The all-women Assam Rifles contingent is on its way to create a historical moment on this year’s Republic Day. For the first time, women’s wing of the Assam Rifles will march past the Rajpath, New Delhi and salute the President on January 26, 2019. Assam Rifles is the oldest paramilitary force of India.
According to The News Mill, it is the very first time that any female contingent of the Assam Rifles will participate in the Republic Day parade. The 146-women strong (including two officers) contingent is said to be comprised of Mahila Riflemen, Mahila Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and is reported to be led by Major Khushboo Kanwar of 10 Sector Assam Rifles.
All-women Assam Rifles contingent
The all-women wing of the Assam Rifles was established in 2016. Many of the recruited women have been deployed in counter-insurgency operations in the North Eastern areas. According to The News Mill, AR PRO(Defence) Colonel C Konwer has said, “This epic leap taken by the Sentinels of the North East will be registered in golden words for times, down the line for the display of women power in National Security.”
As reported by NDTV, the women contingent also has few mahila jawans, who were recruited on compassionate grounds after their family members, serving as soldiers were martyred.
Assam Rifles was established during the colonial period, in the year 1835. It is more than 150 years old and thus the oldest and the most decorated paramilitary force in India. It has grown and has developed itself over the passing years. Currently, it has been reported that the Assam Rifles Contingent has 46 battalions.
Republic Day, 2019 will mark the 70th year of the Constitution of India coming into force. The first Republic Day was celebrated in the year 1950 after the Indian Constituent Assembly decided to celebrate it on January 26 every year after India became a republic. This year the chief guest for the Republic Day will be Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, who is the fifth and the current President of South Africa.
Alongside the Assam Rifles Women Contingent march pasting for the first time, it would also be the first time that a woman officer would be leading the Army Services Corps. Moreover, the Daredevils Motorcycle Team will also include a woman officer for the first time. These initiatives of inclusion of women into important spheres of activities, which were once the sole domain of men, will give a sense of empowerment to the women.
The Logical Indian take
It is definitely a great time to be a woman. After being told for centuries together that certain jobs and roles are reserved just for women, these developments surely break this myth. It is important to note that the huge responsibility and honour bestowed upon these women have come after they proved themselves to be worthy enough to be entrusted with one. As they say, in the Army, there is no female soldier or male soldier, but just soldier, who protect the nation not deterred by the danger to their own lives.