- The Indian public holds the Armed Forces personnel in very high esteem for the selfless acts, supreme sacrifices, and relentlessly guarding the nation’s borders by displaying tremendous grit, determination, commitment, and morale needs no further emphasis. Reiterating these formidably proud encomiums would not harm rather it would only reinforce how indebted the nation feels towards our uniformed personnel. Imagine, not only our disciplined forces have to guard the nation against enemy misadventures but also fight extremely harsh weather conditions and topographically challenging terrains seen in both eastern as well as western frontiers.
PC: Anil Bhatt
- Time and again three wings of the Armed Forces viz. the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force, and the Indian Navy have made the country proud showcasing awe-inspiring bravery, valour, and devil may care attitude extending every sinew to guard our sovereignty. Many inspirational tales abound about soldiers undertaking unimaginably daunting tasks to ensure evil enemy designs are thwarted. Reminiscing such heroics does give goosebumps leaving us enthralled and venerated towards those jawans. Words fail to aptly describe true feelings and how obligated we countrymen should always be towards the bravest soldiers for keeping us secure and in peace.
- Yes, the grateful country does acknowledge these immeasurable contributions and showers unbridled affections on military personnel whenever an opportunity or occasion presents itself. However, did anybody ever wondered what is the composition of the Armed Forces vis-à-vis personnel getting enrolled into the system? Agreed, there cannot be any questions or insinuations about caste, creed, religion, and region when it comes to the country’s military composition. What I intend to delve into here is the social background or to be precise, the economic backgrounds of those personnel opting to serve the nation. You would be surprised to know the configuration.
- Any matters related to Armed Forces are considered sensitive as well as confidential including the composition of personnel and therefore, it would be wise to scratch the bare surface instead of digging deep to arrive at some conclusion on the issue. People in the know would be nodding in agreement when it is mentioned that the bulwark of the Forces is made up of from the lower strata of the society. Indeed, it is the reality especially as the middle-class, to lower-middle-class, to people from poor backgrounds are in majority. Non-Commissioned ranks in the three forces, which forms the bulk of the fighting forces, is always found to be adorned by these class of personnel.
- The Commissioned Officers, at the top echelons of the disciplined forces, on the other hand, is an amalgamation of all classes of society and off-springs of serving as well as retired officers leading the uniformed regiments/units/stations. A moot point to ponder over here is why don’t we see personnel from elite backgrounds viz. top political leaders, big businessmen, industrialists, bureaucrats, and others from affluent families in greater numbers? Presence from these classes is negligible or minuscule at best. Is it because of livelihood concerns people from lower strata enroll into the forces discounting associated risk factors?
- Or is it plain motivational drive and inner urgings to serve the motherland that drives these precocious youngsters to embrace perilous career? Why does the same lure of serving the nation fail to impress upon the privileged lot to enroll in large numbers to choose the military as their professional trajectory? There are no ready answers. Yes, you may decide the answer.