Armed forces aren’t politicised. And there’s nothing wrong with politicians leveraging military success


Recent articles by two former journalists (Sanjaya Baru in the Times of India and Harish Khare in The Wire), both of whom served as a former prime minister’s media advisers and have been consistent sceptics of the role of the military in the growth and maturing of Indian democracy, question the motives of the current military leadership and accuse them of seeking political patronage and a greater voice and role in shaping an India of tomorrow. Such voices belong to an era when it was commonplace to constantly question the ability of military leaders to understand the nuances of Indian democracy and their commitment to the Indian Constitution.

This approach is based on a post-colonial arrangement in independent India that ensured an artificial firewall was created between the armed forces and the rest of Indian society. It was an arrangement that suited India’s early political masters who faced the wrong end of the stick from the British military, carried scars into the era of independence and assumed that the British-trained Indian military needed to be put in its rightful place lest it emerged as an alternate power centre in Indian politics.

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Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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