Representational image of female officers in Indian navy | YouTube
Representational image of women officers in the Indian Navy | YouTube
Text Size:

Women in frontline combat roles in the Indian Army is more of a romantic notion than an implementable idea, at least for now.

A fresh debate on giving command positions to women in the Army, besides combat roles and permanent commission, has been on for a while. Such has been the fervour that an online petition has been initiated.

However, this is due to the lack of understanding of issues and a utopian idea to have women in combat.

Those clamouring for permanent commission for women in the Army should read up the facts before shooting off.

Women officers have been inducted into the Army from 1993. Initially, they were brought in for five years of service under “Special Entry Scheme”, which was then converted into Short Service Commission (SSC).

In 2008, permanent commission was extended to women in streams of Judge Advocate General (JAG) and Army Education Corps.

Last year, in a landmark move, the Narendra Modi government decided to grant permanent commission to women in all ten branches where they are inducted for Short Service Commission — Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Army Air Defence, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps and Intelligence.

So, the clamour is based on a lack of understanding, given the force already provides permanent commission to women.

Also read: Women could be given command posts in Army if govt changes its mindset, says SC

Command positions

Now, about command positions. The Modi government told the Supreme Court last week that women may not be able to meet the challenges and hazards of military service due to their “psychological limitations and domestic obligations”.

It also said that male troops, who are predominantly drawn from rural backgrounds, may be unwilling to “accept” a woman commander.

Those equipped with the nuanced understanding may find this argument repulsive. However, there is no denying that this remains an issue at a pragmatic level.

Also, women occupying command positions in peace stations (since they are not in combat), will be counter-discriminatory.

Before you lose your cool and call me a male chauvinist, consider this. Male officers spend most of their time in frontline positions along the LoC in direct combat, in places like Siachen where the temperature goes below -50 degrees, and in counter-terrorism and insurgency operations in places like Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast.

After such difficult postings, away from families, officers look forward to coming back to peace stations where they can take up command positions.

Now, if these positions are given to women officers, where would the male officers go? Should they remain in hard postings? Is this not counter discriminatory to the officer, his wife, children and parents?

Also read: Apache, desi Bofors, all-women biker contingent on Bullets — the many firsts of this R-Day

Women in combat roles

Next, we come to the idea of women in combat roles — Infantry and the Armoured Corps. No matter how much you romanticise about this, it is practically impossible, especially in India.

It requires a societal change first. Even countries such as the US have only recently started inducting women in infantry combat roles.

Even in sports, women have set records while competing against women and not men because of different physical attributes and stamina.

Why I say this is because in war or operations, one cannot guarantee that women will come across only female combatants.

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was shot down last year in an aerial combat with Pakistan Air Force and captured. Imagine the outpouring of emotions nationally if this was a female pilot.

Now, please don’t say that it would not have mattered. We are a country that fell to its knees when a civilian aircraft was hijacked by terrorists, forcing us to release terrorists who continue to haunt the country with attacks after attacks, taking more lives than what was exchanged for.

In the Army, female officers are regularly deployed to the front, especially as doctors who are also sent for medical camps in Kashmir. However, extra precaution is involved to prevent their kidnapping.

Also, one is often given the example of foreign armies like the US and Israel that have female combatants. But even their forces don’t deploy women in direct infantry combat.

Also read: Army open to giving women officer litigants pension on completion of 20 years of service

How fit are women

According to the Centre for Military Readiness, since the attack on the US on 11 September 2001, a total of 149 women deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and Syria have lost their lives.

An analysis of the total death of American female soldiers lists three reasons — helicopter or aircraft crashes, Improvised Explosive Device (IED), and medical reasons.

An Army official said that deaths in IED explosions are not because of being in direct combat, but because of blasts mostly during convoy movement.

Quoting a study of the Marine Corps comparing the performance of gender-integrated and male-only infantry units in simulated combat, an article in The World Street Journal said that the all-male teams greatly outperformed the integrated teams, whether on shooting, surmounting obstacles, or evacuating casualties.

According to Marine Corps Times, in 2018, a total of 92 women were operating in a multitude of combat billets across the Corps. “Yet, only 11 enlisted women are serving today in the traditional ’03’ infantry career fields,” it said, quoting Marine Corps officials.

The report added that no woman has attempted the Basic Reconnaissance Course or Amphibious Reconnaissance Course, and there are no female snipers, according to data provided by Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

“Of the women serving in combat billets, most are in less physically demanding roles…,” according to data obtained by Marine Corps Times.

