A day after Army Chief General Bipin Rawat (pictured above) warned soldiers against posting grievances on social media, a video of a jawan singing of alleged problems troops face on duty has surfaced, The Hindu reported on Monday. Rawat on Sunday had said personnel posting their complaints on social media platforms could be being punished by their authorities.
The video shows a Sikh soldier singing of unsatisfactory living conditions, the “pickle on roti” given to them while superiors eat at starred hotels and restrictions on leave among other matters. “It has been 10 months now, I am not getting days off; all the tears have fallen from her eyes. One who is married to us, she feels neither married nor unmarried,” the soldier sings.
Rawat’s statement, at the Army Day parade in Delhi on January 15, had followed videos posted by soldiers and paramilitary personnel complaining about the quality of food, alleged discriminatory behaviour and poor infrastructure. “A few colleagues are using social media to draw the media’s attention to their problems. It affects the morale of the jawans and thereby the army... You can be held guilty of a crime... and get punished,” Rawat had said.
Earlier, a Lance Naik Yagya Pratap Singh had alleged that certain officers were abusing the Army’s sahayak (orderly) system to force their subordinates to “wash clothes, polish boots and walk dogs”. He said he now faced a trial before a court martial despite the PMO ordering a probe into his allegations. A nursing assistant Naik Ram Bhagat had then posted a video speaking up for a Border Security Force jawan, whose own social media post had complained about the quality of food served to troops. In another incident, a Central Reserve Police Force constable had also complained of the treatment he faced in a video.
During his first press conference on January 13, Rawat had asked soldiers to use the suggestion and grievance boxes at their bases or contact him directly to convey their grouses, instead of posting videos on social media.