Recently our Founder and CEO Pradip Bhandari was present as a panelist on the show We The People which is a regular show on NDTV. The host of the show is Sarah jacob where she discusses recent issues related to Public, Law and Society. This time the agenda for the discussion was, “Mohan Bhagwat Statement”
Issue In Point
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statement claiming military-like discipline and the ability of the group to be combat-ready quicker than the army has caused a political storm with the army being the unwilling focus yet again. While the army chief had recently exhorted all political leaders to keep the military out of politics, the request seems to have fallen on deaf ears. While many BJP leaders have come to the RSS chief’s defence, the Congress party has demanded that Mr Bhagwat apologise for the comment. On this episode of We The People, we ask: has the RSS statement betrayed military aspirations of the organisation? Is the BJP’s defence of the RSS questioning the army’s ability yet another political manoeuvre as the country moves closer to the election year?”
The Core Discussion:-
Anchor- Pradip Bhandari there were a lot of reactions from various political parties but the BJP leaders actually supported this statement, right up front, kiren rijiju, jayant sinha… all of them came up and supported.. so are they saying the role of the army can be outsourced? Is that what the BJP believes?
Pradip Bhandari- See that is for the BJP to answer but If you understand the context, the statement started with “Hum ek Military Sanghathan nhi hai” and the statement ended with “Par hum ek Military Sanghathan nahi hai” the statement had the concept or the principal of welfare. Now, The Army.. the motto of the army means service before self.. the fundamental duty article 51d talks that if any state and citizen is duty bound to serve the nation render national service. I think the statement should be looked from the point of view of welfare, If the statement was to raise a force he would not have ended the whole speech or the context with “Hum ek Military Sanghathan nhi hai” I think the bracket would be welfare. So, I think it’s a constitutional statement which is being blown out of proportion and let’s understand right the verb sena also means service. I would look at that statement on the point of view of service to support the army or support on humanitarian ground. So, I think this is the context which I would interpret the statement.
Anchor- Pradip either you or Mr. Nigam can respond the parliamentarians standing committees in the past have said India’s not combat ready we are under-equipped.. Critical shortage of equipment artillery guns, infantry weapons and it goes on and on and on.. On one hand sending woman leaders of the party to siachen to tie rakhi’s.. all of that has its place because we have to boost the morale of our troops but that cannot be a substitute for shortages.
Pradip Bhandari- Absolutely, It cannot be substitute I think Modernization of army is journey.. it cannot happen in one day every successive government has in their own past whatever resources they’ve got available in short that you know army is provided with the necessary means and mechanisms that’s why you see any war which India has gone.. India has being on the forth front.. India defeated its enemy.. so, to say that the jawan is not ready, the army is not ready, the morale is not the right thing it’s a very premature statement (anchor- but the budget allocation was pointed out) see.. The budget allocation can be pointed out.. see if I talk about the woman in army or if i talk about surgical strike.. so its very different ways of looking into situations.. the point right now is has there been any situation where the army has not delivered.. the answer is no the army has delivered in the resources which is been provided to it… so to question the army is I think is absolutely wrong. Now, about allocation.. you’ve to allocate on education, you’ve to allocate on welfare so any government which comes to power would obviously proportionate the allocate to defense as the threat which is available one compare the budget of the china and a budget of India everybody have its own development journey.. And Nationalism should always be at its peak because the jawan there fights for nationalism.. what is wrong in nationalism?
Anchor- Why to whip up this nationalistic budget, how can we just not give army the budget?
Pradip Bhandari- It has to be balanced and I hope more and more budget is provided to the army, he has pointed out certain deficiency which are there and I think committee would look on to it and he is an expert and he will definitely point to the committee. Here I would like to keep one small point; nowhere the statement talked about that social cultural organization will pick up the weapon and go to the border. The secondary job of the army is welfare, right! As a I repeat if you see any mechanism the army.. You go and see J&K flood happens army provided the rehabilitation.. to any voluntarily organization or any cultural social can support in 3 thousand blood donation cans in the border areas 50 thousand children adopted in J&K… that is the context… the respected gentleman talks here the army is the bench mark If army is the bench mark then what is wrong when you’ve have to take army as the bench mark because you always take the best as the bench mark. Whether that is in respect to welfare.. Because army does the welfare the best.. Tell me one thing.. has the statement talked about that we will pick up the weapon and go to the border… absolutely not.. So, why are we equating the statements from the primary role of army which is combat.. Which is to protect and defend the country and social cultural organization will not defend the country.. It will do its job of welfare and a social cultural activity like any other volunteer organization does.
the motto of the army is service before self and every individual every citizen duty bound by article 51d should take inspiration from the army to serve. So, the service of the army is to protect the external warfare and other social cultural organizations ensures can that.. that service can be form up to support the army through different welfare activity whether that is blood donation camp, rehablitation measure. I think the media.. all of us should not take statements out of the context and I think the dabate should be concentrated on ensuring the army outside the politics and any statement should not be misconstrued that what I would say.