This is bound to happen given their physical limitations.

In Israel, too, women are mostly deployed in the military police and perimeter security rather than in actual combat.

In Siachen, there are posts with only four soldiers. They sleep and share the same cramped post to attend nature’s call. Can one imagine a female soldier there?

Soldiers undertake patrols that last for over 20 days at times. During this period, the men sleep and bathe together, and do the morning chores in open, often with another team keeping a watch for a possible ambush. There can be no separate arrangements for women.

One can go on and cite numerous examples. It is important to stop pushing the romantic notion of women in combat roles and start thinking from a practical point of view, keeping the reality in mind.

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism



  1. I see why people all over the world think that women are not capable of being in combat but it is simply because they don’t have a chance to prove themselves! I mean everywhere women always fight against women and not against men. How can they prove themselves when they r not given any chances! I understand women are meant to be different but there are some women out there INDIAN WOMEN who are emotionally, mentally and physically much much stronger than men. At least they should get a chance! Women are ready to work hard, leave their homes, and fit into the PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS of going to combat just for their country. We all should be happy about that women want to be in combat they want to fight the enemy but instead, they aren’t even given a chance. The law should change and let women be in combat and okay, don’t take every women in it but take the ones who have the potential and strength to be in and India is like constantly at war, like a few months back it was at a ALMOST war with China and who knows in the future it might be. So let’s just just accept it INDIA NEEDS MORE SOLDIERS then let them be women. And don’t even compare India’s army with America’s America’s land it thrice as big as India’s and they have more soldiers so we can’t compare our’s to theirs. I just wish things were different

    • first thing i want clear you indian army doesnt shortage of soldier . in india more than 14lakh active soldiers and more than 50 lakh reserved forced are ready to give their duty . yes armed forces lack officer . and second thing you talk about “giving chance “. i can also say i can beat usain bolt in 100m sprint but i could not get chance. yes women are intelligent . so army gives chances in officer rank . but due to their physical limitation they do not support aplace in combat role . please do not flow in emotion see reality

  2. I partially agree with all girls comment and I feel that women is allowed only if when they prove themselves as physically , mentally , emotionally fit as men

  3. Dear feminist Biology doesn’t care about your emotions . Men and women are meant to coexist, not to be equal.

  4. The writer comments about the Physical fitness of women, saying that women are bound to have physical limitations. All over India, women are asking for equality in armed forces, knowing that the army has strict physical requirements. Women are ready to make themselves physically fit for the PHYSICALLY demanding front line roles. But it is the ARMY not willing to accept them. Women are not asking to loosen the physical requirements. Instead, they are willing to build themselves up to fit in!!
    And about Wing Commander Abhinandan Vardhaman’s jet being shot down in Pakistan. Please wait for another 2/3 years you’ll see women fighter pilots shooting down the Pakistani aircrafts like falling stars! Now they have signed up for this knowing that they might be dead in the plane crash or worse captured! Their family members are ready for this! It is the critics like you who are not READY!

  5. writer imagination was very short, he couldnt imagine having 4 women on siachen post , doing their business in open while others keeping an eye on them….he could only imagine having 1 woman among other men….he is already prejudiced…..
    women can take their decision themselves, when they sign up for army, they know what they are getting into, let them decide if army is not for them or not…
    if it would not be workable then automatically it would die its own death….everyone deserve a chance

  6. Everyone should get one chance . nowadays female officers and soldiers are performing very nicely and second thing that we can’t compare our lady army with US and Israel army . because strength is depend on immunity and immunity changes as territory changes .
    I can’t understand that how can we judge Indian lady officer’s fitness by judging US and Israel army officers. And at last the question is if any female caught in trap of enemys then she is perfectly trained ,she can defend her ,.and chances of caught in enemy’s trap is very less . because according to the initial army record few soldiers caught by them.
    If there are no facilities on front and unsuitable for women then we can implement many facilities there .we can develop it .I like this article that Indian mens are caring about women’s safety but this is also true that female soldiers are trained and able to kill enemy now and you can’t judge our female officers and soldiers by judging the strength of other country’s females .
    Finally the point is temperature , suitable condition and all then , captain yashika tyagi was the first female officer in Indian army who posted to leh ,in temperature -25 (min) she performed her best and she performed her best in operation Vijay in kargil also And if we think about predominantly drawn from rural areas men then that’s the fault of mentality and we have to change it by counselling or giving orders.

