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Do Indian youth really hate the idea of joining the Defense Services?

February 5, 2008

deepak-kapoor.jpgConscription has been in the news, having been triggered by an innocent remark by General Deepak Kapoor, the Chief of Army Staff in response to a query by a journalist. He had said that the government “may have to take a view” on conscription in the future “if things don’t improve”. He had also said that 1.13-million strong Indian Army had not reached that crisis stage yet. However, the way the issue was initially reported gave the impression that General Kapoor had suggested the idea of conscription. Clarifications were later issued by the General but in the meanwhile it created quite a furore.

There are several aspects to this debate. One is a theoretical question as to whether India would ever be able to launch a successful conscription program. And if India isn’t able to do so, how will the shortfall of officers be ever made up? Thirdly, one cannot help but wonder if the hype that young Indians are against joining the Defense Services is true. Before I discuss these issues, just a brief overview of what the world does with regard to conscription.

Conscription world-wide
Some of the countries where there is no conscription are Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Maldives, Monaco, New Zealand, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, U.K. USA. Some of these countries (like the USA during the Vietnam war) have recruited in times of need.
And countries which have conscription are Brazil, Germany, Finland, Iran, Israel, North Korea, South Korea, Russia, Switzerland, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, Libya, China.

This list makes it clear that the size of a country (population) doesn’t matter and nor does it seem to matter if the country is rich or poor, a democracy or a dictatorship. Conscription does reduce the manpower bill considerably as the government gets young cheap labour. Hire youngsters at 18 whether they like it or not, pay them a pittance and say goodbye to them at 21! Yet, there are dictatorships which do not have conscription like Jordan, Qatar,Swaziland and Saudi Arabia. Each country has it’s own unique reason for forcing it’s citizens to enlist…but I don’t want to go into that here.

bharatrakshakcom.jpgConscription will never work in India
Talking about India, forcing people to enlist won’t work. It hasn’t worked well even in countries which have a long history of conscription. There has been resistance to conscription in almost all countries. What draft resisters do is:

…either apply for classification and assignment to civilian alternative service or noncombatant service within the military as conscientious objectors, or to evade the draft by fleeing to a neutral country. A small proportion, like Muhammad Ali, chose to resist the draft by publicly and politically fighting conscription. Some people resist at the point of registration for the draft.

In India the idea of conscription is alien and will be unpopular. Our political parties will oppose it to gain votes. Unless there is a dire emergency, it will never work.

Do young Indians detest the idea of joining the Army?
There is far too much hype (news reports, talk shows) about the reason why educated young Indians are not joining the Army and the reason given is that youngsters feel that life in the Army is not just terrible (frequent transfers, rough life in forward areas, separations from families and poor pay packets) but there is little scope for growth. I think that’s a lot of spiel as there is a shortage of educated people in every single field. India is short of a lot of people. Period. Whether it’s designers, policemen, doctors or educated professionals in fields like Education, Biotechnology and Research to IT, Health, Textile and Aviation…India is gasping for people.

Interestingly, in some of these fields there is a shortage of 60-80 percent but in the Army there is a shortfall of about 25 percent (in the officer cadre) and this could perhaps show that people are entering the Army. The problem is that India doesn’t have enough educated people! If there wasn’t such a shortage earlier, it was because there weren’t so many career options. People either became doctors/engineers or joined the government services. Considering that there are so many more careers competing for attention, I think the Army isn’t doing too badly at all.

A shortage of professional colleges could be driving youngsters to the Army
It is not easy to get into the top educational institutions in India because of the nda.jpgcompetition and this leaves an unsatisfied lot of youngsters. They have limited choices if they cannot go abroad for further studies. They may not want to join a second or third rung educational institute. The IAS and the IFS are lucrative but again very tough to get into. Entering the Defense Services isn’t a cakewalk either, but it’s easier. A bright, physically fit youngster has a better chance of getting into the National Defense Academy rather than into IIT.

And the Services can train you to be a pilot, a doctor or an engineer – for free. For bright people who cannot afford high fees, the services are a great option.

I personally know people who have joined the forces for all of the above reasons.

