The debate on NDTV "We the People" today was about the permanent work for women in the Indian Army...more correctly,in the Infantry section of the Army.A cliched debate which goes on and on with no conclusion.
The first question that comes to my mind is that WHY do we need such a debate anyway? The Army is short of about 14,000 cadets or officers or whatever and on top of that,we are debating about the equal rights of women? I mean,where ARE the women that such questions about posting the ladies on the front pop up?
Okay,lets go to the general perception about the Army.Its a hard life,yes,and the moment someone in our homes mentions joining the Army then its like the end of the world.Yes,I admit its easier to be typing out all these than actually seeing a brother or husband or son(or a sister or wife or daughter)returning only after several tiring months(or rather not returning at all,in some cases...I don't know whether such cases are "proud" ones or unfortunate ones)...but lets hear it out..what is it that makes people hesitate to join the army? I asked the question first to myself..why am I not joining then?Unfortunately,I got a meek answer saying I have always wanted to be an engineer and run Power Plants or Refineries or whatever.
The same question I asked a friend of mine,and his answer was very much peculiar.He said his friend applied for the Army but he never got the call,despite being physically fit.And his point was that in a time of job-shortage such as this,anybody would jump for any proffession,including the Defense.If a common person has this notion,then imagine how many people must be having such a notion that the "Defense force is not recruiting properly".
Well, people should understand that the Army,Navy or Air Force canNOT employ ANYONE who gives his/her applications.You cannot expect a person suffering from Asthma or breathing problems to be going to a hazardous place where its too cold or too dusty and still be up and fighting!(No offense intended,please)
Coming back to the topic now.Why can't ladies be given a post on the front? Why is it that people are so much apprehensive when it comes to women fighting on the front?Why are women not given the opportunity beyond the technical posts? Why are there different standards for men and women in the army? I am sure there are men reading this post who are very much in opposition to the different standards for men and women in the daily life.But thats not the point here.We are talking about National Security.No different standards for that please! As some lady in the program rightly mentioned,"Why are we supposed to be running 7 kms in 40 minutes when men are supposed to run the same distance in 25 minutes?Tell us to do the same..if we fail then throw us out!".
So you see,such debates go on and on.There are other perspectives too.Like the biological differences,ability to withstand difficult circumstances..etc etc.But all I can say,for now,is...at least give a chance!