The Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday said that the Army is not yet ready for women in combat roles, adding that the force, however, would take in increasing numbers of women officers in the coming years.
“Facilities for that need to be created from within and the women need to be prepared to face those kinds of hardships”
According to reports, General Rawat stated that the force is not yet ready for women in front-line combat roles. It’s important to first put in place the required facilities for the same.
He mentioned how it’s pointless comparing India’s culture to that of the West, which is much more open. “While we may be [culturally and socially] more open in our big cities, our Army personnel do not come only from big cities. Large numbers come from the rural areas where the intermingling between genders is still not there,” he said on the sidelines of the Passing Out Parade of the 135th course at the National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla.
“Considering Permanent Commission for women in the forces”
The Chief pointed out there were several other fields they’re looking at to induct women. He added that women’s roles will only increase further. He stated that the Army was considering setting up a Permanent Commission for women in the forces.
“We require continuity and permanence in certain fields and male officers do not fit the bill everywhere in a command-oriented Army. The force needs language interpreters given that military diplomacy is gaining currency. So, we are looking at women interpreters who will naturally be linguistically proficient and militarily sound,” he added.
In October, the defence ministry had announced its decision of finally inducting girls in all Sainik Schools across the country. Sainik Schools are the feeder institutions preparing future leaders of the armed forces. This historic move is being looked at as a stepping stone for entry of girls in NDA.
Now, with the General’s statement, it becomes more significant for the Army to facilitate change so women are accepted in combat roles, too. There’s still a long way to go. However, any alteration for the betterment of women and their uplift will be a new light in the direction.