NEW DELHI: Uttarakhand seems to have a symbiotic relationship with joining the armed forces. It’s an association the people proudly wear on their sleeves, politicians in high places included. Take former chief minister and BJP MP Ramesh Pokhriyal. A couple of days ago, he proudly announced his daughter Shreyasi Nishank’s induction into the Indian Army Medical Corps as Captain after her Passing out Parade at the Officers Training College at Lucknow.
She had left a plum job in Mauritius to answer the call of duty. The Medical Officers Basic Course she completed has a seven-week span. Each directly-appointed officer in the Medical Corps has to complete it before she or he is formally inducted into the services. Pokhriyal took to Twitter to point out, “Uttarakhand has been the land of the braves where on an average one person from each family joins the armed forces and serves the nation.”
There are others like Shreyasi as well. In September 2017, Namita Pant, daughter of Uttarakhand Finance Minister Prakash Pant, joined the Judge Advocate General Branch of the Army after completing her nine-month training at the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai. Speaking to this paper, Prakash Pant said he was overwhelmed with emotion when he saw his daughter doing the slow march at the Passing out Parade.
Similarly, senior politician Kashi Singh Airy’s son Devesh Singh Airy is serving in the Artillery Regiment of the Army since a few years. There are other children of politicians in the state who are in the Army, Navy, Air Force or the other Central Armed Police Forces.
According to Lieutenant General Vinod Bhatia (Retd), “Uttarakhand is leading the way. More lawmakers’ children donning the uniform would be good for the forces and the country.” The general’s son, too, is in the Army.