The Agnipath program will irreparably harm the morale and ethics of our proud Armed Forces

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Previously, when a soldier retired after 15 or 20 years of service, he had a solid foundation for the development of his family and his children. While the pension took care of the basic needs of the family, the social support of the army took care of his children and his parents. The former serviceman would lead a dignified life in society and become a role model for the new generation.

Sociologists’ greatest concern about the post-Agnipath scenario is that large numbers of young people trained in arms would enter society without any guarantee of a dignified life. The path they choose will depend very much on the socio-political situation at the time.

The pressure of a jobless existence could easily shatter the fabrics of social ethos and morality. Add to that the capacity of the weapon. Assured of a dignified life after retirement, former servicemen rarely fight. Guns, never. They usually stay out of trouble. Social assistance removes all tension from them.

But Agnipath is an entirely different scheme. There are no post-employment benefits. In fact, there is no retirement. It’s just a “goodbye” without benefits. The money that is advertised is actually a deduction from the Agniveer’s salary. It is its own money to which the government will add its contribution. Every month, Rs 9000 is deducted from the salary and the government would contribute an equal amount.

A young man who earns Rs 11 lakhs at the age of 25, without any proper planning, is actually a big risk for the ex-serviceman and the society. Added to this is the fact of the malleability of his character in the absence of appropriate guidance. The only guarantee against such a misadventure is the immediate employment of all these former soldiers.

Former Indian Navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash (Retired) has rightly asked industrialists to provide employment figures they have provided former servicemen in recent years, after they started shouting from their rooftops that they would absorb most of the 75% Agniveers after they exited after four years.

The wise always listen to the best advice, goes an old saying. This is very relevant in the case of the Agnipath scheme. While India is facing acute unemployment, the Indian army could have raised some hopes. Killing even those hopes is almost betraying the younger generation.

The Indian army has always done its best under all circumstances because the nation and the society respected the men and women of the army. Today, that respect and support is being snatched away by a few short-sighted politicians and economists who support business. This could harm the nation’s long-term interests.

When the results of this unbalanced model arrive, it will be too late. There will be no way back. The scars would remain forever.

Agnipath is a road to nowhere!

(API Service)

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