The Army doesn’t pay badly at all
There’s another myth going around, that the Services pay badly. The truth is that the private sector does not pay everybody high salaries. In the private sector salaries can be lower than in the services, particularly at lower levels. In the services you get free housing, free medical treatment and a pension, which is not the case in the private sector. Then there are fringe benefits like club memberships and community living. Plus you get to travel. I heard people like Javed Akhtar (on an NDTV talk show) talk about how poorly paid service officers are. Who in the world was he comparing them to? Bollywood stars? Script writers? Or graduates from IIM’s or the IIT’s?

Sure, the services should pay better…but to imagine that the Army or Navy can ever compete with the cream of industry, the IT sector or Bollywood is a fantasy. Finally, those who join the services will be those who have stars in their eyes and adventure in their blood. They may at times do it because they don’t see any other option, but mostly they will do it because they want to.

The shortage of people in the services is likely to continue for some years to come though, until we get our education mess sorted out. Until we get quality education to the masses.

(Photographs: Gen Deepak Kapoor from Tribune India, National Defense Academy from punerealestate.com, soldiers from bharat-rakshak.com, the men on the street is credited to me)

Related Reading: Social Conscience can be taught
Lack of courtesy to Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw
A different price for bravery in different states
Shortage of policemen in India
Remembering Kargil

31 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2008 10:21 am

    i like the idea of conscription…..
    let me collect my points and i promise this weekend i should come up with a good list of reasons

  2. Raj permalink
    February 5, 2008 10:36 am

    Nita,

    I think I will walk out to open the innings on this one.Conscription has always brought out a dilemma in me.

    I thank you for writing that life in the services is not bad at all.I am sure that you have had first hand knowledge about this issue.I too think that a defence career makes one a well-rounded person rather than a uni-dimensional one who has to slog away for his/her employer most of the time.

    As for conscription,I think that “conscientious objectors” among the able-bodied (to use their term,not mine,and I would NEVER say that differentially abled people are not able-bodied) have a right to shun anything if they want to.They should not be looked down upon or viewed as not fit enough (mentally and physically).

    My personal opinion is that military training helps one to become a better citizen.I do not mean conscription,but something like the National Cadet Corps.Sadly,in the institutions that I have been to,there were no NCC units.

  3. February 5, 2008 11:05 am

    These might be half baked ideas, but I think I like the idea of conscription.. Here’s why:

    I don’t foresee India conscripting a million citizens and shipping them to the borders to kill (or be killed). What actually will happen is that Indian Males between the age of 18 to 21 would be offered a training for a year in the Army. Like the NCC camps, they would be asked to camp outside the city and given basic training in discipline, marching, self-defense, weapon handling etc. So although the training won’t be dangerous, but it will have revolutionary impact.

    1) It goes without saying, it will be a big opportunity for the armed forces to entice youth to join them.

    2) In a country where a 1/3 cannot read or write and primary education is neglected. The first thing the army would have to do is to teach people how to read and write. Looks ridiculous right, but you have no idea what impact it will have.

    3) It will break the Caste Barriers
    4) make our citizens more patriotic… and better still know what the other states look like

  4. February 5, 2008 11:26 am

    Nita, how do you do it. You have beat me again. This is my favorite subject and will write about it.

    Nita, I am not sure what Javed Akhtar said. But I can assure you that after-life pension is meagre. There is armyman called Vasant Sathe who won Veer Chakra is fighting a court case fpr 3 years because his pension is paltry 850/- bucks. Can you beat that? When we know army guys retire at about 50, do you think does any one look s forward to such kind of future in old age. How come a winner has such paltry pension.😦

    I learnt of this case through Lead India. Ranajit Gadgil was given this problem. He handled the issue really badly. Javed Akhtar was so incensed that he gave him very low marks. That was last of Ranajit Gadgil in show. Thankfully!

  5. February 5, 2008 11:51 am

    I was in the Indian Navy and Coast Guard for a total 21 years. Here are some reasons why armed forces are no more attractive?
    1.Isolation from family though leave is available.
    2.Only planned leave can be availed comfortably. Leave on emergency occasions are difficult.
    3.Comparing with the hazards, salary is not sufficient.
    4.After marriage, life in the forces are not comfortable.
    5.Family accommodation is inadequate.
    6.Corruption is very much there but difficult to expose.
    7.Though harmony is there, still divisions based on religion, language, geographical locations are there.
    8.Very few only would opt for life time career in armed forces as frustration crops up due to lack of transparancy in promotions.
    9.One can be successful only with Pleasing the Boss attitude.
    10.Limited choices only are available to plan children’s education and their career. You can not save much for your children.
    Above all the positive points are
    1.Life in the forces makes a person to face any challenges in life boldly.
    2.Makes a person diciplined, lawabiding citizen.

