Must make short term military training compulsory

Way back in May 1979 I attended the 42nd Summer Military Training Course of 31 days at Bhonsala Military School at Nashik. I remember even today the Commandant ( Principal) of that school Maj. ( Retd) P B Kulkarni, an Indo-Pak war veteran. I also remember my Platoon commander who hailed from an army unit in Garhwal and his strict training.

While in school, I had a strong desire to join the Armed Forces. However just after undergoing a week of the highly rigorous training, I was convinced that my actual passion was academics ! (‘’Yeh to aapne bus ki baat hi nahi !‘’)

But, I think those 31 days of some form of military services training was one of the most important lesson in life: Discipline. Without discipline, you are not going anywhere in life. Without discipline and commitment, you cannot achieve your goals, or even gain respect. Without being disciplined and committed , you cannot even help your own family, forget doing something remarkable at work or business. ( Nation building “Toh Duur ki baat Hai !” )

I remember getting trained in so many aspects of basic military training including rifle shooting, horse riding, many games like hockey and basketball and most importantly a rigorous confirmation to timing. A five minute delay to “fall in” at the 6.00 am drill, and you would be taking one big round of a football ground with a dummy 5 kilo rifle raised above your head with both hands.

I think it’s time we made this type of training compulsory. May be we cannot make an in-plant military training compulsory due to our huge population, but we need to have many such schools set up close to and within certain army establishments. I am sure such a training at a young age could be better than any internships anywhere or a so called leadership course at any management institute.

Just an inkling of what military life is, will possibly start the ball rolling in terms of discipline, commitment, leadership skills, nation building and respect for the Armed forces. Courage is another thing that results from such courses. May be discipline in studies as well. May be all persons will not be required to fight militants and criminals but, at least some can challenge wrong elements and wrong goings in society and in work places with the courage gained.

Some of the basic improvements as examples would be adherence to time, proper road manners and overall ethics and cleanliness standards, lesser corruption, lesser politics and respect to the Army and the country’s security.

It is high time we move from repeated studies of same stuff at school level through learning Apps and classes and move to some time on physical army training for all below 30, as no App can replace this type of training.

We have many Sainik Schools imparting long term education focused on training for joining military, police and para military services, but a short term 3 month course ( located in and around military establishments ) are now the need of the hour to train as many youngsters as possible . The trainers could easily be drawn from retired military officers or could be on deputation from Army units just as it was in Bhonsala Military School.

Bhonsala Military School was a pioneer started in 1937, but the movement was lost or never taken forward . However, better late than never. Maybe we really did not need it earlier, but we need it really now from an future perspective. Time to seriously think about it.

Written by Dinesh Bandiwadekar 9619545460 /

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