Don't use social media for plaints, says army chief

Gen Rawat warns soldiers of action

Don't use social media for plaints, says army chief

 Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat on Sunday warned that action might be taken against soldiers for taking recourse to social media to air their grievances.

“Kuch saathi apni samasya ko rakhne ke liye social media ka sahara le rahe hai. Iska asar bahadur jawano pe padta hai jo seema par hai (a few colleagues are using social media to draw attention to their problems. It affects the soldiers guarding the border),” he said.

“Aapne jo karyawahi ki hai, aap uske liye apradhjanak bhi paaye ja sakte hain aur saza ke haqdaar bhi ho sakte hain (whatever you have done, you could be held guilty and liable for punishment),” Gen Rawat said at the Army Day function here.

The stern warning comes in the wake of a video from Lance Naik Yagya Pratap Singh, posted in 42 Infantry Brigade. “I had written an application to the prime minister in which I have said that soldiers, who act as sahayaks, should not be made to polish the shoes of officers,” he said.

Lance Naik Singh said when the prime minister’s office wrote back to his brigade asking it to investigate the matter, the brigadier pressured him.

Gen Rawat on Friday had defended the sahayak (buddy) system in the army, but went on to add that it had proposed  to do away with the sahayaks in peace stations and retain them only in field areas.

Sahayaks are ordinary soldiers doing the work of a manservant in the houses of officers in static posts like the army headquarters in Delhi. However, in infantry operations, they are a must as they provide the firing cover and can carry the wounded, in case the officer is hit by enemy bullets.

Gen Rawat had said the army proposed to replace the sahayaks by civilian servants in peace stations, and added that sahayaks should not be forced to do menial jobs at the houses of the officers.


“If he is not feeling happy doing the job, he should be let off,” the army chief had said.
Gen Rawat said proper channels were in place for jawans to register their grievances. “If they are not satisfied with the action taken, they can contact me directly,” he said.

A redressal and grievance box has been put up at the army headquarters. Similar steps will be taken at the command headquarters too.

The navy and air force had done away with the sahayak system years ago.

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