Officer-Jawan Relationship In Indian Army
The group clash between officers and jawans, that too in a border area is some thing unheard of and indeed shocking. The incident points towards certain deep rooted aberrations in the man management aspects of Indian Army.
In order to make the life of officers and soldiers less rigorous and congenial, the system had been liberal enough to allow their families accompany as far forward as possible. Taking advantage of these privileges, it may not be illegal for the family members to enjoy the given facilities. However, in certain cases it appears that the local administration have not been exercising proper control over such so called harmless liberties, particularly when profession with pleasure are combined . Also very often the inexperienced, vain, ill-bred and inadequately briefed wives of officers are generally bloated with wrong notions about ‘officer-jawan’ relationship. This exacerbate an odd strain in the working relationship of officers and the men, especially when the soldiers perform orderly duties. There had been many such frictions earlier also, but then, the wise commanding officer and other seniors had been containing and controlling those emotions at a manageable level.
Gone are those days when the jawans realm of activities and thinking were just limited to their ‘soldierly profession’ and welfare. Presently, with the educational standards going up, their awareness of socio - economic and political matters also have attained new heights. While enforcing discipline and managing the affairs of such a comparatively enlightened lot, the officers should modify and upgrade their handling methods and managerial skills. The recent incident of the Army Chief challenged the government on age issue, as well as the case pertaining to the ‘bribe offer’ could not have escaped the attention and imagination of the rank and file of the Indian Army. These incidents are certainly capable of creating unhealthy and distorted effects on the morale and discipline of our soldiers.
In view of the above, it is high time, the army authorities and the officials at the MoD did some urgent introspection and self criticism on the HR aspects of this large army – keeping in mind ‘discipline’ as a key result area
Major (retd) Mathew Oommen
Alstonia, Nyati Estate