Retired soldiers are NOT the solution for Anti-Naxal Operation

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by Kunal Biswas, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Retired soldiers are NOT the solution for counter-Naxal Operation

    As a fallout of the recent stand-off between the Home Ministry and the Defence Ministry on the use of the Armed Forces to take on Left Wing Extremism (LWE), a proposal to employ ex-servicemen on a three year contract for de-mining and other ‘specific’ operations was floated by some senior Home Ministry officials. The issue merits debate.

    Prima facie, the proposal, in the current form, will be a non-starter for the following reasons.
     
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  3. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    The colour service of a soldier in the army is 17 years which means that he has to serve this duration in case he wants to earn his pension.This pension is one of the most important motivators for any soldier to complete his tenure. The motivators to stay on beyond the pensionable service include promotion prospects with the financial benefits and perks thereof and the prestige of a higher rank.


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    The reasons why many soldiers quit the army immediately after completing 17 years service i.e. after completing pensionable service, are varied. These include, to ‘settle down’ permanently at a place and live a ‘normal’ and nu-nomadic life; to give more time to the family and children’s education; to migrate abroad for greener pastures; to tend to ancestral property and so on.


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    With this background, what could motivate an ex-serviceman who has quit the army, to join the para-military forces and take on the Left Wing Elements?
     
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  4. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Probably nothing, since the money is unlikely to be substantial enough to motivate him to don his fatigues again. It is not that soldiers do not quit to join other forces.


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    Presently Gorkha soldiers are being recruited in large numbers to serve private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are paid the enormous sums of money and are well looked after in the best of private hospitals in case they suffer injury during the tenure. However, it is unlikely that the Home Ministry will pay anything comparable. There will be takers for this scheme, however it will not be in the numbers that will make a difference in operations.

    So what is the way forward?
     
  5. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    One possible option is to implement lateral induction into the para-military forces for army soldiers. Many army soldiers would prefer to continue in service instead of having to contend with life in civvy street. However, those soldiers who have missed promotions have to quit at 17 years service. These soldiers form a large number, and could be offered lateral induction into para-military forces with the hope of continuing in service there including being considered for promotions.


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    This is one way to ensure these trained soldiers with counter-insurgency skills are not lost. A slightly different but equally effective arrangement exists in the Defence Security Corps where ex-servicemen are recruited in the DSC and continue on terms of engagement similar to that in the army. The vacancies in this organisation are usually over-subscribed due to the relatively easier nature of duties and fact that the soldier continues to get his pension from his previous service as well as the present salary. In case the soldier completes 15 years in the DSC, he is entitled to a second pension as well.


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    Thus it is evident that the Home Ministry will have to come up with innovative and attractive terms and conditions for ex-servicemen.
     

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