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Hiring soldiers for four years not a good idea: Amarinder

Capt. Amarinder Singh

Capt. Amarinder Singh | Photo Credit: PTI

Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday suggested that the Centre review the Agnipath policy for recruitment in defence forces.

“It will dilute the long existing distinct ethos of regiments,” Capt. Singh (retd.) said, adding, “a four-year service is too short for a soldier”.

“Why does the government of India need 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,” said the Punjab Lok Congress chief, who tied up with the BJP in the 2021 Assembly election.

In a statement, he strongly opposed the ‘All India All Class’ recruitment policy, saying it will dilute the ethos of the regiments. The different regiments such as the Sikh Regiment, the Dogra Regiment, the Madras Regiment and so on had their own distinct ethos, which was very important from the military point of view and which seemed to have been overlooked, he said.

The former Chief Minister, who is also a noted military historian, pointed out that the present system had worked so well all these years. Besides, it would be very difficult for recruits from different cultural backgrounds to adjust in a culturally different environment that was exclusive to a particular regiment and that too within such a short span of time. “The 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.”

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2022 12:37:25 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/hiring-soldiers-for-four-years-not-a-good-idea-amarinder/article65533340.ece