Resilient army will withstand turbulence | india | Hindustan Times
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Resilient army will withstand turbulence

The Indian Army has been buffeted by ill winds these last few years on account of crimes and misdemeanours of a few, including by senior officers. Many have interpreted these in a negative way, implying that the Indian Army has lost its solid moorings, honed over centuries; the rank and file has lost faith in the leadership; and the morale of the army has suffered greatly. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Lt GenVijay Oberoi (retd) writes.

india Updated: Dec 11, 2010 23:57 IST

The Indian Army has been buffeted by ill winds these last few years on account of crimes and misdemeanours of a few, including by senior officers. Many have interpreted these in a negative way, implying that the Indian Army has lost its solid moorings, honed over centuries; the rank and file has lost faith in the leadership; and the morale of the army has suffered greatly. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

A 1.3 million-strong army does have its share of bad hats, human foibles being what they are. These cannot be controlled completely even in a highly trained and disciplined army.

A rock-solid institution like the Indian Army takes serious note of such acts, but to say that its morale has dropped to the pits is both simplistic and naïve. The army has great resilience that rises phoenix-like from disasters in both peace and war and gets on with its tasks with renewed energy.

This is the 'mantra' of the institution, as well as of each person who dons the olive green of the Indian Army.

An immediate analogy that comes to mind is the mighty ships that sail the oceans, not just in fair weather but in all seasons. Strong winds and waves buffet them, but the bigger they are, the better they withstand such turbulence. The Indian Army is like that - riding the waves majestically, in all types of weather, fair or foul, with the captain steering it when the going gets tough.

I'm not suggesting that the army should not take note of the crimes of a few who, on account of their weaknesses for the good life, have brought shame to the institution, but I do deplore the tendency of all the Amar, Akbar and Anthonys of the nation to tar the entire institution with a broad brush.

The army has always taken pride in dispensing quick and exemplary justice to anyone committing a wrong, irrespective of position. However, it is never done arbitrarily. Sufficient time and facilities are made available to the accused to defend themselves, unlike the baying for blood by the media. Let the army deal with them; they know how to do it.

The writer is a former Vice Chief of the Army