Governance Now Visionary Talks Series

The military: A life less ordinary

There are a few who opt for the military, which is today facing a shortage of officers. But, those who don the uniform get to serve the country with pride

Saksham Bhatnagar | July 14, 2017


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(Photo: Ravi Choudhary)
(Photo: Ravi Choudhary)

The armed forces, a professional and highly trained group that compares to the best in the world, is a symbol of the spirit of this country whose soil has been enriched by the saga of bravery. 

Yet, it is an irony that the military faces a shortage of personnel in their ranks. India has the largest youth population, so why is it that we still face a shortage?
 
The armed forces have never been the ones to publicise their work extensively and a lack of understanding of the job is a reason that does not attract the young to the profession. The image created by popular movies show these men in uniform as gun wielding ‘Rambos’ who leave no opportunity to make patriotic speeches and sing songs, when in reality the job is far, far different. 
 
The young people who may be the military leaders of tomorrow need to be motivated and informed better about the armed forces.
 
We believe what we see and we create notions in our minds about those things. Apart from those who have seen the life in the forces, the idea of a soldier from the movies though proves to be a good motivating factor. But, it ends up giving an incomplete picture of the life in the forces. 
 
It is not just a profession; it’s a way of life -- a life that demands courage, commitment, and considerable sacrifice.
 
The forces pay its personnel well but for a lot of young people that may not be good enough. The pay may not be as high as the private sector jobs, but the forces give their personnel much more than a paycheck. 
 
Every cantonment area houses a number of sporting facilities, mess facilities, other recreational activities. These are perks for which a civilian would have to pay through their nose to get similar facilities. The profession provides job security, medical aid, pension and of course the majestic uniforms. Along with these come the intangibles of the job; the pride of serving your country, having comrades and not fellow employees, just to count a few. 
 
We need to establish the importance of the armed forces in the psyche of the youth so that the best opt for it.
 
I too had wanted to don the olive green uniform, a symbol of pride. I did work hard for that dream. But, the entrance examination for the National Defence Academy (NDA) was a huge challenge and I did not make it.
 
Yet, that dream still lives on within. I have decided to take a shot at the Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam so that I can join the Indian Military Academy, where I will be trained into a soldier.
 
For some youth like me, honour and integrity comes above all else and one day, God willing, when I join the fauj, I will be the happiest soldier. 
 
 

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