ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Politicising the Military

Political missteps and administrative mismanagement have opened a Pandora's box.

The recent political battles over the one-rank-one-pension (OROP) demand of retired military personnel have been commented upon widely in the press, largely around issues of giving retired members of the armed forces their due and the fiscal cost of doing so. One significant aspect should have received more attention: the politicisation of the military.

One of the achievements of the Indian republic has been that its military has not been allowed to dabble in politics. The only reason why this can be counted as an achievement is because so many postcolonial states have slipped on this point, and not just in our neighbourhood. This has remained so despite the executive often involving the military in domestic political matters, particularly when politics turns violent and the writ of the state seems to fray—in the face of communal violence or insurgencies. It would be more appropriate to say that the military has remained outside domestic politics and the nation state too has had a political consensus on such a role and position of the armed forces.

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