Military training plans were also made during Nehru’s tenure. – न्यूज़लीड India

Military training plans were also made during Nehru’s tenure.


Opinion

oi-Devesh Khandelwal

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Published: Wednesday, June 22, 2022, 18:14 [IST]

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New Delhi, June 22: Agneepath scheme has been implemented in India. The three armies of the country have also issued a notification for this. In the next one year, the first squad of Agniveers will be ready to serve in the Indian Army. In this way, around the year 2027, such a section of youth will be prepared in the country who will be able to serve the country in any way. Through this scheme not only livelihood opportunities will be opened but the level of discipline, patriotism and social responsibility will also increase among the youth of the country.

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In fact, this is the first time after the partition of India that the central government has implemented such an ambitious plan, the need of which was felt only after 1947. Therefore, in these past years, many experiments were done for the youth not like Agneepath but its equivalent, but due to the neglect of the then governments, no success could ever be achieved. During the tenure of Prime Minister Nehru, two schemes like military training were introduced, but both of them could neither gain popularity among the youth nor could they get any benefit in the development of the country due to many shortcomings.

Yuri Nasenko, a leading official of Russia’s intelligence agency KGB on India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his foreign policy, writes in his book ‘Jawaharlal Nehru and India’s Foreign Policy’, “Acharya Kriplani, who was the President of the Congress, made a proposal to the Congress Party. It was laid that its members should be given arms and military education. So that in every town and every village there would be disciplined military-citizens who would be helpful for services in peacetime and also responsible for security during war.

Yuri further writes, “Another prominent leader of Congress, Purushottam Das Tandon, went a step ahead and advocated that the Congress party itself should be converted into soldiers so that the areas that had gone to Pakistan could be brought back.” This ideological pressure from the Congress leaders led to an informal start of systematic military training to civilians in May 1955 under the name ‘National Volunteer Corps’. Later its name was changed to ‘Lok Sahayak Sena’. To give constitutional form to this scheme, Defense Minister of India K.N. Katju introduced the ‘Lok Sahayak Sena 1956’ Bill in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on 28 August 1956 and 4 September 1956 respectively. Under this, it was proposed to give military training every year to 1 lakh civilians above the age of 18 and below 40 in the next five years.

The duration of the training in this scheme was one month and its nature was similar to that of volunteers. Apart from the ration, a total allowance of Rs 15 was also promised at the end of the training. But no mention was made of what would be the future of these military-trained men. In this confusion, Defense Minister Katju’s speech had a clear purpose, “The purpose of this bill is military training. Military training has many meanings like discipline, self-reliance, patriotism etc.”

Actually, introducing this bill in Parliament was a kind of ritual because the Nehru government was not serious about it at all. This can be gauged from the fact that when Lok Sabha member H.V. Kamath requested the Speaker of the House to extend the time for discussion on the bill, but it was rejected.

Then due to limited resources and lack of employment, applications started coming in this scheme from all over the country. In the Lok Sabha on 1 September 1960, the then Defense Minister V.K. Krishna Menon said that “the target of 5 lakh was set in Lok Sahayak Sena, but now 4 lakh 70 thousand people have been trained. Still this number is 30 thousand less than the fixed target.”

On the other hand, on 30 March 1965, DS Raju, the Minister of State for Defense in the Rajya Sabha, clearly stated that “the army had no liability for civilians trained under the Lok Sahayak Sena scheme. They were re-admitted to the service if their services were required to be so long. But he was expelled before the completion of the five-year period.

At that time, Prime Minister Nehru had not introduced any such scheme for the first time. Earlier in 1953, a bill named The Auxiliary Territorial Force was also passed through Parliament. In this, a provision was made to give ten days training to a total of 15 thousand military trainees without any weapon and an allowance of Rs 5 in addition to ration.

Now there was no objective to link these two schemes with both the development and defense of the country. UC Patnaik’s speech on 28 August 1956, a two-time member of the Lok Sabha, is the most accurate to understand the reality of the Lok Sahayak Seva, he said, “We have implemented many schemes like Scout Movement, Hindustan Seva Dal, JK Bhonsle National Discipline Scheme etc. The enthusiasm which was seen in all of them is not at all in Lok Sahayak Sena. Under this leadership capability will not be created in anyone. I have visited many camps. I am telling from my experiences. I am that no one will be given a chance to lead in this scheme. Every year one lakh people will be sent back to their villages after spending one crore rupees on one month training. After that there will be no follow up of the schemes in a phased manner. There is no provision.”

Whereas in the Agneepath scheme, the total selected Agniveers will be given the honor of military training with weapons. A sum insured of about one crore rupees will be covered for each Agniveer. Under the service fund with salary, about Rs 11 lakh will be available with interest for four years. Out of these, when 25 percent Agniveers become part of the traditional army, they will also be entitled to pension. Apart from this, their recruitment in the paramilitary forces under the Union Home Ministry will also be facilitated, along with their preference in the state police. Jobs have also been announced for them in many private corporates.

So today there is no point in opposing the Agneepath scheme by the Congress in the name of the opposition and misleading the youth. When he had both the government and the time, he did not give anything to the youth of the country in the name of military training.

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english summary

Military Training Plans Were Also Made During Jawaharlal Nehru Tenure

Story first published: Wednesday, June 22, 2022, 18:14 [IST]

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