The Sahayak system, also known as the Buddy system, was a long-standing practice in the Indian Army. It involved assigning a soldier of lower rank to provide personal support and assistance to officers. However, it is important to note that there have been recent developments indicating a shift away from this system due to concerns about its relevance and implications.
The Sahayak system originated during the colonial era and was initially designed to cater to the needs of British officers who lacked knowledge of the local language and customs. Over time, it became ingrained in the Indian Army’s culture and continued even after India gained independence. The Sahayak was responsible for performing various non-combat tasks such as carrying weapons, maintaining uniforms, and assisting in administrative duties.
The relevance of the Sahayak system in the present day has been a subject of debate and scrutiny. Critics argue that it perpetuates a hierarchical and outdated class system within the military. It has also faced criticism for its potential to breed discrimination, harassment, and exploitation, as the assigned soldiers may be subjected to menial tasks and personal services that go beyond their duties as soldiers.
In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the need to reform the Sahayak system. Efforts have been made to reevaluate its role and eliminate any practices that infringe upon the dignity and professional growth of the soldiers involved. The Indian Army has taken steps to gradually reduce the reliance on Sahayaks and replace them with civilian support staff in non-combat roles.
The relevance of the Sahayak system in the present day has been called into question as modern armies increasingly emphasize professionalism, equality, and respect for individual rights. The focus is shifting towards building a more inclusive and egalitarian military culture that values the skills and contributions of all personnel, regardless of rank or background.
It is important to note that the Sahayak system is a complex issue with various perspectives and ongoing discussions within the Indian Army. While efforts are being made to address the concerns associated with this system, its complete abolition and replacement with alternative structures and practices are still evolving and subject to ongoing reforms.
Veterans from various states of India are protesting at Jantar Mantar, Delhi and other places in India against various anomalies and years old obselete and discriminative systems within the Indian Armed Forces. Abolition of Sahayak System is one of the most demanded issue they have represented before the defence authorities.
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