  6. February 5, 2008 11:59 am

    I think the large proportion of the problem is due to the Indian mindset. We are all so eager to become doctors or engineers (I am not sure of the equivalent professions in the Commerce and Arts streams) that it is not surprising that we have such an unbalanced workforce. There are engineers without jobs and there are shortages in workforce in other fields.

    @Nita:
    “The shortage of people in the services is likely to continue for some years to come though, until we get our education mess sorted out. Until we get quality education to the masses.”

    I am not sure what you mean by that. Most of the herd that jumps into medicine, or engineering or other such fields are “educated”. So what do we do next? I think the solution to this is a lot tougher than it appears. I think, and you can correct me if I am wrong, or openly disagree, but majority of it has to do with our mindset. I am not talking about how we perceive professions such as engg, or medicine, but the way parent’s guide their children.

    I am afraid I cannot convey my point as well as my brother has. This is a part of an email he sent to my mom when I was still in India. I have edited parts that I feel might be too personal (for my mother and my brother), just leaving sufficiently enough to drive home the point.

    “For instance with 1000 rupees he can buy an expensive 1/18th model Ferrari car, on the other hand he can use the same money to buy a model aircraft builder or car building set. This way he can develop his intellect which certainly he cannot with a model toy already assembled for him. There is only so long that one can stare at the flowing lines of the car body. The idea I am trying to get across is trying to let him develop himself. Spend money when he asks you for something that will improve him. So money for the gym is well spent. Money to buy a camera (digital SLR not those stupid point and shoots, and digital means he can take 1 picture or a million and not spend a rupee on film and developing costs); give it if you can afford it. Money to buy a book on computer softwares (MATLAB, AutoCAD etc) is also money well spent. Money to buy a video game, NO! Buy him a fishing pole and not a fish!!”

  7. February 5, 2008 12:19 pm

    @Nita @Sailor
    Another great post on my favourite topics and i know its yrs as well🙂
    Anyway @sailors has penned it well, Can’t agree more than that.
    I being brought up in a defence background feels the same pain. We travelled through out India in my childhood from remote areas of Punjab to himachal. We couldn’t afford a house when we tried to settle in Delhi 15 years back. I struggled a lot until i put in lot of hard work and some luck! and eventually came here.

    For me 2 -ve things.
    1 Affected my parents health, because its highly stressful and more often thankless, unless you are into drinking, buttering and organizing parties for higher ranked officers and their wives, no hope.
    2. Education was big -ve thing as we dint get much exposure in KVs as compared tother schools. Exposure and awareness was something which I lacked as we were in remote areas mostly. And then when u grow up and come to delhi and compete its just too late

  8. February 5, 2008 1:04 pm

    Ankur, discipline is one thing citizens will learn, but remember, there is no dearth of recruits at lower levels. And as for reading and writing, that’s not the Army’s job is it.

    Poonam, you know I can’t stand that Ranjit Gadgil and good riddance to him! Yes, it’s sad about the renumeration, but some officers do well after retirement, some do okay, some do badly. What we have to see is that not everyone in the private sector does well either. Not everyone climbs to the even the general manager level, their savings may have gone because of high medical expenses, they may have no pension. How many private companies given any sort of pension at all? We should see it that way I think. It depends on the individual. I do agree that the Army life can deprive a bright person of a lot of opportunities but such people often do fine when they come out, although not at the same levels as someone who has been in the private sector for some time. But then they have had the advantages of the army life earlier, I know ex army people who are doing just fine.

    Old Sailor, a comprehensive list no doubt but I can say confidently that those in civilian life face some of the difficulties you have outlined. I am an Army officer’s daughter married to a civilian and for some reason people who I know in the Army tend to think civilian life is a bed of roses. It’s not. We had to struggle to find houses in our early days, there is a lot of nepotism, and as for transparency in promotions, it’s far more in the army. in many pvt sector companies there is no ‘report’ or evaluations system at all. One cannot compare the services life to a handful of blue chip companies. in any case even the latter have problems, like corruption, nepotism etc. and as for work, the pvt sector cos buy you off, and there is no time for the family. I saw much more of my dad than I see of my husband! My dad used to get time off regularly, even when he was isn the forward areas (he spent half his years in such areas) but my husband finds it difficult to get time off. A day or two, yes, but two weeks at a stretch? Forget about it! Civilian life is very tough, there is no community to support you, work expectations are high, job insecurity is always present, but money is much much more. Life can be a real struggle esp in the early years.

