Agnipath: India’s new controversial military recruitment system

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Narendra Modi has constantly relied on gimmicks and bells and whistles to further his extremist political agendas

With no one to dissuade him and his actions resulting in his BJP continuing to gain a stronghold in Indian politics, it is no wonder the 14th Prime Minister of India keeps coming up with cooky schemes to militarise and divide the populace as much as possible.

His latest stunt comes in the form of what is being referred to as the “Agnipath Scheme” introduced by India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. But what is it? and what can we expect from it? let’s take a deeper look.

A perfectly constructed definition being perpetuated in the media right now describes it as “ A recruitment process for individuals before the rank of an officer with the goal of deploying fitter, younger troops on the front lines, many of whom will be on four-year contracts. It’s a game-changing project that will give the Army, Navy, and Air Force a more young image.”

Simply put, it is a recruitment scheme for the Indian Armed Forces on short-term contracts (mostly 4 years) after which you will be free to go home.

Under its banner, some 46,000-50,000 new troops aged between 17 and a half and 21 will be introduced into Indian forces.

With the promises of serving their nation and pay packages ranging from Rs 4.76 lakh from the first year with up-gradation of up to Rs 6.92 lakh in the 4th year, a release package of Rs 11.71 lakh and an insurance cover of Rs 48 lakh are sure to entice entrants.

The first batch of the Agnipath entry rally will start from September – to Oct 2022

After four years of service, 25% of the “Agniveers” will be retained and will then serve for a full term of another 15 years. While the other 75% of Agniveers will be demobilised, with an exit or “Seva Nidhi ” package of Rs 11-12 lakh, as well as skill certificates and bank loans for help in their second careers.

The scheme sounds simple so why is there such an uproar in the country about it?

  1. It is worrisome because thousands of 21-25 years old with the knowledge of weaponry and military training do not bode well for the country.
  2. Many see this scheme as militarisation of the youth that will lead to an even bigger and bloody divide in the country, all the scenarios Modi has favoured during his reign. He has never shied away from spilling blood as evident by his reign in Gujrat.
  3. And who is to say that people from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will not signup for this program? Imagine the carnage the already trigger-happy, right-winged militia could cause to the country.

The scheme has already faced plenty of backlashes and now protests are breaking out all over India against Modi’s latest attempt at diving the country.

Protests began in some districts of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday students in Gonda and Unnao turned out against this proposed scheme.

In Bihar, trains were set afire, window panes of buses smashed and passersby, including a ruling BJP MLA, pelted with stones on Thursday.

Whatever Modi’s endgame is, it is beginning with bloodshed and will likely end with bloodshed as well.

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