  7. Everyone should get one chance . nowadays female officers and soldiers are performing very nicely and second thing that we can’t compare our lady army with US and Israel army . because strength is depend on immunity and immunity changes as territory changes .
    I can’t understand that how can we judge Indian lady officer’s fitness by judging US and Israel army officers. And at last the question is if any female caught in trap of enemys then she is perfectly trained ,she can defend her ,.and chances of caught in enemy’s trap is very less . because according to the initial army record few soldiers caught by them.
    If there are no facilities on front and unsuitable for women then we can implement many facilities there .we can develop it .I like this article that Indian mens are caring about women’s safety but this is also true that female soldiers are trained and able to kill enemy now and you can’t judge our female officers and soldiers by judging the strength of other country’s females .
    Finally the point is temperature , suitable condition and all then , captain yashika tyagi was the first female officer in Indian army who posted to leh ,in temperature -25 (min) she performed her best and she performed her best in operation Vijay in kargil also And if we think about predominantly drawn from rural areas men then that’s the fault of mentality and we have to change it by counselling or giving orders

  8. This is a nice article. But everything must have a start. Women and much Willing to join the combat roles and fight for their nation. If the first set of women are allowed then everything will fall into place. Let’s just give it a try. But honestly unable to take orders from a women is ridiculous. It doesn’t matter if the person giving orders is a man or a woman. A leader is a leader.

  9. Shekhar please don’t be so scared of placing my comment here. If you do well and good and if you don’t then you are no better than those you criticize so irrationally. This correspondent has brazenly lifted Maj Gen Mrinal Suman’s well argued and sound analyses in his blogs and elsewhere and presented them as his own. He should have had the decency, if not graciousness, to acknowledge Gen Suman’s original writings on the subject, which was also accepted and acted upon by the Supreme Court of India. Please be very, very careful with these articles. It would reflect negatively on your credibility. Most of the commentators here, being civilians are not aware of the basic ground realities, which army officers have to deal with on a daily basis. And they are not going to share their experiences with the likes of Shekhar Gupta or his Luytens media coterie.

  10. This correspondent has brazenly lifted Maj Gen Mrinal Suman’s well argued and sound analyses in his blogs and elsewhere and presented them as his own. He should have had the decency, if not graciousness, to acknowledge Gen Suman’s original writings on the subject, which was also accepted and acted upon by no less than the Supreme Court of India. Please be very, very careful with these articles. It would reflect negatively on your credibility. Most of the commentators here, being civilians, are not aware of the basic ground realities, which Army officers have to deal with on a daily basis. And they are not going to share their experiences with the likes of Shekhar Gupta or his Luytens media coterie.

  11. People arguing for women in combat role please see the study of U.S army on female battalian 126 female gave their name for special forces and within 2 days of equal training as men they all withdraw their names back and left the training,please read that research of U.S army all the battalion which included female were weak and non lethal exactly what our enemy would want , please getout of your strawberry world

  12. Norway’s Jegertroppen is the world’s first ALL WOMEN combat ONLY special task force deployed in Afghanistan. See their results next time we hide behind the garb of romanticism to justify our patriarchal mindsets.

    Further WASP in WWII had already been deployed in combat as early as 1943 proving their combat effectiveness, second to none.

    Not just this there are countless examples of women in combat from the truck convoy operators of Viet Cong Military Women on the Ho Chi Minh Trail which is as dangerous as the ‘male only’ Iraq life threatening convoy movements today that are under constant fire.

    This article is Misogynistic and dripping with toxic masculinity. The same mindset that the author talks about changing could probably start here.

    The numbers are not just unfair but outrightly dumbfounded to give examples of, when women percentage is only a fraction, despite this various examples of women constantly outperforming male counterparts in military.

    Follow @she.isbadass on Instagram that is working to change this negative impression about our Military Women

  13. This article is Misogynistic and dripping with toxic masculinity. The same mindset that the author talks about changing could probably start here.

    The numbers are not just unfair but outrightly dumbfounded to give examples of, when women percentage is only a fraction, despite this various examples of women constantly outperforming male counterparts in military.

    Follow she.isbadass on Instagram that is working to change this negative impression about our Military Women

  14. Lol! This is one of the most funniest article I’ve read
    Tell me this, how many women officers are there in the Army as against 13 Lakh strength of Army. It takes courage and strength to be in such environment and for your info women officers are deployed in stage 1 to 3 of High Altitude and CI/CT areas.

