MK Faizy, National President of the Social Democratic Party of India stated that Agnitpath is a very cleverly planned training programme for the RSS workers at government cost. The decision has already ignited strong and violent protests in many parts of the country.
Almost all sensible persons including army veterans have come against this package of recruiting youths of 17.5 to 21 years for a period of 4 years providing a six-months training and terminating 75% of them at the end of 4 years with an exit package and without any pension or gratuity. Though the BJP leaders and union ministers are trying to present this as something exceptional and attractive, media reports say that the press conference held to explain the scheme “appeared to be an event to sell a concept which has been billed as a possible disaster, solely because it was the vision of an individual, the leader”.
The number of Agniveers, the tag given to the recruits of this scheme, to be recruited for 4 years is 40,000-50,000. At the end of 4 years, these youths will be released to the streets without any retirement benefits as job seekers. The government has offered to assist the ‘pensioners’ in their future employment. This offer will remain a mirage as the government has thus far failed to assist those who retired after 15 years of service. Any ministry or state has not taken in quotas allocated to them. Though Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) and State Armed Police Forces are ideal resorts for Agniveers, the Home Ministry refuses to accept them into CAPFs. Training in using weapons and the military uniform may help them to get a job as a security guard in a private security agency. The certificate issued by the service has no value in the civil street.
The military constitutes a large technical team. They cannot be trained in six months; most of the technical knowledge is gained through on-the-job training. The six-month trained personnel would be just starting to understand their roles and tasks before they are compelled to leave and seek other jobs. This scheme would enervate the quality of the military, and would only result in preparing a team of military-trained youths readily available on the streets for the fascists to effectively carry out their genocidal agenda, which is the real intention of the rulers behind this scheme, said Faizy.
Faizy urged the central government to withdraw this scheme which will lower the quality of the military and to resume the routine recruitment to the armed forces immediately.