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Should Military Training Be Made Compulsory For All In India?

Should Military Training Be Made Compulsory For All In India?

Assistant Editor

11 Jun, 2019

Military education and training establishes and improves the capabilities of defense personnel in their respective roles. Training begins with recruit training where in conditioning techniques are used to induce trainees into an environment where it is ensured that they will obey orders without hesitation and also teach basic military skills. This includes physical fitness and resocialization of trainees both mentally and emotionally. Further these trainees are given role based training so that they are able to be fit and skilled in their respective role.

Coming to the topic, this is a controversial topic against which many will raise their voice citing religious and political grounds. However, let us discuss why we should think of mandatory military training in India. This will provide citizens with the opportunity to participate in learning and training together for a common goal. This will help create a general understanding of the army way of life, a finer understanding of what is required for the job and providing a high level military skill which will help in enhancing citizen’s capabilities to carry out their role to help protect our county. This shared experience of training will help citizens have an appreciation of the sacrifices that military personnel make for their country which in turn will help build a strong cultural and nationalistic pride thus helping build a strong country. The compulsory enlistment for state service will help India have huge reserve of skilled and trained force always available to respond to any kind of enemy threat, emergencies and natural calamities. The compulsory enlistment for state service shall give citizens more in-depth understanding on how the government responds or retaliates to any kind of national threat, emergencies or natural calamities. This is because it will be expected by the government for citizen to actively participate in any kind of national emergency.  Citizen will become more sensitive towards the concern for national interest and security thus will be very alert and aware nationals. Training provided in military goes beyond shooting and ammunitions handling. Teamwork, responsibility, initiative, stress management, are some of the key areas taught to individuals while in training. This kind of training will help citizens focus on team growth instead of just looking at individual growth which in turn will help in better work environment and healthy relations.  Israel is one country amongst the few where military training is mandatory after high school. This teaches young people discipline, respect for authority, independence and self reliance. Military training also encompasses disaster management and this kind of training will create a hub for skilled individuals who can help during any kind of emergencies. With the kind of geographical terrain in India and complex climatic conditions we are prone to natural calamities like landslides, cloud burst and floods. We also are witness to the rescue operations that the Army conducts, which the other government departments struggle with. The reason behind this is the systematic and rigorous training that these army men receive. Apart from the technical training, the most important training that army personnel receive is of selfless service which makes them rise to any occasion and perform to the best of their ability. 

Many people oppose compulsory military training as they believe that it does not foster the true sense of democracy as it is more of a "principle of compulsion" rather than "voluntary loyalty". However, we need to understand that compulsory military training has more benefit not just for the nation but for the individual as well. Military training does not entail just combat operations. The military establishment is all encompassing. It has opportunities for people with different interests. Depending on their areas of interest, apart from the common training programmes one can work in different departments like that of various streams of engineering, medical, supply chain management, nursing, aeronautics, international laws, cyber intelligence and many more. 

As a matter of fact the kind of experience a military doctor acquires is something a doctor practicing in a regular hospital might never come across. The scope of learning is unparallel as is the quality. The same is with all the other branches of engineering.  Military is not just about work, one can learn music, engage in sports. Talking of sports we should not forget that our army personnel have participated in Olympics and earned the country medals. 

Young generation should not miss out on the life-changing opportunity. Especially in India, when we look at the middle class, the children are encouraged to completely drown themselves in studies with the only aim of getting into the best universities, passing out of those to get into a job and earn a good salary. Ask this young generation of today to do a household chore and they will be completely as loss. It is a very common phenomenon where young boys and girls do not know how to keep their own rooms tidy or rustle up some food for themselves. They are either dependent on their parents or on the household help. This is a very unhealthy phenomenon that is rampant in our country and this need to change. A few years in the military will make these youngsters all rounded personalities who will be able to look after not just themselves but do much more for their family as well. 

We have a great divide that stares at our face especially in the Indian context and that is of rich and poor, added to that is yet another social evil that exists in our country that is the caste system. Military is a great leveler. It does not differentiate between which family you come from, rich or poor, upper or lower caste, it does not bother about ones religious or linguistic preferences. Everybody is treated equally. The time in the armed forces will help them understand the meaning of inclusiveness. It will make them more tolerant, it is true that armed forces personnel are the least bigoted people in all of India.

In this age where youngsters are whaling there time either staring at mobile screens or drowning themselves in books to join the much beaten path of securing a well paying job, it will be a boon for them to look at life and experience life different from what they always envisaged. This compulsory military training will help them develop not just a well rounded personality, but in this age of materialism it will definitely make them understand that there is much better way of leading a fulfilling life.

By: Madhuchanda Saxena