Please read the Times of India Blog.

Our armed forces could help instil discipline and civic sense in all of us
Jug Suraiya
08 October 2014
On a recent visit to the mist-clad hill station of Lansdowne, I was struck by the glaring difference between the bazaar part of the town and the army cantonment area, which is home to the Garhwal Rifles.

The bazaar, like almost all bazaars in all Indian cities and towns, is a chaotic mess of snarled traffic, garbage, potholes, and general squalor.

The cantonment area, in contrast, is a haven of orderliness and quiet, with its bungalows and barracks as neatly arrayed as soldiers on parade, its well-paved roads lined with freshly whitewashed markers, and not a scrap of litter to be seen anywhere.

There is a sharp distinction between the civilian parts of any Indian city or town and any cantonment, anywhere in the country.

While civilian India is represented by dirt, clamour, and general disorder,
the India of the defence services is the embodiment of spick-and-span cleanliness and calm efficiency.

Both are India’s, but they might be two different countries altogether, from not just their outward appearance but also from the attitude and mental make-up which creates the outer environment.

India, civilian India, has been described as a functioning anarchy, a two-word definition of which cynics might say the first word is redundant.

Defence services India, or cantonment India, on the other hand, is the embodiment of discipline and civic sense.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised to build 100 new ‘smart cities’ in the country.

This is an ambitious, some might say overly ambitious, scheme which is doomed to fail unless the PM can change the mindset of India’s civilian population.

Unless this internal change is achieved, the new cities will in no time at all become not just ‘un-smart’ in appearance and in the quality of life that they offer to residents, but downright unkempt and filthy.

There is no magic broom, not even one wielded by the new prime minister, which can overnight transform the mentality of one billion-plus people and turn them into model citizens willing and able to keep their new ‘smart cities’ in good working order.

But what if NaMo’s ‘can-do’ mantra was given a ‘cant-do’ supplement: ‘cant-do’ not as in ‘cannot do’, but ‘cant-do’ as in ‘do as cants, or cantonments do’?

How could our civilian population learn discipline and civic sense from our defence services?

One way to impart such education would be mandatory short-term conscription into the armed forces for all young adults.

A number of countries have compulsory military service, which its proponents claim helps to stiffen the backbone of national pride and integrity.

Of all our public organisations, there is none so cohesive and dedicated to national service as our collective armed forces, be it in times of war or of peace, or when national calamities strike, as in the recent floods in Kashmir when the army played a major role in relief operations.

Perhaps what civilian India needs to do to get its act in order is for its young people to be recruited into the defence services as cadets for a short-term stint of six months or a year on attaining 18 years of age.

In the early 1960s there was a scheme for making enrolment in the National Cadet Corps (NCC) a requirement for all college students. Though it was abandoned for lack of proper administration, a similar program could be started to help inculcate some of the spit-and-polish army culture into squalid civilian India. more  

View all 12 comments Below 12 comments
Deepika. I really appreciate your compliments for the Armed Forces. I being from the Army feel really proud. What you are saying is very correct. 2 Initial years of youth in the Armed Forces will do a lot of Good to the Country. Thanks and Best Regards. more  
Not only will compulsorily joining the armed forces, for a limited period of time, educate our youth about the importance of a hygienic, healthy and disciplined living, it will also instill a sense of pride, and appreciation for the freedom that we take for granted, thanks to the efforts of our freedom fighters, and the continuing efforts of our asked forces. I think the government should seriously consider this proposal. Thank you for sharing this post. more  
Thank you all very much for appreciating my post. Best Regards to you all. more  
Yesterday i visited RTO OFFICE LUCKNOW noticed very dirty area even where people are in que inside office, it may be a call for illness to many visitors. I think RTO OFFICE and nearby area should be cleaned with our joint efforts. more  
I agree with Raja sirs suggestion. I want to highlight the practise by south korean government where they mandate their students to be with their defence body and serve their nation. They cannot complete their studies without one year defence system contribution. That is the right age to train and practise values for our generations. As Raja sir told an environment need to be created like the modal modal city. It could be an expanded school environment like KV schools in such modal city. more  
Post a Comment

Related Posts



      By Jayakumar Daniel
    • Time to emulate UP CM

      The CM and the govt of UP has to be congratulated by the timely ban on Pan masala and Pan chewing as the spread off Carona virus is spreading fast by this mode. It is timely to take stock of a...

      By Prabhakarrao Yerragunta
    • How to clean your smartphone in times of covid 19

      Disinfecting wipes are fine, mostly Studies have shown everything from staph to e. Coli can thrive on your smartphone’s glass screen. COVID-19, meanwhile, can survive on surfaces f...

      By Sarita S
    • Shared this from Make Railways Better

      In India , spreading of Corona is remote because, this virus does not survive at a temperature of 27 degree and above , under bright sun rays . We are approaching for summer months and so this viru...

      By Sabyasachi Satkar
    • Coronavirus Exposures

      these circles provide excellent platform for sharing views and discussion to get to something more than I as a person know or have an opinion on. Coronavirus can get very risky and per some estimat...

      By Nikita Fernandez
    • Lets have a Coronavirus Free Holi 2020..

      As Coronavirus reaches India, it is suggested that people play dry holi. Wet Holi not only makes people susceptible to cough & cold and hence more susceptible to the virus but water as a medium onl...

      By LocalCircles Manager
    • Inputs Sought on Swachh Holi

      Holi is just a month away and last year lead by Kanchan Kukreja, members of the circle had put together a list of How to Have a Swachh Holi which is included below. Kindly share any other inputs yo...

      By LocalCircles Manager
    • Issues with State Pollution Control Boards

      State Pollution Boards and Environment departments can play a significant role in improving environment and cleanliness in our cities. With this post we would like to seek your various i...

      By LocalCircles Manager
    • ULBs shifting responsibilities

      ULBs across the country have in last 1 year started saying now that Residents and societies and colonies should process their own waste. We wont collect waste and process or manage it. ...

      By Sanjana Gupta
    • Citizen funded Garbage Collection coming

      MCGM our Mumbai Municipality is exploring new ways to boost revenue. It includes tax on garbage collection and additional levies on services such as issuing birth certificates. Collection is down 5...

      By Shailesh Deshmukh

      In continuation with the last post " Children’s lungs ...... ....." I like to give some more inputs on the need to focus the general attention . The former post elicited good and val...

      By Jayakumar Daniel
Enter your email & mobile number and we will send you the instructions

Note - The email can sometime gets delivered to the spam folder, so the instruction will be send to your mobile as well

Please select a Circle that you want people to invite to.
Invite to
(Maximum 500 email ids allowed.)