Why The Indian Armed Forces should be independent of politics

In today’s time, where terrorism has found its way across borders with increasing intensity every passing day, the issue of national security has gained utmost importance. Thus, the Armed Forces of the nations around the world are a great asset to their country as they have to shoulder the humongous burden of the security of its citizens, meanwhile maintaining peace and integrity with its counterparts. Among all the armed forces in the world, the Indian Armed Forces are considered as one of the most proficient and proactive military forces in the world.

The Indian Armed Forces consist of three wings, namely The Air Force, The Indian Army, and The Indian navy. All these professional uniformed services are replete with active, agile and decorated military commanders, who ensure the ethical functioning of their respective wings with the help of the extremely fit and disciplined military personnel.

In spite of having such a resourceful and intelligent think tank, the military is not able to take its own decisions as it is subjected to the orders of the Indian polity. The military cannot carry out any operation by itself, even if it is extremely significant, until and unless it is approved by the Honorable Prime Minister along with his cabinet and the defense ministry.

The main reason I feel the power of taking its own decisions should be vested in the hands of the Indian Armed Forces itself is that there are several situations and ordeals in which the military has to take an immediate action but it has to refrain itself from retaliating because a long chain of command delays the decision making process. The CBI and RAW of India have such a capable and witty group of officers who work day and night to aid the armed forces in providing essential pieces of information by conducting several life-threatening undercover operations for which they are hardly recognized and appreciated. Nationalism and patriotism run in their blood and protecting the integrity of India is their sole agenda. Thus, giving the Intelligentsia the responsibility of taking their own decisions would boost their morale. Additionally, these officers and military personnel are extremely rational in terms of their thinking and functioning. They will take a decision only if it is in favor of India, irrespective of what politics is going on in the country.

Consequently, Politics in India is extremely volatile as it is never certain that the same ruling party will be successful in forming the government after the end of a term, which even though is a sign of a healthy democracy, often leads to a regular change of agendas which may or may not be healthy for the defense aspect. Thus, if the ruling party keeps on changing after every four years, their views and ideologies would not be the same as the previous government and hence the military would again have to be a puppet in the hands of the ruling party. Therefore, there is a need of independence of the military from the government body so that a uniform protocol can be followed, irrespective of which political party is forming the government. The forces have always had a strict basis for recruitment and training and the screening process only allows a handful of polished individuals to pass through to the important decision making positions. This ensures that the decisions are made by people who understand the best needs of the people working under them, as the proper welfare of subordinates is a key principle in the military lifestyle.

Taking the example of the Uri attack, in which 19 unarmed military personnel were killed and more than 80 soldiers were heavily injured, the entire nation not only mourned for this heavy loss but also urged the government to avenge their death.  Even if the military thought of a retaliation, they wouldn’t be able to do so because their hands were already tied to the orders of the government. The social media was flooded with messages in which the entire country implored the government to fight back. After a lot of considerations, the government finally allowed the military to conduct a surgical strike against the militant launch pads across the LOC, which is considered as one of the most historic and bravest operations the Indian Military has ever conducted.

Thus, The Defense in itself is a huge body, having an intricate workload which is very similar to that of the government. By making the Defense an independent body would not only lighten the workload and pressure of the government but also increase the flexibility in the Armed Forces. In conclusion, I would like to state that the Indian Armed Forces should be declared as a body independent of Indian politics because if it is given the liberty to take its own decisions and not be subjugated by the cabinet, the nation’s security will be strengthened even further and all the terrorist organizations will think twice before waging any civilian attack in India.

Jai Hind!