Saturday 24 August 2019, 06:55 PM
Morale Factor In The Army
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 5/14/2012 12:00:00 AM

Afsir Karim

New Delhi: The morale of the army is the most decisive and important war winning factor, without high morale no army is able to win a war despite having the best weapons in the world. The morale of the army depends on several factors, such as the quality and the state of its leadership at any given point of time, its weapons and equipment system, whether its welfare is well looked after, the esteem it is held in its country and the world.

If the top leadership is incompetent, dishonest, holds its own interests above that of soldiers or has divided loyalty and lacks sincerity the best army in the world may not be able win a war or defend the country. There are many signs that indicate low morale like desertions, absence without leave, too many cases of indiscipline, fratricide, suicides and finally mutinous behaviour.

The morale of our army was directly reflected in the three wars we fought in 1962, 1965 and 1971; we lost 1962 war against China mainly because our top leadership was incompetent and selected for political reasons and patronage, they enjoyed little confidence of their subordinates, our weapons and equipment was out of date and unfit for mountain warfare, training was mainly for fighting on plains and based on outdated tactics. The top leadership was divided and involved in intrigues against each other.

By 1965 after learning a bitter lessons of 1962 things had improved considerably, morale of our army was reflected in these changes but we had not moved  far ahead from 1962 mindset, the pay and allowances of the army were still poor our equipment and tanks still not good enough to defeat Pakistan comprehensively. In this war we, however, destroyed a superior armour force of Pakistan by sheer grit and determination- a sure sign of rising morale since 1962 debacle.

 In 1971 cards were stacked up against Pakistan and its army was suffering from a low morale because of poor leadership and luxurious life style of its senior officers in contrast to the life of its soldiers, while India had at this stage high class leaders on top on the civil side and in all the three services, our armed forces were well equipped and trained for their task and rearing to go, the results were for all to see.

When we saw and met Pakistani prisoners after the war we realised that they were suffering for a long time from conditions that crippled their fighting potential, their morale was very low when the war started and their self esteem very low at the end.

For more than four decades we have faced no wars except for brief limited encounter in Kargil, in this encounter Pakistan surprised us exposing many weaknesses the army was suffering from. The entire leadership of the army is peace time product but that has constantly faced no war no peace situations.

This state that has existed for many decades now produced a new brand of leaders eager to climb high at all costs; another band looked for dishonest means to get rich quickly. There were cases of fake encounters, complaints of dishonesty and quarrels among the top echelons sapping of morale due to lack of opportunities to live peaceful life and fierce competition for promotions.

Later the court marshal of very senior officers proving them dishonest and self seeking, followed by problems arising out of army chief’s age controversy resulted in demoralisation and lack of self esteem.

Today our army really stands on a crossroads, its top leadership has been accused of dishonest practices, internal struggles for promotion and plum posts, moreover senior retired officers have been accused of bribery.  To top it, all planted media reports about army units moving threateningly towards the capital, which in essence doubted the loyalty of the army instead of lauding its clean record and sacrifices. These conditions made the army uncomfortable and unless taken in hand by the national and military leadership can lead to dangerous consequences for our country.

Many external and internal forces are waiting to take advantage of rising discomfort in the army; threats are lurking just below the surface despite apparent peace. In short in the recent past the army’s morale has taken a beating and its prestige has suffered because of inept handling of the situation by the top leadership.

A very peculiar situation has emerged because of the controversy involving a serving chief and doubts being raised about the integrity and suitability of his likely successor. The army is just not an ordinary organisation, it demands total commitment and loyalty and self sacrifice,  the senior most ranks in the army have to set the highest standards, and our national leadership must give it due respect.

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MORALE FACTOR IN THE ARMY

DEFENCE MONITOR

भारत डिफेंस कवच की नई हिन्दी पत्रिका ‘डिफेंस मॉनिटर’ का ताजा अंक ऊपर दर्शाया गया है। इसके पहले दस पन्ने आप मुफ्त देख सकते हैं। पूरी पत्रिका पढ़ने के लिए कुछ राशि का भुगतान करना होता है। पुराने अंक आप पूरी तरह फ्री पढ़ सकते हैं। पत्रिका के अंकों पर क्लिक करें और देखें। -संपादक

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