Three generations of the Sharma family have served in the armed forces. Lieutenant Colonel JC Sharma (in pic) fought in the battles of 1965 and 1971. His father, late Pandit Lala Ram Sharma, was a soldier in the British Army and a war jagirdar.
JC Sharma’s younger brother Captain KC Sharma made the supreme sacrifice during the 1971 war.
Now Sharma’s two sons are serving in the 6 JAK Rifles and are posted at different stations.
Talking about the morale in the army, as he knows it personally, he says, “Yes absolutely. The morale is high, probably much higher than what it used to be. I have my close family serving in the army and they are proud at every moment to be in the army. Those who talk adversely about the army have no love for the country or the soil.”
Sharma is also very satisfied with how the army takes care of its personnel in terms of what it pays them. “The present allowances being provided in the army are more than enough. When I joined army as second lieutenant, my pay was R350. Now imagine if I could serve the country while getting only R350, what more could I want now? I don’t want to be rolling around in money,” he says.
Talking about whether the army takes care of its people in ways other than monetary, he says, “In the way that the army is being administered at present is very good though it could do with a little bit of polishing. It all depends on the calibre of officers that are recruited.”