Rajnath hails Indira Gandhi: ‘Led country in times of war’

Citing examples of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and former President Pratibha Patil, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke of girls empowerment in India on the inaugural session of a world seminar on the ‘Role of Women in the Armed Forces’, organised by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Thursday.

The SCO is a Eurasian political, financial and safety alliance headquartered out of Beijing. Addressing the nations attending the worldwide seminar, Singh mentioned, “India’s former Prime Minister, Shrimati Indira Gandhi not only led the country for a number of years, she also did so during times of war. And more recently, Shrimati Pratibha Patil was the President of India and the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces.”

Singh additional introduced that from subsequent 12 months, girls shall be capable to be a part of the National Defence Academy, “India’s premier tri-service pre-commissioning training institute”.

“India remains deeply committed to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and its charter. We have long-standing and natural linkages throughout history to all the countries in this unique grouping. Our shared culture, ethnic, civilisational and geographical past has only been reinforced by our warm relationships and close ties. I have no doubt that this augurs well for a mutually-fulfilling relationship in the future,” mentioned Singh.

He added, “Our future is in our hands. It is for the SCO nations to ensure regional stability, promote peace, ensure gender-equality and work towards betterment of the entire region. We look forward to much greater participation and a bigger role of women in various tasks of the Armed Forces.”

“The changing character of war is bringing threats from our borders to within our society and amongst the people. Terrorism is just the most obvious and diabolical manifestation of this reality…It has been employed as a weapon of choice by non-state actors and irresponsible states alike for the furtherance of their political objectives. SCO as an organisation has unequivocally rejected terrorism in all its manifestations and forms,” mentioned the Defence Minister.

Singh additional mentioned that the function of girls in historical Indian literature has by no means been confined by gender stereotypes and that this literature is “replete” with examples that reinforce equality and feminism.

“It therefore comes as no surprise that a number of women have reached the rank of Lieutenant General and equivalent within the Indian Armed Forces, leading their men and women under the most challenging conditions. The Indian Army had commenced commissioning women officers in 1992. It has now moved to inducting women officers in most of the branches of the Army. Women are now being accepted for permanent commission and shall be commanding Army units and battalions in the near future. The induction of women in Military Police has commenced last year, marking a major milestone wherein women are inducted in the rank and file of Army Officer Training Academy (OTA) has 30 years of institutional knowledge in training women and conducts regular training as well as refresher courses for women officers from friendly foreign countries. I look forward to seeing women officers from SCO nations in OTA in Chennai,” he mentioned.

Singh additional mentioned that from collaborating in Air Traffic Control in 1993, girls Navy officers graduated to being pilots of Maritime Reconnaissance plane in 2016 and at the moment are appointed onboard warships from 2020. The Indian Coast Guard has been using girls officers in fight roles which incorporates pilots, observers and aviation help companies. In the Indian Air Force, girls are inducted in all roles, together with fight and help roles. Indian girls officers have additionally been repeatedly collaborating in United Nations missions.

“In 2007, India created history by deploying the first ever all-female Formed Police Unit for UN Peacekeeping in Liberia. In 2019, India again deployed a Female Engagement Team in the Democratic Republic of Congo that played a critical role in peacekeeping and inspiring women in local communities. Our approach to the induction of women in the police, central police, paramilitary and armed forces has been progressive. We have taken the evolutionary path of moving from support to combat support and thereafter to combat arms within the armed force,” he mentioned.


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