    Vishal, we were never put into KV’s. My parents were very particular about that. My mom stayed separately for many years just so we could be in the best schools. So it’s very individual. Many of my friends from army backgrounds have not been in KV’s. Some have, but the KV’s they went to were superb. And if you think that organising parties etc is bad, see what happens in small private companies in India. Some employees even pimp for their bosses! And some sleep with them!

    Raj, I agree that army life can make one a better citizen.

    DD, what I meant that even though certain fields will always be more lucrative than the army, once we have a larger supply of educated people, the shortage will fill up. True, half the enginees don’t get jobs but that’s because they get into poor educational institutes! And once the shortage of good engs etc goes, there will be more opportunity for the army to attract recruits.
    Thanks for sharing that email.

  9. February 5, 2008 2:32 pm

    well why not scrap the nergs for youth and force them to conscript ull get lots of people
    quality demands a price
    something which the govt cannot afford to pay
    which is why people prefer pvt to army

  10. February 5, 2008 2:34 pm

    nice post

  11. February 5, 2008 2:35 pm

    army should have its own education infrastructure that is more basic than the imas andmore advanced than the kvs
    so it gets easier for them to recruit and train
    i think thats the way out

  12. February 5, 2008 8:55 pm

    //here is no dearth of recruits at lower levels. //
    well the 80-90% of the recruits that they will get via would be in the lower ranks…
    if u remember the american experience…. all college graduates, scientists, guys working in factories … basically the guys with brains and/or skills were exempted from conscription…..
    so that entirely defeats the purpose of the exercise.

    //And as for reading and writing, that’s not the Army’s job is it//
    i know it is not…. but the beauty is that there is hardly anything productive u can achieve by employing an illiterate in the army….
    so as an indirect consequence the literacy rate of the entire nation would go up…
    and sounds very exciting to me

  13. Raj permalink
    February 5, 2008 11:32 pm

    The Depressed Doormat,

    I thank you for sharing your e-mail.Your brother has managed to convey what he wanted to say in an excellent manner.

    But I am still slightly confused by your comment.I did not quite understand what your take on the tendency to study medicine/engineering is.What I did not understand was whether you feel that this tendency is a result of the “herd mentality” of the parents or whether you feel that this tendency is causing an imbalance in the workforce and whether you feel that this deserves to be corrected.

    Nita,

    //…And if you think that organising parties etc is bad, see what happens in small private companies in India. Some employees even pimp for their bosses! And some sleep with them! //

    Thanks for that comment.It is completely true.I would like to add that it is not restricted to just the small private companies in India,but is applicable to the medium-sized ones and many large ones as well.

    Vishal,

    //…Affected my parents health, because its highly stressful and more often thankless, unless you are into drinking, buttering and organizing parties for higher ranked officers and their wives, no hope.//

    Thanks for that.Except for the organizing parties part of that comment,it is equally (if not more) true of the private companies.I say this from my personal experience as well as that of my family as a unit.

  14. ulag permalink
    February 5, 2008 11:41 pm

    Good article Nita! Like many others here i too feel that at some level a stint in the army will do everyone good. The sense of discipline and respect for superiors in the Army is unparalleled. A period of 2 or 3 years in the army will greatly help in inculcating many important values in individuals. At that young age one will still have that sense of adventure and be more willing to experiment. Personally i think we rush the education here. We barely finish school and were into colleges and then into post graduation. We hardly get time to explore and think what we want to do. We never get a chance to do something different. I think conscription will give people that chance.
    I dont believe that people detest the idea of joining the army at all. If a war breaks out and the need arises im sure everyone will be more than willing to sign up for the army (which is what i hear happened during the Indo-China war). Theres no lack of glory in the army or a lack of patriotism in the youth. Its just that ,as is natural, they prefer to take the easier way out which would be a secure 9 to 5 job.

  15. February 6, 2008 7:24 am

    Ankur, like every organisation the army’s manpower too is like a pyramid, with maximum shortages at the bottom. Even at the officer level, the max shortages are at the bottom.

