We're Live Bangla Sunday, December 04, 2022

Why India and its army are soft on China


It was on April 1, Fool’s Day, in 1895, that the Indian Army was established by the British who ruled the sub-continent at that time. The aim and objectives of the Indian Army under the British included the protection of the British Raj’s economic interests; conquering neighboring states; countering insurgencies; suppressing locals; maintaining the writ of the British rulers; and looking after the interests of the rest of the British Empire.

After getting independence from British rule in 1947, the British Indian Army became the current-day Indian Army, with the same ideology, aims, and objectives. The same training regimen was continued, and the same traditions were followed. To date, the Indian Armed Forces are playing almost the same role as it did under the British.

They conquered Goa, Sikkim, Hyderabad, and Junagadh. They are still fighting insurgencies in Assam, in Nagaland and Kashmir. They are suppressing local people in Punjab, Haryana, Assam, Bihar, Kashmir, and minorities like Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits and “low caste” Hindus.

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In fact, deterioration started when the armed forces stopped inducting Muslims. The few inducted were taken for ceremonial reasons and were not given command or power or high ranks or important positions since the 1965 war against Pakistan.

Similar actions were initiated in the 1980s after the attack on the Golden Temple (the Sikhs’ holiest shrine). The Sikhs in the Armed Forces are no longer trusted and are not given important positions or commands. Recently, the Indian Army Chief’s remarks about Gurkhas have had an adverse impact onthe strong regiment of Gurkhas in the army. Gurkhas are Nepalis, who the British inducted in the Indian Army as they were seen as being among the best fighters. The British deployed Gurkhas all over India and used them in overseas operations during World War I and II. Even in today’s Indian Army, the Gurkhas constitute a considerable portion and are known for their bravery. 

Against this background, the humiliating remarks of the Indian Army Chief have hurt theGurkhas and they are disgruntled. What will be the Indian government’s policies, and future course of action regarding the Gurkhas, is unpredictable.

The reputation of the Indian Army in suppressing its own people is notorious, and violations of human rights have broken records. According to human rights organizations, India tops in human rights violations, especially in Kashmir, Punjab, Assam, Bihar and Nagaland.

Personnel of the armed Forces deputed to such states are getting mental illnesses, forcing some of them to commit suicide. Most of the Indian military personnel are not willing to be posted in troubled areas.

Some of the countries in the Western world have refused to issue visas to Indian military personnel involved in war-crimes in Kashmir and other states. In fact, a movement for putting on trial some of those involved in war-crimes is gaining momentum. I am sure, sooner or later, all those who are involved in war crimes will face severe punishments depending on the degree of their involvement and intensity of war- crimes.

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The disparity of salaries, perks, and privileges between the high ranking officers and low ranking soldiers is huge, creating disgruntlement. The uniform, shoes, food provided to low ranked soldiers are pathetic. Weapons and ammunition are rather outdated. War-machines are dysfunctional. Disgruntled Armed forces, with dysfunctional war-machines, cannot not face the well-equipped, well-trained, well-looked-after, Chinese forces.

Talks between the two forces (Indian and Chinese) at the Majors General level have failed, and the next round of talks at the level of Lieutenant Generals are scheduled. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is hiding and refraining from public appearances or commenting on the situation on the India-China border in the Ladakh region. The Indian media is passive and low-profile on the subject, while the Foreign Ministry is also a bit conservative and careful in giving making any statement.

The Indian media’s aggressiveness shown against Pakistan and the armed force’s aggressiveness against it, are conspicuously absent vis-à-vis China. The Indian armed forces’ capabilities have been exposed.