communities...so its not a bad idea ...i havent read that book....the concept of a martial race and martial ethos has some logic...many warrior communities having regiments have won many many bravery awards..notably the gorkha, sikh, jat and the rajput regiments
     
  21. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Indeed they have won.

    Check the timespan of their Regiments.

    Check also what they have not done.

    My Regiment, in fact, my Battalion, in one campaign won 1 PVC, 1 MVC and 4 VrC and we are only quasi martial!

    And we are Scheduled Castes, if that is important. We have not destroyed Govt property as they did in Rajasthan over who is an OBC and who is not!!

    In spite of everything, we continue to be lawful.

    Does speak of traditions and all the big stuff, what ho?

    Let us not live in the past. Check the ethos of the present!
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010

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