Someone asked on Quora that why should he respect the Indian army and why the Indian army is overhyped? And he continued that, everyone does sacrifice in their life, why should Indian army be given more respect and preference?
Sonia Chauhan, a lawyer by profession and a daughter of retired Army colonel answers it beautifully that how does it feel to live a life in the armed forces. It’s notable that Sonia’s brother is also a serving army officer currently. I am the daughter of a retired Army Colonel, and my only brother is a serving army officer.
The Indian Army is not over-hyped, my friend. It pays you average money by upper middle-class standards. It gives ace facilities, no doubt. Horse-riding, polo, golf courses, canteen, rent-free accommodation, the works. Since the Army asks total obedience from their men, it takes care of their ageing parents and other marital obligations. So, yes – the facilities are good.
Regardless, in my opinion, the Indian Army is not overhyped for two reasons:
1. Most men of the Indian Army have seen faced some real-time action.
From doctors to lawyers to masons, all men in the army have seen some life jeopardising situation or other in their lives. Because India needs constant protection from the lovely set of neighbours it has – China, and Pakistan. Inside India, there are many CI situations that constantly demand the Army’s blood (e.g., Maoism / Naxalites / Bodoland folks). Therefore, the Army does a lot of covert operations, therefore, as a career – it takes a lot of tools. Much more than any other career, in my opinion.
You can choose to deny the truth- but a lot of us(and I am speaking for all states of India- the population of India) won’t be alive had the Army not helped us. You may be sitting in a comfy office in Gurgaon or another such metro area so and think this is the world. Nobody realise that a lot of people would have died in the Surat floods had some Captain not cancelled his leave just to help them out, or that 1000s of lives were saved in Andamans due to the military copters who also lifted out the civilians while helping Army families stuck there. Don’t be offended, I am only informing you of the certain facts that may not have occurred to you otherwise.
(Op Rahat when Indian air force and the armed forces saved thousands of lives)
2. There is no rest, and that makes you a better person.
My father retired some years back. He still wakes up at 5 am, shaves, and heads out for a walk. Fills potholes in the roads, paints speed breakers that are otherwise invisible. On a day it rains, he is restless. I tell him, Papa, chill no. Wake up at 7. Relax. He continues.
Recently, our neighbouring apartment caught fire in the middle of the night. Everyone panicked, including my mother. My father was calm. He controlled the fire, called the fire brigade and actually rescued the people who were living on the floors above us. Army men are simply better trained to manage disasters than the ordinary person.
Amongst a random selection of person, an army man has Sterling survival tactics. They can climb trees, ropes, do basic running, lighting a fire, pitching a tent, lifting heavy weights and jogging, etc.
My point is, the Army teaches you to accept a life of toil, and then it becomes a habit. And isn’t that a better life? Rather than landing a home at 6.30 p.m. and playing PS3 or going to the mall to watch a movie. There, the Army teaches a beautiful way of life like no other profession does. For this itself, it deserves more applause than it does.
I remember a telephone conversation I once had with my brother after I had heard of a copter crash in X location. He was posted nearby. I asked him if he was alright. He said yes, yes, all good with me. Just.. my senior was in that copter. We are finding him – let’s see. There was something in his voice. They suffer, they suffer in silence. For friends, for the family.
(Indian army at Siachen)
I would have loved to join the Indian Army, but I am ashamed to say that I cannot wake up at 6 in the morning and go for a run in 5 degrees temp like my brother and my father. For this reason, alone, the Indian Army is not overhyped. For can you think of a profession that makes a better man out of you?
You say that you don’t owe them anything and that they don’t sacrifice anything. The next time you see an Army Man looking all smug in a uniform, imagine him sitting on his haunches cradling his AK-47, in front of a meagre fire, on top of some moss-covered mountain. They are lonely men battling the weather before the enemy.
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