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India Women Army in Military Training

India Women Army in Military Training

The reputation of the Indian defence forces is taking quite a battering lately. Lieutenant Sushmita Chakravorty's suicide in Udhampur had stirred up a hornet's nest. The whole issue of whether women are capable of handling the pressures within the military has been underscored by her death.


Having stayed away from civilian society and built up a kind of hermetically sealed world, the armed forces now find it difficult to deal with situations and people outside their gamut of defence services when it comes to social issues like these. And this has got proved in Sushmita Charaborty's suicide case. Look at the manner in which the Army has dealt with the suicide of a young, lady officer.

The Vice-Chief immediately reacted by saying that the Army was not yet ready to cope with women as officers. An honest admission, probably, but totally out of sync with the real world, where females have joined the work force in large numbers and have also proved to be strong leaders. Though the Ministry of Defence later said that he was misquoted, the remark brought to fore the problems that women are facing in the Army.

It is worth mentioning in this regard that though women have been serving in the medical corps of the military for a long time now, it was only in 1992 that the Army began inducting women for other duties as well. But there are cases where women have had to face indifferent, if not hostile attitudes, on part of the male officers.

According to many women, the problems are evident at the training level itself. The treatment meted out to men and women cadets are conspicuously different, with women getting "softer treatment".

On the other hand, their male counterparts are of the view that considering the fact that it's only been 14-15 years since women were inducted into the armed forces, it will take time for men and women to get used to each other. "I think the military is doing fairly well. These are initial teething troubles. Suddenly, one incident is being highlighted as an example to show that women are not treated well. After all, women doctors have been serving in the military for quite a long time and there have never been any problems," pointed out Vijay Sakhuja, Former navy commander.

In an article published by the United Services Institution of India in December 2005, retired Captain Deepanjali Bakshi, an alumnus of the academy, gives significant insight into the discrepancies. According to her, special concessions are made and physical standards are lowered for women. As a result, differences in assignments and attitudes continue throughout their service.

It is worth pointing in this regard that women are only trained for 24 weeks while gentlemen cadets are trained for 44 weeks, even though they cover the same syllabus.

In addition to this, separate accommodation, physical training, weapons training and even the marches at the passing-out parade only reinforce this feeling of gender bias within the service.

"These concessions, coupled with the mostly patronizing, derisive and sometimes supporting attitudes of men result in a plethora of integration issues cropping up," pointed out Captain Deepanjali Bakshi in her article.

Like Bakshi, many women are of the view that women cadets need to be put through equal mental and physical rigours, so that they can pass out as equals. "There is an urgent need for a training programme, which will them tough and prepare them mentally to meet any challenge," said one woman officer on condition of anonymity.

All this does not mean that women at the moment are not playing a prominent role in the forces. They constitute the backbone of the Armed Forces Medical Services and the Military Nursing Service and have even risen to three-star rank. But breaking through the glass ceiling of the Combat arms doesn't even seem to be any closer to the horizon.

Unless the government does something concrete about treating women at par with men, not many women will feel encouraged enough to join the forces. And considering that the women have been contributing to the society in every field, there is no justification for women being denied the opportunity to serve the armed forces as well.

In this regard, statement of Defence Minister is a welcome sign. Insisting that there was no bias against women in the armed forces, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee has publicly said that the members of the fair sex are being encouraged to join the defence services in large numbers. He also said that as of now, no view has been taken at the "decision-making" level on the issue of creating the post of combined Defence Services.

"I can assure you (that) there is no bias against the women officers. We are proud of them (women). They are making valuable contributions and we would like to encourage them to come (into the armed forces)," he confirmed.

When asked about the issue of women being given combat role, the Defence Minister assured that it depended on the women cadets if they were willing to join combat services even when it is evident that combat services mean a harder task. According to the latest statistics there are just 918 women officers serving in non-combat roles in the 1.1 million strong Indian army.

In fact discrimination starts at the very beginning. Women are recruited only on Short-Service Commissions of five to ten years and cannot rise above the rank of a Major. And even though this period of service has now been extended to 14 years there is still no information about the 'promotions' aspect. As of now, it is yet to be seen how this women power in army is going to prove its mettle.

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Indonesian girl army military exercises

Indonesian National Army (TNI) was born in the cauldron Indonesian struggle for independence  from the threat of Dutch maintain the ambition to colonize Indonesia again through gun  violence. TNI is an organization that started the development of People's Security Agency  (BKR). Further, on October 5, 1945 became the People's Security Army (TKR), and to improve  arrangements in accordance with international military base, converted into Army of the  Republic of Indonesia (TRI).

In subsequent developments the government's efforts to improve national army went on, as she  fought and fought for the upholding of sovereignty and independence of nations. To unite the  two armed forces is TRI as the regular army and people's struggles agencies, on June 3, 1947  the President authorized the establishment of mengesyahkan with the Indonesian National Army  (TNI).

