Modi’s tweets acknowledging the courage and invaluable service of soldiers come amidst public discontent expressed by some jawans.

PM Modi salutes jawans sacrifices on Army day but are they really happy making themPTI photo
news Defence Sunday, January 15, 2017 - 12:53

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday tweeted his salutation to "all soldiers, veterans & their families" on the occasion of Army day. Acknowledging their "courage and invaluable service", Modi said that the sacrifices made by the Indian Army are a matter of great pride and it was because they put their lives at risk that 125 crore Indians sleep peacefully.   

Army Day is observed on January 15 each year to mark the appointment of Lt Gen (later Field Marshal) KM Cariappa, the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, in 1949.

Modi's words lauding and saluting the Army come at a time when there has been plenty of controversy surrounding the state's treatment towards them. Recently, BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav put the state and the BSF in a sticky spot when he 'exposed' the bare basic food soldiers posted in extreme conditions at the border have to make do with.

Tej Bahadur's allegations however, were rubbished by the BSF authorities. And while the latter promised an investigation into the matter, the soldier’s checkered track record (that he was an alcoholic, who needed counselling and regularly disobeyed his seniors) was referred to various times too.

Watch: BSF jawan exposes the abysmal food soldiers survive on, authorities rubbish claims

Regardless of whether Tej Bahadur's allegations are true, it appears that authorities are often oblivious to the fact that jawans aren't always happy making the "sacrifices" they are lauded for and it's something they do not want publicised.

Meanwhile, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat On Monday he also said that jawans taking to social media to express grievances will be punishable as doing so would lower the morale of other soldiers posted on the border.

Earlier on Friday, Rawat had said that instead of taking to social media, jawans could raise the matters within the management, internally. 

"Whatever complaint they should have, they can address it through the excellent grievance redressal mechanism we have. Anyone irrespective of rank and service can reach out to me directly," Rawat said, while speaking at Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi. He also assured that identity of the soldier will be protected and not made public.

 

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