The way of recruitment in the Indian Army has changed forever. On Tuesday, the government announced that all recruitments (except officer ranks) in the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force will be done under the Agneepath scheme and those recruited will be called Agniveers. These recruitments will be for four years and then after four years everyone will go back home. Of these, only a maximum of 25% will get the option of becoming permanent.
Questions are being raised about the four-year job, but the bigger question is why the government did not think about the youth who were waiting for two years to join the army. Army recruitment is closed for two years. This question was raised several times in Parliament also. The reply was given by the government that due to Kovid restrictions, the recruitment could not be done. On the other hand, political rallies were held, assembly elections were also held, but there was no recruitment. For the youth who have become overage waiting for recruitment, the way to join the army is now closed. Those youths who were working hard for many years to make themselves physically fit to become a part of the Indian Army, but there is no place for them in the Agneepath scheme as they are over 21 years of age waiting to be recruited. It was expected that the government may give some relaxation in age, but when the Agneepath scheme was announced, it was made clear that this scheme is for the youth of the age group of seventeen and a half to 21 years.
It is not just the youth who have been waiting for two years. There are also youths who had cleared the medical and physical tests to be recruited in the army. He was waiting for the exam. Was constantly preparing that the exam would happen and he would be able to become a part of the Indian Army. Now that the Agneepath scheme has been introduced, the whole old process has been considered as cancelled. That is, the youth who had passed in the medical and physical test will now again apply for Agneepath and if selected, they will become Agniveer, that too for four years. He will also be able to do this when he is not overaged. There are also a large number of such youth who had given the exam to become an Airman in the Airforce and they are waiting for the result for almost a year. Now they too have been shown the way to Agneepath.
Youth are constantly raising questions through social media. He is asking what was their fault that they have been left in the middle. Why was he left in the middle after making him wait so long? Why did the government give them this result for their hard work? Many youths are saying that they prepared by taking loans, even borrowed to go to the exam center and what is the way left for them now? The questions of the youth are valid. But no one is ready to give a clear answer to this. It has been said on behalf of the Army, Navy and Airforce that whatever happens now will happen only under Agneepath. The Air Force Chief did not give a direct answer to the question in the press conference that what about the youth who are waiting for the result? The Air Force Chief said that whatever will be recruited will be under Agneepath. Talking separately to the officers of the Army, Airforce, he said that the old process will not go ahead and everything will now be under the Agneepath scheme.
Along with the anger of the waiting youth, there is also the despair of those youths who were preparing and preparing to join the army. What after four years of work? This is a big question. The Home Ministry has said that Agniveers will be given priority in CAPFs and Assam Rifles after four years. But the youth, who are dreaming of staying in the army for a long time, have been disappointed. However, the youth who are attracted by the glamor of the army and want to wear uniforms for some time and go to places where civilians cannot go, they will find this scheme attractive. Along with the worry and despair of the youth, there is also the question of the capability of the army. Will Agniveer, who is in the army for four years, be ready to risk his life at any time like a regular army soldier? Training may be six months instead of one year, but even in one year’s training, one does not become a trained soldier. How to deal in a combat situation or in a counter insurgency operation comes from experience. Once an officer had told that even after full training, when faced with the real situation, one gets stuck once. When only blood is visible in front of him, then slowly the heart of the soldier becomes strong. Will Agniveer be able to do all that in four years? Will they have the courage, passion and loyalty of regular soldiers?
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author.