Amid raging protests across the country, Aam Aadmi Party MP Raghav Chadha on Saturday wrote to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh that the newly announced ‘Agnipath’ defence recruitment has shattered the dreams of many army aspirants, while causing “great anguish” to them.
“As an institution, the Indian Armed Forces have been a beacon of hope representing the highest standards of professionalism, service, long standing tradition and ethos. However, this recent modification to the basic structure of the army has justifiably caused great anguish among potential recruits from across the country. The hopes and dreams of many young aspirants have been stifled by the controversial ‘contractualization’ of the Armed Forces,” the Rajya Sabha MP stated in his letter.
Highlighting the five pressing issues with the scheme, Chadha, while “we need jawans with peace of mind and job security,” Chadha wrote that an “ill-motivated soldier” will not be able to serve the country, thinking of how he would support his family after his four years of tenure is over, as per the scheme.
Chadha further wrote that the proposed scheme “has overlooked issues of inadequate skilling,” stating that the six months of crash course will reduce the effectiveness of the army as they will not be battle-ready to “face the nation’s greatest security challenges.”
He wrote that in a bid to cut down on the huge expenditure incurred by the government in order to procure more arms “should not be offset by sacrificing the job security of our jawans.”
The Rajya Sabha MP further pointed out that the new scheme “negates regimental honour and erodes the quality of our troops” and stressed that it is the “ethos of the regiment that keep jawans united.”
Saying that no pilot projects were tried out before going ahead with the scheme, Chadha wrote, “Such pilot schemes, preferably outside of the Armed Forces would have provided an opportunity to deliberate before deciding. A consultative exercise could have followed thereafter to avoid national embarrassment and despair among the youth.”
“…I implore you to roll-back the Agnipath scheme, to stop this ‘trial by fire’ of the youth of the country,” he wrote.