Not enough ‘Nari Shakti’ for Combat roles

Less than two weeks ago, the whole nation celebrated ‘Naari Shakti’ at the Republic Day parade. However, the army that proudly displayed all-women contingents at the event, doesn’t seem to think that Indian women officers are ready for combat roles. The Indian Army told the Ministry of Defence and the chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, that women would not be initiated into combat roles.


According to a report by Hindustan Times, a senior defence ministry official said, “Restrictions on frontline combat deployment will continue.” This comes as a shock to most, as Army chief General Dalbir Singh hosted a reception in honour of lady officers and commended them just a day after the Republic Day. He had announced: “We are working on career progression plans for them. Their contribution is immense.”


Women in the Army Picture By: IndiaTV

Women in the Army
Picture By: IndiaTV

The same report quoted another defence officer saying, “The army is of the view that its women officers cannot be enrolled into its fighting arms like the infantry and the artillery just yet… Given the army’s involvement in counter-insurgency operations, it feels the terrain and working conditions are not conducive for women, either in the jungles of the northeast or in insurgency areas like Kashmir.”


A female officer, who doesn’t wish to be named, said: “Nari Shakti is not just about us marching on the Rajpath. We are not dolls in uniform. Don’t just pay lip service.” A few countries around the world have now started to look into introducing women in more active roles in the defence forces. Unfortunately, India will have to wait for such a day.



[Feature Picture Courtesy: Zee News India]