‘Special force is my religion and caste’: Army officer’s solution to India’s problems goes viral

Many praised and supported Col Shekhawat’s views on “pluralistic secularist society” on social media.
Updated on Feb 08, 2018 01:45 PM IST
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By HT Correspondent

An Indian Army officer’s anecdote about secularism is going viral on social media for all the good reasons.

Colonel Saurabh Singh Shekhawat, India’s most decorated officer, says that everyone in the army lives as a “pluralistic secular society” and “act like a unit” irrespective of their caste and religion in the one-minute video.

“... When I was commissioned and when I joined special forces, I was asked by my NCO, ‘What is your religion? What is your caste?’ I said, ‘Hindu Rajput’. He said, ‘Bloody chap, take a dip in that dirty water!’ So I went and took a dip. Then I realised I had said something wrong,” Col Shekhawat says in the clip shared by former army officer Raghu Raman on Twitter.

The colonel says, in what looks like an interview, that he was asked the same question and his reply was a little different.

“Then again he asked the same question and I replied, ‘Sir my religion is special force and my caste is special force’. He then told me that you are an officer and so your religion is the religion which is the religion of your boys ... So, as an officer you are everything,” he says.

“If you apply this kind of template in the country, most of the problems will be solved ... All the religions are there, all the classes and clans are together and still they are one unit,” he adds.

The tweet was shared 4,533 times and was liked by more than 7,000 people on social media.

Many praised and supported Col Shekhawat’s views on “pluralistic secularist society” on social media.

“What Col Shekhawat is saying is what Indian Army teaches. This is what we all learnt. This is what we believe in. It does not matter what a religious text of any religion says. Army is inclusive. As an officer, your religion is the religion of your troops,” defence analyst Major Gaurav Arya commented on the post.

A part of the Indian Army’s elite special forces, Shekhawat has three gallantry awards to his name — Kirti Chakra, Shaurya Chakra and Sena Medal — and a Vishisht Sena Medal for distinguished service.

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