Sunday, November 22, 2020

(Not Military Justice but) an important take on political ideology and its effect on the military of a secular democracy

Major General Yash Mor, who recently retired from the regular Indian Army, writes a detailed piece for
The Print on the impact of political leanings and ideology on the military of a secular democracy.

While the debate has been raging in the Indian backdrop on the subject with supporters and dissenters of the idea on both sides of the moot point whether politics has affected the military in a country which is supposed to be (and largely also perceived to be) apolitical, he makes some very important observations in his opinion piece.

The full piece can be read here.

An excerpt from the article:

“...The Indian Army has a long history of being not only apolitical but also religion neutral. For ages, soldiers from all communities and religious backgrounds have been part of the Army. Although the British did establish regiments on lines of castes and regions, by and large, the character of the Army remained mostly irreligious. The British did get a taste of mixing religion when the ‘pure’ Brahmin units went renegade and started the 1857 mutiny. The reaction of the British was swift and very harsh, because they not only disbanded a large number of Brahmin units but also gave extreme punishments- ordering captured soldiers to be shot dead after pretend court martial proceedings.

The British analysed the situation and immediately transformed the regimental system of the Army. All the native Infantry regiments based on religious denomination were disbanded and consigned to history without a trace.

The British transformed the regimental system to instil discipline in the forces. Since Independence, the Army brass has introduced various measures, big and small, to have successfully ensured that forces are governed by their own code. However, recent developments show a worrying trend....”

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