NEW DELHI – Another Indian army soldier has come forward against ill treatment by the high-ups, in a latest addition to the string of complaints by the troops.
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In a video, shown by Express News, the unnamed Indian army personnel complains about a state of unrest in the military ranks “due to the negative behavior of officers with the lower cadre”.
The soldier, believed to be a serving personnel, also urges the authorities concerned to take action against such officers. Soldiers, he said, are being treated as “personal servants”.
This is the latest of several videos in which different Indian troops complained of maltreatment in the military. On January 12, a personnel of India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) questioned the treatment meted out to the force despite rendering all major services for the country, including providing security during the elections.
Previously, on January 10, a soldier of India’s Border Security Force (BSF) captured social media attention after he posted videos on Facebook showing the horrible condition of food he and his fellow troopers were served while on duty.
The latest video comes just over two weeks after the Indian army chief warned that army personnel who do not use “proper, specified channels” to air their grievances would be liable to be punished.
“Proper channels are in place for jawans to put across their grievances…if they aren’t satisfied with action taken, they can contact me directly,” General Bipin Rawat said during an address on Army Day.
“You will be found guilty for any action you take outside these channels and will also be liable for punishment,” the Times of India quoted the army chief as saying.
Rawat first talked about the grievances issue highlighted by a jawan, Lance Naik Yagya Pratap Singh, who posted a video on social media criticizing the use of soldiers as ‘sahayaks’ or ‘buddy’.
“I had written an application to the PM in which I said that soldiers, who act as sahayaks, should not be made to polish shoes of officers,” said Singh, who serves with the 42 Infantry Brigade in Dehradun, alleging harassment by superiors for writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about these problems.
On Army Day, the army chief said the use of social media to highlight an issue could have deleterious effect on “brave soldiers guarding India’s borders.”
However, this latest video highlights the grave situation of Indian troops who are facing hunger, malnourishment, harassment, abuse, with no redressal of their grievances yet.
Analysts believe this new phenomenon of venting of grievances by soldiers on social media has the potential to promote indiscipline, spread disaffection, weaken officer-man cohesion and undermine morale.