  15. Very disappointed by reading this….. why he is giving examples ….We should create example 1 St thing soldiers in army comes from same rural india as police constable who serves under LADY PSI AND IPS OFFICER so childish argument given by boomer.2nd what usa did what isreal did fuck off them….. there are sevral great example like kurdish and yazidi womens against ISIS America lost Afghanistan lost Vietnam won against isis only because of kurdish forces where 20 to 30 percent soldiers are women and they are fighting on front line…… even women sniper are there…..
    There is problem of malesuprimacy in armed forces mostly army….. but destiny gave chance to Kurdish and yazidi womens and they’ve provend them selves… so writer is lack of knowledge…. So I urge print that at least have some writer who have knowledge….And ak 47 rifles trigger needs only 1.3 kg of force… Women’s in my village pick more than 50 kg of brick weight having baby on back…. so major writer respectfully #### off

  16. Nice article . appreciate the respect ur giving to women.what u tell is correct and praticall.dont put women in front lines.if combat women are in danger are death the same people who are telling to given women equall opportunities will definitely scold u for putting women in front lines.
    Limit them accordingly to circumstances and psychological differences

  17. India does not have to give the example of US or Israeli armed forces and should rather set the example for them. Women must be given an equal opportunity to both serve in field postings as well peace commands. Its 2020 its time for the troops to change their mindset and start taking commands from lady officers

    • Men and women have their own individual importance in society, hence they cannot be equal. Gone are those days where it was a male dominated society. Mindset is changing ladies. No need to worry.

      Now What ever is written in the above article is perfect and factual. Women can do so many things that men cannot even think off and similar stuff applies to men.
      So why the hell we are trying to be equal. Let both the gender enjoy their in born qualities and importance.

      Just imagine if a women gets caught during combat and raped by those brutal terrorists. Can any women tolerate this situation ? Ofcourse many will say yes we can, but think practically…how much immense emotions pour in when a women is going through a rape situation in our society ? It’s horrific to even think..

      My request to all women, not to indulge in “hum sab ek hain” naara, rather than try to do something in which you are best in where the men counterparts aren’t !

      Happy Women’s Day..

      • What is this man- woman going on ? I mean, it is looking as if you are trying to prove discrimination ‘practically’. What is the difference? Now you will say some sort of study proving less physical standards and all that. But how can you be sure that each and every woman of 1,369 millions of population of India will be weak and whatever you consider her to be. Not all the women will qualify for army. Those who will meet the physical standards which we demand to be the same as men, will be recruited else they won’t. Why this weakness debate. There will be less women but each of the citizen has the right of opportunity. And when you talk of rape and sexual assaults then dude don’t forget it is the Army. They are trained here to rip their enemy’s flesh apart. And even if a situation like this arrives then women must be trained over this issue. Something can be done for everything. Moreover, gone the times of fighting with swords and rifles for days and weeks. It is the time for modern warfare where things are finished off in hours. It needs spontenous decision making ability, war tactics and swiftness.
        And what the hell is this roles you are talking about? Are they written somewhere? If so please send it here.
        There are no specified tasks or ‘stuff’ or ‘things’ you are talking about.
        What is this ‘Gender’s in born qualities’? Hhh! I would refer it to as senseless. Please do make me a list of these ‘qualities’ because I was never aware of them.

      • let women try to be equal….what is your problem?? why do you want to stop them….if you dont believe in equality , good for you, take your decisions accordingly, why you want others to stop??

    • Dear lady
      It’s not only taking or giving command are you ready to do what they do how they do and they do

    • Previous year after supreme court order of permanent commission to woman and chest thumping led ex COAS Bipin Rawat to say that than they will be judged on equal standard and exact equal opportunity was given no leniency or extra 2 chance but just 1 extra chance and are treated at par to man for woman to pass officer course what happened majority failed the tests

    • Hey women have More stamina and power than men . Ok woman should go to infantry. And this is our country’s problem . And people like you make this thing Never Happen.

