'No War in Decades, Respect for Army Has Diminished

Redheart

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'No War in Decades, Respect for Army Has Diminished,' Says Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar

New Delhi: In remarks that have provoked criticism, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said that respect for the Army is waning because India hasn't fought a war in decades.

"In the past, when there was a letter from a military commanding officer to an IAS officer or any other authority, it received attention of the highest order. Today, that respect has diminished... One reason is that for 40-50 years, we have not fought a war. I am not saying we should go to war. I am saying that because we haven't fought a war, the importance of the Army in our minds has dwindled," Mr Parrikar said at an event in Jaipur on Sunday.

Various opposition parties have reacted sharply to the remarks.

"Ministers in this government say anything and embarrass the nation. We are proud of our Indian Army and they have made us proud every time," said Congress leader Pramod Tiwari.

"It is an anti-national statement by the defence minister," said KC Tyagi, a leader of Bihar's ruling Janata Dal (United).

The minister's BJP came out in his support, saying that all he wanted was to urge people to respect the Army more.


"When a defence minister says this, he says it with a lot of experience and great concern. I am sure he made the statement to instill a greater sense of pride for the Army among the people," said BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao.

The Defence Minister's remarks come at a time thousands of former military personnel are protesting across the nation over the "One Rank, One Pension" rule, which would ensure that defence personnel who retire at the same rank and with the same length of service get equal pension, irrespective of when they retire.

Ex-servicemen were disappointed when the government did not announce the system last month though it was widely expected.
 
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That Indian minister needs to shut up and stop talking rubbish! He should be glad that they haven't fought a war in decades because war is never a good thing. It is only a pity that the idiotic politicians like that minister are not the ones who fight in these wars that they start.
 
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India may not have fought a war for decades but I'm willing to bet that their citizens feel immense pride when they witness a military march, just as we do in our countries.

Why on earth complain that there hasn't been any war? That's something to rejoice in, surely?
 
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I may not have the right to comment on this matter since I am alien to India. But I have many Indian friends residing in our neighborhood so let me just toss a few words. That diminished respect was also experienced by our police some decades back. It was a result of the media campaign against scalawag cops. But sadly, the criticisms were generalized so the entire national police force was negatively affected. With the Indian army, there might be a parallelism of sorts.
 
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No idea what the situation is in India but I would be willing to bet that this guy was right. He is not saying that not being in war is a bad thing, he is just saying that it does diminish the respect people have for the army.

I've witnessed a very similar thing first hand and this was in western Europe. A big part of the population is very... well let's say their attitude towards the army and even the police (up to a certain extent) was "ohh it's a waste of money, they do nothing, we don't need them everywhere" etc... but when the proverbial tiny amount of fecal matter hits the fan the first thing they do is cry for the army/police to come and help them.