In the past three weeks, in a series of videos that went viral, BSF Tej Bahadur Yadav exposed the conditions our soldiers have to deal with every day due to the apathy of authorities higher up the chain of command. Underfed and ill-treated, Tej Bahadur revealed the unfair treatment meted out to them by their seniors.
The BSF’s initial response had been criticised. Finally, today, the BSF took to Twitter to give detailed instructions and developments on the condition of the soldiers.
- “Starting from the lowest ﬁeld unit”, there is a chain of command.
- This approach through proper channels “is a time-tested method”.
- There are established systems of suggestion boxes if the person wishes to submit anonymously.
- Representatives of intelligence network have been directed to report instantly about the morale of the force as well as cases of indiscipline as and when they occur.
- Disciplinary action is being taken for all ranks if charges are proven to be true.
- Voicing grievances in the social media are also being dealt with strictly.
- “There have been some recent instances of venting out of grievances on the social media. Immediate note of these instances has been taken; enquiries have been ordered to probe into systemic aberrations wherever reported.”
- Senior commanding ofﬁcers are to visit units to report any discrepancies.
- Formal and informal interaction levels with jawans are to be enhanced.
- Efforts are being made to “counter wrong propaganda on social media through formal and informal social media platforms”.
The Logical Indian take
The response by the BSF this time around was comprehensive and appreciable. The fact that they have taken the soldiers’ videos seriously and initiated enquiries into the allegations is commendable. The BSF has shown that they are willing to change and evolve, which is always a good thing.
At the same time, their stance on soldiers voicing concerns on social media is extreme. While they are entirely right to counter wrong propaganda on social media, taking action against any soldier who expresses any concerns online is counter-productive. Perhaps a system where there is no curbing of soldiers’ online activity but redressal of the same and action only against false claims would be more constructive.