  18. @ veernari…while respect your sentiments defending the case for women towards commanding roles in the Armed Forces, I would like to point out the following. Pls read through:-

    1. I totally agree with you that the issues brought out by the writer may not hold ground such as male NCOs not ready to accept orders from a women commanding officer in combat roles. But believe you me, it is the ground reality. Now you may crib about gender equality but the sensitivity of the issue at hand needs to be realised. We may start preaching but it will take some time to turn into reality. You talked about sending four women team to obviate the issue of sharing toilets. I would like to add why even ask for that. At the most hazardous post adaptability is key to survival and not the words spoken in air (I’m sure even they would freeze). Please make a trip to a tourist destination like Spiti in winters when the temperatures dip down to -30. We are talking about temperatures below -50 and you have already made the point of reservation for all women crew? There are no pre-conditions before deployments.

    2. You talked about women leading in RD parades. Come on, even a kid knows it’s for ceremonial purposes. Just because a junior women officer gets to lead an RD parade contingent it doesn’t mean she is trained to command in combat.

    3. Now coming to actually commanding in combat roles. No issues, you expect women to command in combat roles, it’s acceptable but don’t you ask for reservations here. Ask women officers to do the same amount of combat appointments as their make counterparts, no less. Don’t just expect it out of seniority (i.e. Just by putting in the years of service). If you really wish to know the ground realities then file an RTI as to how many of women officers have actually starved in borders, sailed on ships, flown fighter jets. You named Gunjan Saxena. Well, she might be one who got lucky to have participated in an operation but does one single operation make her eligible for command? What about the male counterparts who do such operations as routine?

    4. You really want too prove that women would dare equally great as male counterparts then consider this – combat operations is not just about application but about physical abilities as well. Why don’t the female tennis players don’t contest against male plates in any of the spring events? What about the party parity at such events?

    5. There are so many here who commented that women are better at handling pressure. Friends all Iv wish to say is ask an insider (armed forces personnel) about the real account and things would be clearer. This is not something to be considered at an emotional level. Think pragmatically!

    6. Also please remember that there are things that the armed forces do for publicity and goodwill. Marching in RD parade and asking a women officer to fly a jet may at times be for simply ceremonial or publicity purposes. Command and combat are completely different ball altogether.

    Again I woul urge you all to consider such other relevant issues before commenting on these issues.

  19. Conclusion of the article is that women officers will need protection from their own men as much as from the enemy.
    This may give rise to another debate in case of
    possible litigations out of such complaints as sexual harrasment- should CWC have a role or will the army courts rulings be final and binding.

    • Yes that sexual harrasment case will be a sure shot thing to happen.. not blaming women for these cases but it’s the men who will initiate things which will lead to a case on them 🙂
      Then a farse will start. Guys it will be like a familier miya-biwi type drama on the dispora.

  20. @VeerNari

    Your comments are more emotionally driven and lacks “empirical data” as sought by you from so called “male chauvinist”.

    Bring it on: I guess it’s a forum to respect each others comment and responses “tenor” need to be respectful.
    Also, wiseness comes with acceptance of logically sane viewpoints and not by enticing somebody with provocative verbal rants.

    Pragmatism is not everybody’s cup of tea especially when someone is under the influence of “utopian” believes.

    Getting the nod from SC with respect to command billets is good. But, crude facts brought out by SNEHESH ALEX PHILLIPS are true and have nowhere demeaned women’s capability.

    What a woman can do a man can’t do and same applies vice a versa. In the battle of sexes over “EQUALITY” the moot question always looses it’s sheen, which is, that men and women are wonderful creation of God and each are blessed with different powers and capabilities to make this world a happy place and not to fight amongst self. Though emancipation of women rights has been on rise, but does that mean that all men are of male oriented chauvinistic viewpoint?

    So, the question of fighting for equality then brings about the question of equality in hardships and training standards, are they same for both the genders?. The answer is a BIG NO. For this to happen grassroot level changes are required which needs, pragmatic brainstorming.

    Respectful lady please stop being a misandrist.

  21. I say give them the opportunity. Let woman gain the experience. Let us wait for the outcome. I think that is the best solution. We shouldn’t presume things because there are few incidents of POW and more of bravery. It is unjust to neglect woman from joining combat roles. Maybe its best to start with command posts and then proceed on to combat roles.

  22. We should see it from eyes of an enemy in a full fledged battle rather than feminism hypocrisy who are there just to give women “special rights”.It should be analysed from tactical and manpower point of view.

    • Serve in Defence as combetant soldier & then pass the judgement. Ok. I am an Ex-serviceman IAF. Women can fit in only in AMC(Doctors) or Education and other non- combetant roles.

