Agnipath Recruitment and its aftermath

New recruitment plan called Agnipath announced by Central Government and under which about 46,000 candidates between ages 17-21 will be appointed. They are appointed into the services for a four year tenure in Indian Armed Forces, Navy and IAF. Youth recruited under the scheme will be known as β€œAgniveers”. As reported by the Central Government, within completion of the tenure nearly 25% will be selected for long term cadre for another 15 years. While remaining 75% can leave and under the scheme Seva Nidhi they would be given financial package and bank loans for those interested to become entrepreneurs. Those wishing to study further would get a 12th standard certificate and those who are interested in job opportunities would be given priority in Central Armed Police Forces, State Police and Assam Rifles. 

Protests erupted across many states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Telangana and others. Hundreds of youngsters raged across by disrupting road and rail traffic, vandalising public property and stone pelting. In Bihar rioters smashed glass windows of Intercity Express train at Bhabhua railway station and set a coach on fire. They also targeted the residences of Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Rena Devi, BJP president and West Champaran MP Sanjay Jaiswal . In Muzaffarpur town many army aspirants placed burning tyres in protest on the roads around the stadium of Chakkar Maidan. On Friday, many were injured and one dead after police opened fire in Telangana after violence was instigated in

Secunderabad railway station. Over 300 trains have been affected and more than 200 cancelled so far due to protests against the Agnipath scheme for recruitment in the defence services, the Railways said on Friday. 

Veterans react

Opposition condemns
β€œThe Politburo of CPM disapproves the Agnipath scheme that does disservice to the national interests. Professional armed forces can’t be raised by recruiting β€˜soldiers on a contract’ for a period. This scheme to save pension money, severely compromises the quality and efficiency of our armed forces” Sitaram
Yechury tweeted. CPI opposed the scheme and asked for a withdrawal and a further discussion about it.Β 

Retired Major General G.D Bakshi have disapproved this scheme where he tweeted β€œWas flabbergasted by the Agniveer scheme. I thought initially it was a trial being done on pilot basis. This is an across the board change to convert Indian Armed Forces to a short tenure quasi-conscript force like the Chinese. For God’s sakes PLEASE DON’T do it”. Ex servicemen have had a hard time finding jobs and the fear of being jobless of many youth after the completion of the tenure, the promised benefits might not be fruitful for all.

BJP-led government are trying to ensure as much as young manpower they can , foreseeing the possibility of invasion and other security concerns. Among many other concerns are fear of leading a normal career after the tenure. These riots are in a way happening due to fear masked with violence and anger. Consequences of implementation of this scheme are many but the major one is the apprehension of how this will turn India into a fully militarised society. With trained and armed young men that can also be used as a dangerous weapon to further supress other β€œanti-national elements”.

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