BANGALORE: The new-age Indian Army has arrived. Loaded with upgraded thoughts and philosophies, the army is now treading new terrains singing a soothing mantra for its mighty men and their minds. Emotions are valued and kept under check, not through circulars or screaming sessions, but by letting it flow. At the right time, the right way, with the right person.
In his first ever one-to-one, ahead of the Army Day and Investiture Ceremony on January 15 in Bangalore, Major General A K Pradhan, General Officer Commanding, Karnataka & Kerala Sub-Area, was candid with Express. “Transformation of a soldier is the key and the best time is during training. Emotions vary from one person to another and from place to place. My officers can handle the troops emotionally well when they are aware of their jawans’ traditions and cultures. Hence, the gen-next Army is not only about technology, strategies, weapons and battle lines. It’s also about love, care and that extra bit each officer can give to his men,” Pradhan said.
While it’s easier said than done to implement this inspiring guns ‘n’ roses philosophy in a mammoth Army as India’s, with a heavy dose of hierarchy running from top to bottom, Pradhan says the Army is committed towards its mind-mission. “We firmly believe that it is not the gun, but it is the men behind the gun that matter. Sensible human resources is the key. We have to strike an emotional bonding with all our foot soldiers, at all times,” Pradhan said.
When specifically asked whether the Army hierarchy will bend to school the new thought-process, Pradhan, with 34 years of service and swearing by his parent 5th Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force) - an Infantry Battalion, said: “We have no religion and we practice the religion of our troops. We have already increased the interactions between the officers and jawans. We have opened new channels of communication. Now, a jawan can directly telephone his Commanding Officer, something we haven’t seen during our times. Army needs hierarchy, but we need our jawans too. Times are changing.”
Interestingly, Express could correlate with Pradhan’s comments to Army Chief Gen V K Singh, who is being quoted in the latest issue of an official, restricted Ministry of Defence publication.
“We have undertaken better management and prompt attendance of grievances by units formations. Stress management capsules are being conducted at various levels. Training in relaxation, including meditation, yoga, pranayam are also being held.”