  23. Feminists are UNEDUCATED FOOLS…..the fact that women are simply not genetically evolved for physical combat like men are is totally beyond their low IQ brains to comprehend. Women even have smaller brains than Men, hence why they can’t compete even in Chess.

    There is nothing more disgraceful than brainwashing girls to think they have to equal men in everything rather than focus on their own genetic advantages.

    • Brother First paragraph of yours was bit harsh to our women counterparts. But I totally agree with your second paragraph. Let us focus on our own advantages rathe then trying to be equal.

    • Please provide facts because studies have showed women more or less have the same iq of men and have had significant importance throughout history, women can take the heat and there will be women as capable as men and should be allowed to serve.

    • Even though I agree with your statements in the second paragraph ,I would like to share some facts regarding first paragraph with you with the hope that you will get your facts straights .Studies have shown that the difference in size of brain does not affect the intelligence and that there are few,if any limits to mental ability that are imposed by the biology or genetics .I would also like to point out that the only plausible reason behind the
      small number of female players in the top 100 is because of the stereotype threat people like you perpetuate .

  24. you guys have a chicken heart. I’m ashamed of u all..womens are more better then men..if women have been educating 1st men will have no place in India after all the struggle and less opportunity women could do more better then men..laws should be equal for every guys if u think u R better then women we should compete each other and rule who ever wins…

    • Yes,Every paki soldiers oft for infantry.To avoid our sisters get mutiliated they should be put in non combantant roleK

  25. The brave author of this shoddy piece – full of half-truths, fallacies and straw”man” arguments – asks the reader to not lose their cool and call him a male chauvinist. OK. Can we call him ill-informed and lacking in depth both on the subject matter and basic logical thinking instead? Also selectively citing US and Israeli examples without providing data points from the same countries that also demolish the author’s arguments is intellectually dishonest.

    1. He begins by limiting the scope of his “objections” to Army and frontline combat which he assumes wrongly to be only infantry and armor. Why bring in Wg Cdt Abhinandan of the IAF then to make your case? Say clearly you are against roles for women in all frontline combat across all three services. And then watch the R-Day parade and see women leading contingents of non-infantry and armor units that will very much be in the frontline of any modern combat. Horse, sorry Mare, has already bolted, best of luck closing that stable door.

    2. As has been pointed out by the lawyers of multiple women officers who were denied Permanent commission and approached the Courts – which ordered the Govt to grant PC, not some “voluntary” act of the Govt as falsely portrayed by the author – women have already been in combat e.g Gunjan Saxena of the IAF in Kargil and punctured these spurious arguments with real world action.

    3. Emotional appeals like nation will not be able to handle a female POW, Jawans will not be able to handle female superiors, – so what? Why should women be discriminated upon for the medieval attitudes of the author and his “nation”? Women officers give orders to male jawans even today across all three services. Again, that mare has already bolted.

    4. But, but, what about that four-man post in Siachen? How can one woman be “allowed” to share confined space with three men? Simple solution, send four women to “man” that post? Unless the idea of an all-woman post sounds absurd to you but not an all-man post? Mindsets, attitudes, superficial thinking.

    5. Let’s cut to the chase, At least now-CDS then COAS Rawat was obnoxiously honest about his reasons for not wanting women around. It’s about the sex, consensual or forced. The latter reflects very poorly on the discipline, professionalism and training of the male soldiers, so maybe they are the ones unfit for combat and need to be booted out.

    The former is a real issue, and like homosexuality “woke” militaries are still grappling with it but again why should that be a reason for denying women or LGBTQ their constitutional rights? Ironically, the military swears by the constitution and just like combat that is a REAL thing.

    6. Finally, for all those dinosaurs still screaming “But it’s about “Combat Efficacy! here’s a counter – India or any other military never suffered a reverse in a battle or a war when all-men units were fighting? To think that the outcome of a combat engagement with tens of variables impacting it, can be boiled down to ONLY the right gender is to show extreme stupidity at worst or extreme ignorance at best of modern warfighting.

    Women in frontline combat are here to stay – Period (pun very much intended!), The men who can’t handle it are free to leave the profession.

