Former Vice President Hamid Ansari said on Friday that in a democratic polity, governed by the Constitution of India and the principle of rule of law, the supremacy of the legally constituted civilian authority had to prevail. “This basic principle remains the bedrock of civil-military relations,” he stated. Mr. Ansari was addressing a webinar organised by Unacademy, an education technology platform, in association with The Hindu .
“Patriotism and love for the motherland is an essential virtue for all citizens. Strident nationalism on the other hand should be eschewed since it tends towards jingoism. An instance of it was cited last week by an eminent scientist who cautioned against what she called ‘vaccine nationalism’,” Mr. Ansari told the online audience interested in appearing for the defence services examinations.
A career in the Armed Forces had a charm of its own, said Lieutenant General Asit Mistry, Commandant of the National Defence Academy (NDA). Some of the factors that drew people to the Armed Forces, apart from the obvious challenges, were the personal satisfaction it affords, the quality of life, the medical facilities, adventure and job security it lends, he said.
“A career in the Armed Forces is not just a job; it is a way of life,” Lt. Gen. Mistry added.
General V.P. Malik, Army Chief during the Kargil war, said losing the war had not been an option. “Every time I met the troops, I told them that while Pakistan might have fired the first shot, the last one would be shot by us. The war would end, but only on our terms,” he said.