“A young man who does not have what it takes to perform military service is not likely to have what it takes to make a living. Today’s military rejects include tomorrow’s hard-core unemployed.” – John F. Kennedy
Some men are born to greatness, others carve their part to it, especially the army men that guard the frontier and serve the motherland with great zeal and gusto. They carry on to be the solitary source of optimism of this besieged nation and are the final citadel against the fissiparous armed forces that are detrimental to its subsistence. In revenir they are pompous of their dignity and respect while being happy and content to bestow their youth in the name of the country.
That’s the life of an army man, full of pride and respect. No wonder the very mention of the term “Indian Armed Forces” instantly provokes a lot of ardor and enthusiasm in every Indian blood. However, despite having high opinion and value of the same, there has been an increasing gap between the youngsters and Indian Armed Forces.
Why is that the youth of today is reluctant to wear the olive green uniform and shiny black boots? Why is that Indian Armed Forces have become a secluded option and therefore an unattractive career for the young lads?
The Indian Armed Forces are an amalgamation of three different areas, the Indian Navy, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army, which we jointly call as the army of India. The authorized size of officers is 46,614 in the Indian Army, 12,136 in Indian Armed Forces and 8,797 in Indian Navy. However, all the three different wings are short of officers in huge percentage.
The dearth in the Indian Armed Forces is not a current phenomena but has been haunting for a while. The same middle class boys that once comprised more than 90% of the officer cadre of armed forces are no more attracted to serve the nation as a duty. There was a time when the middle class boys were so keen on joining the army as they came from a culture where the country was placed above all things.
In addition, they were bestowed with various values such as honesty, integrity, sincerity and hard work. Well the Indian middle class is still the same and the values are still intact. However, the boys from these families are no more interested in joining the army as a career.
One of the major reasons in secluding the armed forces as a career option is to hang on to the mobility in the career marketplace. The current generation’s youth today focus a lot on “liberty of mobility”which obviously cannot be obtained while working in the army of India.
Secondly, the youth of India is prone to lavish lifestyle with access to all the latest consumer goods. The same middle class which once treasured values like honesty, integrity now treasures hefty salaries to satisfy their ever growing demands.
Therefore, today majority of the young folks are venturing into professions dealing directly or indirectly to the private sectors and preferring jobs in the multi-national companies rather than choosing the hotshot Indian Armed Forces job.
The poignant part is that although the remuneration of the armed forces have considerably amplified after the 6th Pay Commission, the youth still find them a lesser amount as compared to the salaries obtained from the MNCs. Further, the rough and tough life along with life-risks makes it a strict “no-no”.
Some other basic reasons to shun the job of the armed forces are the isolation from family, slow promotions (Promotions in the private sector are swift and so is the increment), frequent transfers, high level of stress, difficulties faced post marriage and finally limited choices available to plan children’s education and career.
Moreover, none of the Insurance company provides an insurance to the soldier who dies on duty. These are some of the major hiccups which are widening the gap between the youth and the Indian Armed Forces although the shortage has been prevalent for the past two decades, of late it has become more significant.
This is the reason while there is no shortage of true patriotism and true nationalism in our country, there is shortage of armed forces in our country. Looks like, the Government of India would have to advertise and market vacanies on behalf of Indian armed forces to make it a lucrative job opportunity. After all, we have a digital competent government at the Center who can definitely have a solution to this rising problem.