Table of contents:
- 1. The caste system
- 2. Theatrical exotic
- 3. Public prestige
- 4. Tough selection
- 5. Commanders-polyglots
Video: Interesting facts about the Indian army: prestige, caste, exotic
2023 Author: Seth Attwood | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 22:42
The Indian army is one of the youngest on the planet. This is because India is what we are used to seeing it today (as a united and independent state), appeared relatively recently. It was only in 1950 that a constitution was adopted in the dominions of India, which proclaimed the unification and creation of a republic.
The Indian army as a full-fledged structure began its history shortly before this moment in 1949. In the future, it will face a long and bloody civil war, during which an independent state of Bangladesh is formed.
1. The caste system
Ever since ancient times, Indian society has had a rigid social stratification, which is not allowed to completely overcome all the socio-political changes that India has gone through for many centuries. Although the caste system in modern India is formally and de jure (officially the castes were abolished by the 1950 constitution), it is considered a relic of the past, de facto it remains in effect. This is best seen in the example of the army, where the caste system imposes a fairly strong influence on the officers' advancement opportunities.
The worst of all is when conflicts occur between people from the lower caste of "untouchables" and the higher caste of hereditary warriors of the "Kshatriya". The top leadership is trying to combat such arbitrary officialdom, but at the grassroots level, castes are still making themselves felt. Adherence to the caste system among officers is regarded in India as a form of corruption, which is prosecuted by law.
2. Theatrical exotic
East is a delicate matter. Even if this is not quite the "East". More often people of European civilization look at the Indian army with a certain degree of irony. Especially when they see Indian soldiers in full dress, which more resembles carnival costumes: bright, fluffy, colorful. However, the main thing should not be forgotten behind all this “theater”. The Indian army is the third largest in the world. Today it has 1.5 million people. At the same time, India has a colossal mobilization resource.
In the ranking of the strongest armies on the planet, India is consistently in fourth position after the United States, Russia and China. At the same time, the country is the fifth in the world in terms of spending on the army - $ 60.5 billion a year. Finally, India possesses nuclear weapons and their means of delivery.
3. Public prestige
To be honest, most of Indian society is extremely poor. Today, the country is home to more than 1.3 billion people, a significant part of whom are forced to live below the poverty line. It is for this reason that military service remains one of the most effective social lifts today. Many of those who go to serve in the army dream of making their way into the officer corps - the army and social elite.
If an average Indian earns an average of $ 100 a month, then the salaries of even junior officers can be measured in the thousands. And most importantly, what attracts the officer's service is the guaranteed housing, which the soldier receives along with the lieutenant's shoulder straps. In the future, the officer has the opportunity to transfer the square meters received from the state into personal property, to privatize.
There are many other social bonuses for officers as well. For example, numerous bonuses and discounts for some goods in stores (in some places up to 50%). Officers get the opportunity to study in absentia and receive a second education.
4. Tough selection
Huge competitions in India not only for officers' schools. Although the country has a provision on military service, not everyone is accepted to serve. In fact, it makes no sense to call on people, since the flow of applicants does not decrease from year to year. Including ordinary soldiers. You can serve your homeland in an Asian country from the age of 16. Young people over 25 years old are not accepted for military service in India. The recruits from 15 to 22 years old are taken to the navy. At the same time, not everyone can get even the most "simple" troops. The fact is that in India there are "some" problems with the education system. Therefore, to get into the candidates for the service, you must first pass the educational qualification.
In other words, the conscript must be literate (be able to read, write, count). After that, a physical health check awaits him, the severity of which is determined by the future position and type of troops where the conscript will serve. When recruiting soldiers, the commissions give preference to village boys and girls, as they are usually stronger physically and less whimsical in their needs.
Those few of those willing who can get into the soldiers remain to serve for 15 years. In fact, serving in the Indian army is a full-fledged job. In combat units, soldiers serve directly in cadre formations for 10 years, and the remaining 5 serve in reserve, being only for training or on alert. In technical units, soldiers serve in cadre units for 12 years and serve in reserve for only 3 years. As a rule, 18-year-old young people with a basic technical education are selected for the technical units.
The junior command staff in the person of sergeants and foremen (warrant officers) is a big step in a military career for a person who went to the soldier, and not to the officer corps. It is extremely difficult to become a sergeant or warrant officer in India. To begin with, a soldier must be fluent in two state languages - Hindi and English. At the same time, in the selection process, preference is given to those candidates who speak at least one or several local dialects (there are a lot of them in India). All this has not only a purely practical meaning, but in some way is also a tradition.
The junior command staff of India traditionally speaks several languages since the colonial period, when sergeants and foremen from local residents went mainly as assistants and translators to British officers, who most often did not know not only dialects, but also Hindi.
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