    Raj, yes, life is far better in the services, I have seen it both first hand. As a daughter and as a wife. There is far less stress in the army but people in the army don’t realise it. There are people who get stuck and frustrated in the army but that happens in the pvt sector too! One cannot compare some fancy lifestyles of the pvt sector to those of the average army man. you need to compare an average guy to an average guy and see the difference.
    However there is more money in the pvt sector but for that they make you work like crazy. nothing comes freee! Finally whether you are successful and happy depends on the individual. There are some people who can never be happy in the army and some will never take to civilian life. It needs a certain temperament.

    Ulag,
    thanks. Ideally speaking yes an army stint is a great idea in inculcating values. I agree with you that if people feel there is a need, people will rush to join. We have a lot of patriots here and even political parties will unite in the hour of crisis.

  16. krenim permalink
    February 6, 2008 2:16 pm

    well there was an economist article on this a month back there is apparently no shortage at the infantry level where most conscription recruits are invariably put in since having been literally plucked from the streets aren’t really capable of much more than carrying a rifle as has been the case in the west.

    The problem apparently is at the officer level basically India’s english speaking elite (like your good selves🙂 ).

    The problem is you cannot pick someone from the streets and expect him to command a battalion,he simply has to be trained for 3-5 years at places like sanhurst and westpoint before he is fit to command so really this conscription for officers is bollocks if you ask me.Just pay more that’s all -plain and simple economics demand and supply etc.

  17. February 6, 2008 3:10 pm

    Krenim, picking people from the streets is out of the question. We need good educated people like you said, people who are capable of graduating from the National Defense Academy. True, more money needs be given, but the services can never compete with industry.

  18. February 6, 2008 5:25 pm

    no the youth does not detest being in the civil forces~~~in fact the fantacize it~~~its just that the youth lives in a society that make a mindset that you hav to hav a decent job~

  19. February 7, 2008 1:18 pm

    I hope the author of this article knows what it takes for a person to stay away from his/her family for half the service life, to know death everyday in an operational area and actually be a Spartan from day one. It is easy to write and say from within the comforts of a concrete room.The author has only experienced the few welfare measures not always available because these amenities are not for everybody and everywhere. Nita should thank her stars that she is not there to actually give (do not read “give up”) her life for the country’s defence. What one gets in return is pittance not only in terms of money but also social security for family during and after terms of employment.

  20. February 7, 2008 9:51 pm

    @Raj: I think it is both. Parent’s feel that the best jobs in the countries are going to Engineers, doctors (MBA graduates of late) and force their kids (and I am not talking about mild coaxing here, some actively pursue it) into professions that may not suit the child. Most of these people realize they got pushed into a field they have little or no interest in, after they graduate and enter the workforce.

    The parent’s are a HUGE part of the problem. Their attitude towards other “lowly” professions is quite astonishing. Who is to say you can’t lead a happy life as a botanist? Or an ethologist? Why limit ourselves to the sciences? Why can’t we encourage our children that show the passion for art, or history etc?

    I mentioned my brother’s email, to highlight, that even “open-minded” parent’s make these mistakes. When our kids play, we want them to play cricket. If a child shows an interest for Hockey or football, or god forbid weightlifting, he will quite possibly get a crack on the knuckles. The same attitude spills over to profession. If a kid is thinking out of the box, he is forced to conform to the narrow view of the parents. Obviously all is not black and white. Not all parents that force their kids to conform on the playing field force their kids when it comes to work, and vice versa. But any shade of “black”, IMHO, is bad. To curb a child’s instincts is to deny progress. That was the crux of my comment.

  21. February 7, 2008 10:02 pm

    I forgot to add. I hate when people talk about something they don’t know. My brother has been a weightlifting buff for about 7-8 years now. He actively works out, though he has left his passion for weightlifting behind. I had put on quite a lot of weight during my first couple of years of engineering, and to that he suggested I start pumping Iron. But the responses I got from my family (otherwise open minded, mind you) was quite disturbing.

    Apart from my mother and her sister, everyone else, uncles, my father (all present at a family dinner) were quite liberal in chiding my efforts! Some talked about how it would ensure I would not grow taller (as if at 18 I had much room left anyway). I knew by then about this old wives tale and took it to be a comment on their level of intellect, but imagine a kid that didn’t know better? It didn’t stop there, people told me I would better lose weight doing yoga, or going on specific diets. Someone prescribed a ALL CABBAGE diet since cabbage is a negative calorie food. I felt a fair bit like slapping these people silly, if only they weren’t “old and wise”.

