Need Of Introspection Of Indian Defense
By Ravi Nitesh
15 August, 2013
The two recent cases, the death of five soldiers on LoC and the blast in INS Sindhurakshak, though in different set of circumstances, with different angles and different branches of security, raises questions for the whole defense system of the country, international reputation and loss of life, material and money.
These recent incidents reflects need of introspection by Indian defense to overhaul it screw by screw. It is really sad that even after high respect in the hearts of citizens, the defense system has failed to live up to its position. In short, defense system and personals are flooded by corruption (that already came in light through many scams), wrong deals and policies, deviated intentions and carelessness.
Safety of soldiers is being compromised at various places and times. At the time of LoC patrolling, apart from other prospects that is the attack techniques and roles, many other things are clear now. Some of these includes, lack of intelligence services that could tell about these probable attacks, lack of professionalism or having overconfidence or maybe carelessness that probably soldiers also were not aware about any such attacks. It is shocking that even when at normal duty, they are trained and expected to be vigilant all the time then why they were not ready and vigilant at patrolling time. Also, loss of soldier is loss of life that is an irreparable loss for army, for family and for country. If defense system is already facing difficult times with LoC, then there must be many other provisions to tackle the situation that could help in saving the lives of the soldiers. These provisions could very well include safety aspects and safety kits such as bullet proof jackets, compulsion of following safety standards and technological advances that could include unmanned patrolling, equipped with sensors, closed and damage proof vehicles etc. All things are neither difficult nor very are very costly, instead the only thing that needs to implement these things is to have a firm determination, a will and well coordination among departments within the defense system with the approach of welfare for a common soldier.
The same is true for the second case of INS Sindhurakshak, where due to a blast, the vessel sank. This blast resulted into fire and it is expected that 16 sailors and crew members on board were trapped. No clue of their lives have been reported so far. Though an inquiry has been started by Indian Navy, but in primary reasons, it was told that the blast was caused due to loose battery panels due to which hydrogen leaked and it caused fire. Hydrogen blast is dangerous that every one know. This vessel was included in navy at the cost of approx 450 crores. After loss and threats of the lives and money, for a tiny reason of loose battery panels/wires, it is proved that there was great carelessness and this small mistake caused a great loss. If this reason is true, then it is quite clear that there could be so many other incidents and vulnerable points where such things could happen and its all due to lack of safety standards, due to over confidence, due to lack of professionalism and due to carelessness and corruption.
We must know that in general, a defense personal and the whole defense system is like any other department that is sadly, but true , that flooded with corruption. Defense systems and departments have an additional advantage that veiled their wrong deeds. But it is unacceptable. Patriotic sentiments and respect in people's hearts do not give any right to Indian defense system to adopt loose or unaccountable behavior. Also lot of information of defense system have been made as 'confidential' due to security reasons and then do not come even under Right to Information Act (RTI) ambit. Such things make the defense system unaccountable and irresponsible rather than providing them undisturbed working. If a scam is happened, then the dealer must get punishment , no matter what his post is. We have seen that even in many proved cases where within the country, a defense personal committed crime and violated rights, no prosecution made allowed while for the same case, an ordinary citizen could get even life term. These indifference is making the forces more rude in their working rather than making them more committed. These left opportunities to tighten defense systems, developed the mindsets in such a manner that they can violate rights, can do corruption, can be irresponsible for human lives etc , easily, as they are not facing its consequences and always benefited because of their advantageous service for country. However it is really pity that in all such cases and even in such benefits and losses, its a common soldier who face the hardest times. Sadly, all the politics have been done on his death, by all those who will never be ready to play the role that he was playing.
Ravi Nitesh is a Petroleum Engineer, Founder- Mission Bhartiyam, Core Member- Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign
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