Thursday, January, 27,2022

Military Leadership @74 Nation Salutes the Warriors

Nation Salutes the Warriors

The nation celebrates the 74th Army Day on Saturday, January 15. Armed Forces are the last instrument of statecraft of any nation state; therefore they can’t afford to fail.

It is this zero error professionalism that sets the military leaders as a class above the rest. In India, the Armed Forces have a great history of providing excellent and praiseworthy military leadership.

 The Royal Army left behind a great legacy of socially deep-rooted and well established military culture for Indian Armed Forces, when they left in 1947.

Once a coveted profession, the Services today are no longer the preferred career option for the millennials.

CHALLENGES IN 21ST CENTURY

The 21st Century brings in large amount of challenges for military leaders. The working environment within the Armed Forces is rapidly changing with paradigm changes in social value systems and technological advancements.

The dynamic nature of modern warfare and expansion of national interests sans frontiers have placed fresh challenges on military leadership.

Materialism and economic progress have exerted their own pressures on the moderately paid soldiers and officers. Several pay commissions have taken away the privileges and special status of soldiers.

The swag of being elite class and privileged is slowly fading away. Soldiering is no longer in fashion. Service to the Nation no longer motivates the youth to undergo a hard life as soldiering demands.

In the rapidly changing socio-economic environment in the country, the military leadership has to be transformed and matured to the next level of competence. Some of the major challenges faced by military leadership on 74th Army Day, are discussed hereafter.

CHANGED SOCIO-ECONOMIC BACKGROUND

The society is undergoing a rapid transformation on account of the high growth in economy and other related factors including proliferation of multiple social media platforms. It also results in significant changes in the value system and perceptions.

Military leadership need to be responsive to such changing environment. Given the higher levels of IQ, it calls for improved transparency in functioning. Decision making need to be made more inclusive to integrate all ranks in military matters.

Despite these social changes, the need for military leaders with strong fundamentals- character, integrity and ethics will never change.

WOMEN IN THE COMBAT

Induction of women into Armed Forces is the new flavour of 21st Century, which has brought in winds of change in this male-dominated establishment.

The gender bias will slowly fade away, as we move further in this century. The implementation must be deliberate, progressive and adaptable to all ranks without sacrificing training standards.

The entry of female cadets to NDA adds a new ‘co-ed’ dimension to the army training. Induction of women officers and their rise to ranks of commanding officers and beyond will harbinger a paradigm shift in military leadership styles.

POLITICO-CIVILMILITARY DYNAMICS

Politico-civil-military relationship in India has been a low point in the last 75 years. In fact, much that is amiss in India’s national security framework today, could be attributed a civil–military relationship which has failed to grow and mature in step with the needs of modern-day security challenges.

The resultant dissonance has severely impaired the national security discourse and strategic decision-making process.

In the near future, senior leaders of Armed Forces will have to also cope up with increasing political pressures. Ambitious military leadership can be the bane of democracy,

if some leaders, whose ambition exceeds their ability, lend themselves to political manipulations. In the arena of national security, the consequences of moral failure can be grave.

Future military leaders will have to deal with such political pressures and stand tall for the national pride and for the welfare of the men, that they command.

MORAL VALUES AND ETHICS

Degradation of value system in society as a whole has had a profound effect on the military leaders. Individualism, materialism, economic gains and ‘success at all costs’ are all traits embedded in the present day society.

The individuals joining the service also come from same society and therefore, cannot totally escape from its effects.

However, a class apart, military leadership demands highest level of ethics and values to be able to lead in war.

Military Leadership will be able to withstand all pressures if they adhere to fundamental values and ethics of army culture.

CONCLUSION

India is going through a transformation to claim its rightful place as super power in the present century.

As the Indian Armed Forces chart their way through the 21st century, the victory in future battles will be largely dependent on the quality of astute leadership displayed by our armed forces senior leaders.

In the changing kaleidoscope of 21st Century, reform and reinvention may well be the only options for the Armed Forces to retain their superlative standards of leadership at all times. “Dil Mange More- from the Military Leaders”

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL

 

Tags
  • Politico-civil-military relationship
  • India
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