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Mata Haris to enhance MI

Countries inimical to India beware. The army is going to raise a new wing of Mata Haris before the yearend.

india Updated: Jan 14, 2006 04:40 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Countries inimical to India beware. The army is going to raise a new wing of Mata Haris before the yearend.

Officially, these women officers will be inducted into the Military Intelligence Corps and “trained in foreign languages so that they can be interpreters, translators and assistant attaches.”

“They will give us (the army) the necessary expertise when we deal with foreign delegations,” Army chief Gen J.J Singh said while announcing the decision to raise a new corps.

But who knows, in the double cross and surreptitious world of intelligence, they could very well turn out to be spooks on the lines of the legendary World War-I spy.

The army chief said: “We will train women in languages…some of them will specialise on specific countries so that we create a corps of language and country experts within the Military Intelligence Corps.”

Gen Singh said the Army had “come to the conclusion that women need not be exposed to extreme battlefield violence, but there is no reason why they should not be part of other corps.”

He said as India’s role had expanded in the global scenario. With enhanced military to military co-operation between various nations, more army personnel were needed to travel abroad. This new corps would play its role here.

Regarding the portrayal of the Army in films, Gen. Singh said Bollywood had by and large been quite respectful of soldiers and officers.

About Aamir Khan’s controversial film Rang de Basanti, the Army Chief said while he was of the opinion that the ethos of the Army should be upheld, it was a mark of India’s democratic character that any film maker was free to depict what they chose in films.

“In any case, all films do start with a remark that it is fictional and any resemblance to any person alive or dead is purely incidental,” he added.

Gen Singh said the Army was required in Jammu and Kashmir as infiltration, though down by 20 per cent, was continuing. “As long as infiltration and violence do not come down to absolutely negligible levels, I see no possibility of leaving the area for terrorists to dominate and exploit,” the Army Chief said.

First Published: Jan 14, 2006 04:40 IST