Military and Society: ‘Give the army the izzat it deserves’

“The bureaucrats don’t like us, we don’t like bureaucrats – the feeling is mutual,” said Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi (retd).  

punjab Updated: Dec 09, 2017 13:51 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Military Literature Festival,senior army officers,Army
(From left) Vir Sanghvi moderating a session at the Military Literature Festival at Lake club in Chandigarh on Friday.(Anil Dayal/HT)

The senior army officers gathered at Military Literature Festival were of the opinion that the ‘izzat’ (respect) given to army officers in the olden days is lacking now, and that is making army service the least opted profession.The officers spoke about how bureaucracy lacks real understanding of armed forces and how the society admires the army but don’t want their children to join it.

“The bureaucrats don’t like us, we don’t like bureaucrats – the feeling is mutual,” said Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi (retd).

Sharing an incident, a senior officer said, “A defence secretary, who has served the department for years, asked me if Western Command has a strike corps? He did not even know that India’s mightiest strike corps is with Western Command.”

Lt Gen KJ Singh (retd) said, “The problem with the bureaucracy is that they have a fleeting kind of relationship with the armed forces. There is lack of commitment, no sensitivity, and not even an iota of desire to learn about armed forces. Bureaucrats cannot stomach the organised behaviour and bonging among armed forces.”

Lt Gen Bhopinder Singh added, “A citizen regards you because he knows that it is only the army that delivers and is accountable. But right since 1947, there has been a decline in the status and the position of the armed forces.”

“The problem is that despite all this liking among people, everybody wants their neighbour’s son to join the army and not their own. That’s why we are still short of 12,000 officers,” he said.

First Published: Dec 09, 2017 13:51 IST