I am terribly saddened and immensely angered to read that the Indian Army I served with such fierce pride has been pushed to building bridges for a culture festival, which is clearly not a state event!
It gets worse when one factors in that these bridges are operational assets that are meant to be deployed by specialist combat troops in war.
I’m desperately hoping this news report is false. If it is not, the General Officer in command who authorised this (quite possibly under duress) must be held personally liable for bringing disrepute to the Indian Army.
The reluctance, or worse, the inability to stand up and say NO to what is clearly an inappropriate request (or order) must be equated with cowardice as per Army law, and appropriately dealt with. This nation looks up to our men and women in uniform. We CANNOT let down trust by bringing disrepute to the very hard earned respect that our countrymen and women hold for that uniform.
Our men and women in uniform are known for their straight spine. Let us keep it that way, please.
Once again, if indeed this news report is true, Heads MUST roll !!!
(Col Subin Balakrishnan, @beesubin on Twitter, is an ex-Special Forces officer from the Indian Army with over two decades of experience in counter-terrorism operations in multiple operational theaters across the country.)