Why AGNIPATH scheme is outright classist

Baring my heart
3 min readJun 25, 2022

आओ नौजवानों कुछ दिन तो गुजारो फौज में ..

इस दरमियान हो गए शहीद तो देंगे 48 लाख ..

वर्ना ग्यारह-बारह लाख लेके रहना तुम मौज में !

क्या कर लोगे ग्रेजुएशन की पढाई के उस पार…

उसके एवज में हम देंगे एक प्यारा सा सर्टिफिकेट..

उसे पॉकेट में रख के लग जाना कहीं चौकीदार* !

मत सोचो तुम्हारे मजबूरी का फायदा उठा रहे हैं..

माँ भारती की गरिमा का सवाल है गरीब भाईयों..

हम बस देश की ‘सुरक्षा’ के लिए पैसे बचा रहे हैं!

देश प्रेम के लिए क्या तुम इतना नहीं कर सकते?

महज़ चार साल ही तो मांगे हैं हमने तुम्हारे..

AGNI में अपना करियर PATH नहीं झोक सकते?

*did not intend to demean the job profile. It was to make a specific point.

What differentiates officers from men (jawaan, airmen, sailors) in the armed forces?

Well, quite a few of them: food, accommodation, pay and the language they speak among themselves. Officers mostly speak in English among themselves. Not that they are supposed to be good at it. It is presumably, to set themselves apart from the men. Here is a clip of the “chief” of the Naval staff, reading his enlightening essay on “Ship” https://mobile.twitter.com/ani/status/1466692609846349826

How does this matter? It matters because there is one important aspect that differentiates officer from men. Most of the officers come from the cities and big towns whereas, most of the soldiers come from the hinterland.

The way the Indian state treats these village folks is just mind boggling. It can get away with anything. As I write, Covid lockdown scars may have not yet healed for some of them. Sorry, don’t look at the state. It is not answerable. Even courts have priorities. Having given up on the state, some do their best to get out of the cycle of poverty. To say, these people join the forces purely out of their love of the country, would be wrong. Yes, the pride of uniform is a calling, but with their education and status, non-commission ranks are the only viable options. How many of your city friends joined the forces as sailors, jawaans and airmen after class X and XII? Don’t you have any patriotic friend?

My advice now to my distant cousins of my village with a passion to join the forces would be to get good formal education first, before picking up a profession. “Chose pragmatism over patriotism.”

This is not saying this reform is good or bad. When experienced people from the forces (including retired Generals, Admirals, Air Marshals) are raising concerns or supporting it, lets leave it’s merit to them.

What is questionable is the manner in which it has been rolled out to public. With scant regards for the poor people waiting longingly for a news regarding recruitment. No pilot study seems to be required when it comes to decision related to state’s security and the subject of study are poor people. Who cares about them anyways?

Isn’t security one of the most important responsibilities of the state?

By the way, when did the largest democracy start taking cues from China on how to run a state?

Well, when the three chiefs become the official spokesperson for the GOI, you can say, देश बदल रहा है!

By the way, now that you are looking into the future and want to cut the salary expenses, why waste state’s money on training of officers. Recruit them directly after they complete graduation from any civilian institutes. Scrap the institutes that impart such education at state’s expense (like NDA). Also, make sure only 1 out of the four inducted as gentlemen cadets, get into permanent commission. For the first four years, call them Fire-fliers and the scheme as Fire-pit (English, because they are officers). No rank. No pension. Tatas, Wipros, Mahindras, Reliance will be eagerly waiting to induct these young disciplined, English-speaking, patriotic, hard-working, and able-administrators. Trained at state’s expense.

For the corporate, by the state!

PS: I am of the opinion that Armed forces do need to be down-sized, modernised in terms of weaponry, and the average age brought down.

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Baring my heart

A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought alone. I dream to build a small house with a big room for sarcasm, satire & sardonicism.