  22. February 8, 2008 12:51 pm

    Prax, I doubt whether the army will be able to educate people from the bottom upwards. They will then have to house them as well as people in our country are often so poor that they cannot afford a decent meal. If your stomach is empty you cannot concentrate on studies. As it is, the Indian Army’s manpower bill is exceedingly high, higher than those in other countries and on top of that defense budget is lower than in most countries!

    DD,
    I think those children who are coerced or persuaded into careers not of their choosing do not do well in them either. I wonder if you have read a post of mine in which I have written about this very issue. It’s called Indian Parents take over the Career Counselor’s role.

  23. Raj permalink
    February 8, 2008 5:55 pm

    The Depressed Doormat,

    Sorry for my late reply…just got a bit preoccupied with another post 🙂

    Thanks for your explanation.Now that it is clear to me,I agree with you completely…I,too believe that natural talent should be nurtured instead of thrusting something upon a child !

  24. February 9, 2008 12:23 am

    agreed but there is no way out if the wage gap increases
    there is so much wasted potential and it can be tapped with ironclad agreements and full funding

  25. February 9, 2008 11:40 am

    //agreed but there is no way out if the wage gap increases//
    actually it is a major misconception that government cannot pay decent wages.
    about 60 years ago, indian government paid more to its officers posted in india then British govt did to its officers posted in UK.

    till about 25 years ago government wages were still higher than pvt sector wages in India….

    and even today for the workers, govt factories pay more than pvt ones…. its only because of socialistic regimes that officers of govt management level employees has not kept pace with the market

  26. February 9, 2008 1:08 pm

    i know i know
    my grandfather was in the bombay presidency at a very very high post , where no local except maybe parsis had reached,,,,, but im talking about now

  27. GC varun gandhi permalink
    February 10, 2008 11:38 am

    very nice aricle put up quite helpfull for a debate i was paricipating, but remeber army dont want sub standard people at any cost to come in army u have to prove urself first…

  28. Ravi permalink
    February 15, 2008 9:05 am

    I had this notion that one cannot earn good money by joining in army. It looks like people with reasonable thirst for money and good physical fitness can get into army. But still I m not sure how good their life would be because I have seen so many times on TV that army been called to rescue people during natural emergencies like floods, cyclones and recently Tsunami. It sucks to do something not part of job responsibilities.

  29. Ravi permalink
    February 15, 2008 9:29 am

    Dear Depressed Doormat!

    I m sorry if this offended you in any way but it sounds pretty funny though. I hope you will appreciate this.🙂
    There is huge difference between dreaming and pursuing dreams. Anyone can dream but only some who are determined can only attempt to pursue those dreams. During this course of period one may come across so many obstacles like financial hurdles, family problems and compatibility ( Your earlier posts reminds of this may be I m wrong I donno).

    Even Open-minded parents doesn’t want their kids to end up in some career where the probability of getting rewarded with pride and money is scarce. Art is basically luck. In a country like india where every kid has to work his ass off to get into kinder garden the life style (regarding career) you wished for is not possible. It might be the case in developed countries but not in india. Parents see things practically but our determination must overcome their intuition and make them to support us to pursue our dreams its solely depends on the strength of one’s will power.

  30. February 21, 2008 11:44 am

    Any talk of conscription in a democratic country like ours is to me an admission that the gentleman making the proposition has run out of ideas or, worse, has not even exercised his mind to look for ways to attract suitable talent to the Army. Conscription is the easiest way out, it absolves you of the responsibility doing something concrete.

    Poor salaries certainly are a contributory factor in making the Army unattractive. Ankur has highlighted how things have deteriorated due to the ‘socialist’ mindset of the government. However, there are many other factors which need to be addressed with an open mind.

    I have written in some detail on the subject. It will be found useful by those who are willing to consider some radical measures, without which things might well reach the stage where young men have to be compelled to join this profession. The article can be found here:
    http://www.vinodksharma.blogspot.com

  31. December 11, 2011 7:24 pm

    I think that India should never have conscription/draft. There should be freedom of choice for people, whether they want to join the military. I do agree that basic training should be given to all people who are healthy, but people should be able to opt out of it with no negative consequences.

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