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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Members of Parliament interested in joining TA

Hindustan Times Reports

Twenty-two sitting British MPs and sons of 85 parliamentarians were killed in the First World War. Two British PMs, Herbert Henry Asquith and Andrew Bonar Law, lost their sons in the same war.

Former US Presidents Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan were all World War II veterans.Indian politicians, in contrast, have never had a military tradition. But a new breed of MPs intends to transform the stereotypical image of India’s netas, if only symbolically. Ushering in an age of ‘soldier-leaders’, six MPs are itching to shed their starched white pyjama-kurtas for olive green battle fatigues.

They want to join the Territorial Army (TA), a voluntary, part-time citizen’s army modelled on the lines of the UK territorial army.

“I grew up dreaming of becoming a soldier. You could see me in battle fatigues next year,” said Congress MP Deepender Hooda, 31, after attending a presentation on TA for MPs in the South Block on Tuesday.

An initiative to enhance the brand appeal of the reserve force by Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju, 47, more than 30 MPs across the political spectrum showed up at the Defence Ministry to figure out what it takes to be a soldier. Hooda and fellow Congress MP Naveen Jindal, 39, sought flexibility in the training schedule to encourage young guns to experience the pride of soldiering.

TA soldiers have taken part in all post-Independence wars, including Kargil. Jindal said, “I am very keen…if they reduce the training period I will join up.” The Defence Ministry is working on a proposal to grant concessions to MPs and specialists from other fields to bring them within the TA’s fold.

Major General KVS Lalhotra, who heads the TA, said, “We are sending a proposal to the Defence Ministry to create a special TA cadre.” Their annual training period is likely to be reduced from two months to 14 days. Pre-commission training will also be condensed.

The country’s youngest MP, Hamdullah Sayeed, 26, is looking forward to donning stars on his shoulder epaulets. “I went to an air force school. Joining the TA will be a natural progression.” Only males aged between 18 and 42 can join the TA. That clause put a damper on the career aspirations of Congress MP Ninong Ering, 53.

Also present were Minister of State for Water Resources Vincent Pala (41), SP’s Akhilesh Yadav (36), BJD’s Jay Panda (45), Congress’ Nilesh Rane (27), Independent member Rajeev Chandrashekhar (45), BJD’s Kalikesh Singh Deo, 34 and RJD’s Jayant Chaudhary (30).


Anonymous said...

This will be a gr8 gr8 NEWS ...if the future leaders of India, joins TA and take an inside look of functioning of our Armed Forces..all the best to all...bye

VN Gavini said...


This is really fabulous news. These leaders shall have real insight into the functioning of AF. And then the due attention would be bestowed on important issues.

This is the FIRST AND BEST STEP in right direction.


VN Gavini

Anonymous said...

Good to see MPs wanting to Join TA.. but will they serve with these units in J&K or east and other places too...

That remains a question only time will answer though the default answer appears to be "NO"

Velayudhan said...

Its a really good idea and my congrats to the youngersters who wanted to join the T A. It will give more impetus to the youngerstes to join the force. The Idea of diluting the trg schedule should not be accepted as converting them into soldiering is not an easy job and these youngesters will become TA officers witout proper trg may dilute the overall standards. So the authorities may think it over ,but a good idea motivating them join.

Col Rajinder Singh(Retd) said...

Dear Navdeep,
Good news that Politicians are joining the TA. Knowing Gen Lalotra I am sure he will make these guys go through the paces. I wonder if it will be possible for the country to be informed on the progress these gentlemen make during training. Kapil Dev had joined some time ago, people would like to know there performance and there service after training. This will be an interesting exercise and very good publicity for the army. May I request Gen Lalotra through this blog to look into this please.

Report My Signal- Shradhanjli said...

Dear Navdeep...encouraging news. Are any MPs from DMK/ AIDMK fold or from the South in TA Bn? Erolling MPs in TA will spike in some patriotic fervour amongst the Politicians.

Anonymous said...


Actually the trg schedule being followed by TA as on date is NOT in confirmity with the TA concept which aspires to cause minimum dislocation / disturbance in civil careers of TA volunteers. TA is only meant for those people who are already engaged in a proper civil profession. TA is not employemnt but national service for volunteers. Hence, truncating the annual mobilization requirement is a welcome step which would encourage more and more professionals and well placed individuals to join up. Otherwise the organization would only cater to those people who are looking for a back-door entry into the defence services.

Anonymous said...

It is an encouraging news for the country that our politicians,esp younger lot have come forward. It will definitely benefit the org. Best of luck to all!

Anonymous said...

Trust "Vijay" Sir, to come out with these ideas (Gen Lalhotra) !!!

Bet he'll really have these MP's inspired and rustle up lots of patriotism in 'em.

Way to go !


joy said...

Let me put a contrasting view. There are many postings/appointments/privileges which are sought by many officers due to their proximity to politicians and the bureaucrats. This proposed induction may help in increasing this trend of getting favours from CONTACTS. Hope, I am not sounding too pessimistic.

Pramod S Dixit said...

awesome news... few years down d line we may be having some military oriented defence ministers......... slowly this must be encouraged in the state assemblies too..

and b t w

Anonymous said...

How about our crown price Rahul Ji putting his shoulder to the wheel for a moment