Saturday, 5 December 2020

Once Again: Indian soldier lashes out at retired general

NEW DELHI: An Indian army soldier lashed out at a retired general for referring to complaints made by Indian armed forces personnel about poor food and facilities as a “mutiny”. The development followed a series of videos posted on social media last month in which Indian army and police personnel protested substandard food and lack of benefits. In a video posted on Twitter, the unidentified soldier criticised retired general Gagandeep Bakshi for calling genuine concerns by soldiers a ‘revolt’ during a TV debate. “The word ‘mutiny’ is used for the rebellion of soldiers against the British government and their policies. And history bears witness to the fact that this mutiny, for which soldiers were executed and court-martialled, was against the atrocities committed by the British government. Today, neither is a foreign government ruling over us, nor are Indian army soldiers traitors,” he said.

He said it was because of officers like the retired general that the “chasm of trust between commissioned officers and soldiers is widening”. The soldier also accused senior officers of employing soldiers for menial domestic tasks and not granting them leaves. Tej Bahadur Yadav, an Indian Border Security Force (BSF) trooper had alleged in his videos last month that he and fellow troops are served bad quality food and sometimes they even go hungry. After his videos went viral, Yadav was transferred to the headquarters as a plumber and his wife alleged that her husband had been tortured. Days later, a soldier of India’s Central Reserve Police Force alleged discrimination against troops of the paramilitary force he is a part of. India’s security forces have historically had a high incidence of suicides and killings linked to long hours, poor working conditions and inadequate time off. Last month, a paramilitary soldier from one of India’s elite security units shot dead four of his senior officers in an apparent row over leave.

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