Money Speaks

Posted in armed forces, public policy by Gautam on November 23, 2008

I have been following the proceedings of the 6th Pay Commission closely and I have found it uniquely interesting for the plethora reasons.

I have to start with the prestige of the Armed Forces; while I had gone for my SSB’s after the NDA written exams, the most expected question was, ‘why I wanted to join the Air Force’. One answer which wasnt expected, even grounds for rejection was that you wanted to serve your country. Point being the defence forces are not the only profession that serves the country. However, they work substantially more and risk exponentially more than the average citizen; they bear heavier responsibilities. With the affairs of every personel was closely connected the lives and the families of a lot of his men. Enough said. While I was running the marathon in delhi on the 9th, I passed a board saying “Indian Army – Not Just a Profession”. I typically tend to ponder over things I come accross when the run is long; this one was and I spent almost a kilometre wondering how true it was. A friend sent me a picture of his troops in siachen – hes in the army posted there. 11 people were patrolling the area- the snow was waist deep and they were walking in that snow, miles at a stretch with packs weighing about 10 kgs on their back and rifles in the hands. Aboslutely no doubt that they were exposed to all sorts of dangers, human and natural in the highest battlefield in the world. General Padnamabhan, the Ex- Cheif of Army Staff was talking to us in school once and did’nt take much time in explaining how gigantically superior the life of a soldier was; A friend yesterday was asking me to explain to her why a soldier wants to risk his life for his country, add to his death the misery of his family – for 2 years every 3 years a soldier gets posted to the front; for 2 years every 3 years he is in constant threat to his life- for the same 2 years and otherwise, he stands at the post with a rifle in his hand and asks us to sleep tight.

; a previous post on patriotism opened up a debate over how misconstrued ‘patriotism’ was; a group of my friends in Delhi have formed some sort of a group, their fathers are in teh army and their group basically tries to expose the genral public the the life of a fauji.

Every country is today expanding its armies and broadening its defence and attack capabilities. I however believe, wars are not too much of a necessity in the present world. The weapons have changed and economics and politics, science and technology are reducing reducing the burden of the ‘fauji’. Thats not true; let us make this assumption just the same for the purpose of explaining how interesting the Pay Commission has been. For now think about it.

(will be continued with ‘economics of the pay commission’)


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