In the past few days, in a series of videos that went viral, BSF (29th battalion Seema Suraksha Bal) 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.
Tej Bahadur is currently deployed along the India-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir.
In response to the videos, the Border Security Force (BSF) said that Tej Bahadur’s claims couldn’t be taken seriously as he has had a “difficult past” and that he needed regular counselling.
“Different correction mechanics have been applied as he was a habitual offender of absenteeism without permission, chronic alcoholism, misbehaving and using force with superior officers and certain other acts against good order and discipline,” the BSF said in a statement. The BSF also ordered a “fair and transparent” probe.
BSF’s Twitter handle @BSF_India stated that “BSF is highly sensitive to the welfare of tps. Individual aberrations, if any, are enquired into. A senior officer has already rchd the location”.
BSF is highly sensitive to the welfare of tps.Individual aberrations,if any,are enquired into.A senior officer has already rchd the location https://t.co/3fH7qZdV5P
— BSF (@BSF_India) January 9, 2017
Similarly, Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted saying that he had asked BSF to take “immediate action” and submit a report.
I have seen a video regarding a BSF jawan's plight. I have asked the HS to immediately seek a report from the BSF & take appropriate action.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) January 9, 2017
Meanwhile, Tej Bahadur told India Today that his duty had been changed and that he was being pressured by his commander to take down the videos. He said, “I am not afraid of losing my job … I have shown what the reality is at the post … If soldiers [are] benefited because of me, then I am ready to fight.”
The Logical Indian’s take:
“Ad hominem” is a widely practised logical fallacy. It involves cases where a person attacks another person’s character or personality rather than attack their argument. We see it happening every day, everywhere – especially on social media. It involves cases where a post or argument is rebuked not by logic or a counter-argument, but by attacking the person itself, or their family, their physical features, or some other attribute of the individual.
The BSF’s reply is ad hominem.
They neither addressed the issues raised by Tej Bahadur nor attempted to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Instead, they questioned his motives and character. They claimed that he was full of vices, accused him of indiscipline, and alleged claims that point to mental instability.
Did the BSF treat Tej Bahadur with the respect a soldier deserves? No.
There have been instances where our Forces were found under-equipped. Less than six months ago, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India criticised the Army management for not providing enough fruits and vegetables for our soldiers. The report by the CAG also pointed to the very low level of troop satisfaction regarding the quantity, quality and the taste of ration, including low quality of meat and fresh vegetables.
Accepting that there is a problem is the first step to solving a problem. If the BSF resorts to attacking the character of a soldier instead of addressing the issues they raised, it sets a trollish precedent for their peers. Eventually, it will be counter-productive for all our troops.
The Logical Indian community requests the BSF management not to resort to troll behaviour. If Tej Bahadur’s claims are baseless or untrue or an individual occurrence, the BSF can simply counter his claims by presenting the public with statistics regarding the supply and distribution of food in the Force. That is a constructive way of dealing with criticism; questioning the person’s character or motive or mental health is immature and demotivating.
The authorities should address the issues raised instead of attacking the character of Tej Bahadur Yadav.