Former Punjab Chief Minister and a veteran of Indi-Sino and Indo-Pak Wars, Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday suggested reviewing the ‘Agnipath’ policy of recruitment in defence forces. “It will dilute the long existing distinct ethos of regiments”, Capt Amarinder said in a statement on Thursday, while adding, “four year service is too short for a soldier”.
He wondered why the government of India needed to make such radical changes in the recruitment policy, which has been working so well for the country for so many years. “Hiring soldiers for four years, with effective service of three years, is not at all militarily a good idea”, he said.
He added that different regiments such as the Sikh Regiment, the Dogra Regiment, the Madras Regiment and so on have their own distinct ethos which is very
important from the military point of view and which seems to have been overlooked.
The former CM, who is also a reputed military historian, added that it will be very difficult for recruits from different cultural backgrounds to adjust in a culturally different environment that is exclusive to a particular regiment and that too within such a short span of time, which effectively comes to less than three years.
Capt Amarinder said, the already existing short duration tenure system of seven and five years is fine, but four years, which once training and leave period are excluded, effectively comes to less than three years, will not be workable. “It will never be workable for a professional army which is faced with tough challenges on both eastern as well as western theatres,” he said.