Armed forces should not be seen to associate with political spectacle of any kind. But we have seen the Army involved in mass scale Yoga events. Post demonetisation, political leaders were reported as saying that if soldiers could stand at the border, why couldn’t people stand at the ATM queues. It might have been noble to hold a flypast to honour COVID warriors and shower flower petals on hospitals. But this was being done at a time when China was intruding into Indian territory.
The army’s top brass is perceived to be closely aligned with the ruling party’s ideology. Some statements by the former Chief of the Army Staff about Bangladeshi immigrants, antiCAA protests and his act of decorating and defending the rogue officer who used a human shield in Kashmir, are worrying.Behaviour of the hierarchy percolates down to the soldiers.The Indian Army has always remained a professional army which takes oath on the constitution and owes no allegiance to the political party in power. It must maintain this status.In China the Army is part ofCPC’s Politburo; the Pakistan army isa stakeholder in politics. The IndianArmy is still apolitical, but the worry is that with the top brass bending with the wind, soldiers can get affected by neo-nationalism