Instead of a bland ‘Good Morning/Afternoon’ the Indian Army officers will now greet each other with a crisp salute accompanied with ‘Jai Hind’, immortalised by Subhas Chandra Bose as the battle cry for his Indian National Army.
The new order is part of Army Chief General Bikram Singh’s mandate to his troops —“Back to Basics”. The initiative is part of the Indianisation of the Indian Army that has drawn heavily from the traditions of the Royal British Army.
“The directions have come this month only. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has already been using ‘Jai Hind’ as part of the salutation among officers,” an army official said. The Indian Navy in informal settings use ‘Jai Hind’ and in formal settings greeting appropriate to the time of the day—Good Morning/Good Afternoon/Good Evening is used.
Salute is an intrinsic part of military tradition. Elaborate rules have been laid down to define the manner in which an official would do the salute. A salute is a form of respect not to an individual but to the uniform and rank of the officer. If a junior officer salutes his seniors, only the senior-most of the officers will acknowledge and return the gesture. If officials of all the three forces are present, the senior-most of them will return the salute. The Indian Army is considered the senior-most, followed by the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force.
“The jawans while saluting their officers will continue to use their regimental salutation. The new rule pertains to only officers greeting each other,” the official added.