Krishval Musings

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Salute the Indian Army. The Pride of India.

The Army that fights constructive Battles.

The Indian Army (Army, Air force and Navy) is hailed as one of the best five armies in the world.   It has a reputed history of over 250 years and earned the admiration of great Generals during First and Second World War including Winston Churchill, the hater of Indians. They have fought in every continent and saved Britain in various conflicts from 1757 to 1947.  
Why salute the Indian army?
The greedy West was anticipating that India will disintegrate or at least have a military coup immediately after the independence.  The Indian Army and its highly responsible Generals belied their expectations. It is the opinion of many   political experts that the present Kashmir problem and the humiliation by the Chinese in 1962 could have been averted had Jawaharlal Nehru  listened to the forewarning of General Thimayya.  Infatuated by unrealistic internationalism, the Nehru government failed in reading the belligerent neighbours and India paid the price for it.  

There were many instances of difference between rulers and army chiefs but none escalated into a big rift.  Indian army never challenged the authority of the civil government and always affirmed its commitment to democracy unlike Pakistan. All countries in the periphery of India had Army Coups and/or attempted coups. In most of the countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia including China the army is either in the driver seat or a back seat driver. Much to the envy of the West the possibilities of an army coup in India is far beyond reality. Coups d'├ętat and coup attempts destabilises the social, political and economic conditions of a nation. Indian citizens enjoy a fearless and free democracy because of the democratic ethos of the highly responsible and mature Indian army.                
Approximately 190 successful/attempted Army coups d’├ętat were made in more than 100 different countries in the world since 1947.

Prominent countries (no. of coups):  
Thailand (6) Argentina (7)  Turkey (5), Pakistan (8), Bangladesh(5), Iraq(3),Uganda(3),Philippines(6)Syria(4), Algeria(4),Nigeria(4)Sudan(3), Greece(2),Congo(4)   Guinea(4), Brazil(2), Italy(2), Chile (4)Azerbaijan(2) Yemen(2)Venezuela (2)Fiji(2),Myanmar(2),Sri Lanka(2)                                                 

What is Constructive Battle?

It is a common perception that the army is power mongering and is synonymous with the destruction of lives and property.

The Indian army is probably the only one in the world that has been involved in more humanitarian rescue and rehabilitation work which I term as life saving constructive battles.   Following are a few incidents of a long list of natural disasters that struck India where the Indian Army did a thankless rescue and relief operations.

1968 floods in Rajasthan and Gujarat, 1990 & 1991 Earthquake in Uttarakand, 1999 Cyclone in Orissa, 2001, Earthquake in Gujarat, 2004  Floods in Assam and Bihar,   2005 floods in Maharashtra, 2005 : Earthquake and Avalanche in Kashmir , 2004, Tsunami in Andaman, Tamilnadu, Andhra,  2008, Kosi floods in Bihar,  , 2009 Cyclone in W. Bengal. 2013 Himalayan Tsunami in Uttarakand, 2014, Kashmir floods.

Army jawans forego one time meal to help flood victims in

Uttarakhand (ttp://

The government of India, in addition to various departments, created a National Disaster Management Authority in 2005 to handle natural disasters independently by states. However, it is not developed enough to handle grave situations without the help of the army.   
The Indian Army was involved in UN peace keeping operations in 18 countries.
It has been controlling the insurgencies and assisting the local administration in the North East and Kashmir for the last 30years.


When Sir Robert Lockhart, the interim General of the Indian army presented an army development plan immediately after independence, Jawaharlal Nehru responded   "We don't need a defence plan. Our policy is non-violence. We foresee no military threats. You can scrap the army. The police are good enough to meet our security needs."  He even planned to reduce the army strength from 280,000 to 150,000.  The 1947 Kashmir war was a wakeup call and the 1962 Chinese aggression was the game changer of the defence policy of India.  Nation states are not safe at all without a strong and responsible armed force.  
“To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace” (George Washington)

It is the only organization in India that still has the discipline and valour that protects the Indians from the enemies within and outside India. The   Indian army is free from all political, social and economic stigmas that ravage the civilian life. It is not immune from scams and corruption; however, its foundation remains strong and unshakable.

Regrettably  a few ignorant politicians, lethargic bureaucrats and irresponsible journalists look down at soldiers as cannon fodders and army a substitute  labour force because they do recue work and also provide  services in airports and sea ports when the civilian workers go on strike. These egocentrics have no sympathy for the soldiers’ scarifies of personal life and the threat to their very survival in many operations.  The Indian army is vexed with the inability of soldiers in the frontier to exercise their franchise and also the disparities in their pay and pension schemes.       

Unfortunately, Indian public is still not matured enough to give due recognition and honour to the men in uniform contrary to the high respect they command in the West.   The wanton disregard of the top brass from Ministry of Defence, to the funeral of the legendary soldier  Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw in 2008 is deplorable. He liberated Bangladesh, reset the fractured reputation of the Indian army and brought respect to India from her adversaries.

Kautilya said “the soldier does not participate directly in the progress and prosperity of the state but he dedicates himself to the very existence of the state”.   India’s security, peace and prosperity are not in the hands of Dhoni or Ambanis or Priyanka Chopra or even Narendra Modi. They are guarded by the monthly Rs16, 000.00 salaries drawing brave and dedicated Jawans posted in the 14103 KM long land border and 7500 KM long coastline.

Jai Jawan should not merely be a slogan in a function, he should have the sacred place in the minds of every Indian.  

Dr. Krishnan Arunachalam

References:,,, , The Rediff Special/Wing Commander (retd) R V Parasnis

Carrying the people on their shoulders in high regions.

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