At critical moments during the War of Independence (1945-1949), the military managed to  manifest itself as a people's army, soldiers of the revolution, and the national army. As  the strength of the newborn, in addition to the TNI organize themselves, at the same time  must also face many challenges, both from within and from abroad. From within the country,  the military face-undermining undermining both the political dimension as well as military  dimensions. Political insurrection comes from communist groups who want to place the  military under their influence through the â € œPepolit, Bureau of Struggle, and the Army- Community:. While the challenges of domestic military dimension of the TNI to face an armed  uprising in some areas and the PKI in the Madiun rebellion and the Darul Islam (DI) in West  Java that could threaten national integrity. Challenges of military overseas twice to face  the Dutch Military Aggression and organizations that have more modern weapons.

Aware of the limitations of the Dutch Armed Forces in the face of aggression, the Indonesian  nation implement the People's War of the Universe in which all military forces and society  and national resources were deployed to confront the aggression. Thus, the integrity and  existence of the Republic of Indonesia has to be maintained by military power along with the  people.

In accordance with the decision of the Round Table Conference (RTC), formed in late 1949 the  Republic of Indonesia (RIS). Correspondingly, also formed the Armed Forces RIS (APRIS) which  is a joint Army and Colonial Army by the TNI as its core. In August 1950 Indonesia RIS  disbanded and returned to the form of unitary state. APRIS was renamed the Armed Forces  (APRI).

Adopted a parliamentary democratic system of government in the period 1950-1959, affecting  the lives of Army. The interference of politicians who are too far in the TNI internal  problems led to the event October 17, 1952 which resulted in a rift within the army. On the  other hand, military intervention was encouraged to get involved in political activities  with the established political parties namely Supporters of Indonesian Independence  Institute (IP-KI) who took part as a contestant in the 1955 General Election.

Period also called the Period of the Liberal Democracy is characterized also by a variety of  domestic rebellion. In 1950 some former members of the Colonial Army launched an uprising in  Bandung (Armed rebellion Ratu Adil / APRA), Andi Azis Rebellion in Makassar, Maluku and  rebellions in the South Maluku Republic (RMS). Meanwhile, DI TII West Java to expand its  influence in South Kalimantan, South Sulawesi and Aceh. In 1958 the Revolutionary Government  of the Republic of Indonesia / Universe People's Struggle (PRRI / Permesta) doing most of  the rebellions in Sumatra and North Sulawesi, which endanger the national integrity. All of  the rebellion can be crushed by the military with the strength of other national components.

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Indian army officers instruct the women village defence committee, VDC members during a training camp organized by Indian army to protect themselves and their homes from militants at Sarya village near Indo-Pak line of control about 140 KM from the Northern Indian city of Jammu, winter capital of Kashmir on 16 March, 2008. 27 women from Sarya village have been trained to use AK-47s and other heavy-duty weapons. Training of VDC members at regular interval would imbibe a sense of self-confidence and boost their confidence in dealing with an adverse situation, Indian army officer said.

Womes Cadres of VDC in Kashmir

Muneera Begam a women cadres of Village defense committee equipped with sophisticated AK-47 rifle holds position in the hilly areas of surankote in Jammu and Kashmir . The VDCs were first set up in 1994 in Doda district by the state government to combat militancy and lateron it was extended to other areas of Jammu and Kashmir .Each Village defense Committee Group consists of four to five members and is headed by a Special Police Officer, (SPO) .the VDC members are equipped with latest arms including AK-47 rifles and 303 rifles to fight militants in the respective areas .Presently there are more than 1500 VDCs operational in the state.

"I am proud to fight a Jihad [holy war] against marauders who have cheated us of our dignity and honor," says Shamima Akhter, the 30-year-old commander of this particular women's group.

"Militants who would force us to provide them shelter, food and at times to entertain them physically were harassing us physically and mentally. If we opposed them they would commit rapes or kill our family members. We wanted to confront them and the only way to do it was to acquaint ourselves with the basic functioning of guns and grenades," she added.

To avenge [the 2003 killings of militants], a Lashkar group in April 2004 attacked Kulali village and killed 14 women and children while the men were out on an operation.

Later, in June 2004, the militants executed another attack, which was repulsed by a woman, Khatoon Begum, who had learned to use a 303 Rifle from her son. Although she died in the attack her act helped save at least a dozen members of her family from Islamic guerrillas.

"Khatoon Begum's daring act lead to the foundation of all Muslim women VDC. We were supported by our husbands and fathers and thus trained ourselves in the operation of 303 rifles, SLRs, grenade throwing and other military aspects of how to react and repulse a militant attack", stated another women fighter, Shahnaz.

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