    • sorry but this emotional outburst is exactly what philip was referring to in his article. people just jump onto the wagon without giving issues a pragmatic thought.
      1. he is not doubting the leadership qualities of women but simply saying a village lad is still not mentally geared to accept orders from a woman, he is not defending this mindset but just stating a fact, however patriarchal that sounds.
      2. atleast try to be factually correct when ur raise fingers at someone else’s statements. the government had opened permanent commission for women of 10 branches even before the supreme court hearing but with a qualification of women joining after march’19. the court opened it for women eho joined before that aswell.
      3. look at all the brnaches where women give orders to men, these are all technical fields where the kevel of education of men is considerably higher than in combat branches, thus a more open mind to accept change.
      4. now about sending an all women team to “man” the siachen post, your jingoism is motivating but lacks practicality, you want to send 4 inexperienced personnel to man a crucial post? such posts are always a mix of experience n youth to keep things balanced n till the new women soldiers, who btw nobody is talking about, spend time on such posts with more experienced soldiers, who by compulsion of existing norms will be men, won’t know how to handle situations there much like their male rookie counterparts.
      5. attacking the current cds n ex coas, in the way you did shows the lack of discipline that you want others to follow. so lesser said the better.
      6. nobody claimed that men are infallible, philip is just talking about the biological differences n thus the difference in the endurance of the two soldiers.
      the problem with the wok community is their reluctance to accept their lack of experience n thus understanding of most stuff. utopia miight be idealistic yet impractical in atleast existing circumstances.
      i however believe that in the longer run these men have to be conditioned eventually to be able to accept authority of their superiors irrespective of the gender, police forces have already done that to a great extent, it’s unfortunate that the army is pussy footing around this issue, although i know they have far more to lose but they still can’t overlook the future. keeping half the population out won’t solve their problem of lack of officers.

      • Emotional straw”man” appeals by the author require similar tone and tenor of reply. There were lots of facts as well in the original response but, let’s give it another shot, and see if you get any wiser, since you claim to be “open minded”:

        1. Village lads are already accepting orders from women officers. So unless you have empirical evidence that they have not accepted orders as a general trend, hush. On the other hand, should I provide multiple examples of “village lads” mutinying in all-male units or will you Google those cases which have taken place in the Indian army and made it to the headlines but escaped attention of “urban lads” like you?
        2. You think this case directly came to Supreme Court? Bhaisahab Chronology Ko Samajhiye and read the Delhi High Court judgment of 2010 which in turn was appealed by the Centre in the SC and the political game that the GoI and the brass have been playing since then. Your ignorance is your business, none of my business.
        3. Level of education has nothing to do with being “open minded” or we would only have uneducated bigots. Also since one has an “open mind” please explain how ASC and AOC – part of those 10 branches – are “technical fields” in your view and Infantry and Armor which operate far more sophisticated hardware are not “technical” fields?
        4. When the first troops went up to establish on Siachen under Capt Sanjay Kulkarni they were all rookies as well. Ditto for the all-male chopper crews. In 2020, God forbid that 1 post out of a network of scores of posts on Siachen, many of which are mutually supporting, be manned by an all woman team – who incidentally unlike Kulkarni and his men. will have the benefit of being trained at the Siachen Battle School by “hardened” men.

        Also, if an avalanche like the one that wiped out Sonam post in 2016 happens, gender/experience/village vs urban/technical vs non technical and whatever other BS argument men would like to put forward wont make any difference.

        5. Of course when the very real issue of Sex – especially non-consensual comes up, which is a morbid reality, men in general have little to say. One was not attacking the CDS but complimenting him on his honesty, even if it was obnoxious. Shall one provide examples of serious sexual misdemeanors carried out by men ( some against fellow men) in the Indian military for which many have been court martialed? Or will the non-romantic realists have the courage to face up to the actual issues instead of camouflaging this under more “village lads” nonsense.

        6. Biological differences stopped making a critical difference in combat sometime around the end of WW1. Since you and the author are both myopic about these things while smugly sermonizing about Utopia this is really hilarious.

        Meanwhile,, the SC judgement has made this conversation moot and exposed male insecurity and pettiness for what it was in so many words. It’s a pity that there are hardly any Justice Chandrachuds in the military top brass.

        Finally, the women are prepared for the next phase of battle in the Indian military when all sorts of anecdotal and rigged “:empirical”data will be presented to undermine their performance by the “I told you so” crowd in a few years – just like what continues to this day in “woke”militaries.where too boys want to remain boys instead of becoming real men.

        Bring it on!

        • Okay , so after reading all the arguments from each side, let me clarify some points to you guys.
          1. As mentioned LOs are posted in kargil as OC and RMO in many northern ladhak borders but there is one catch in it. They aren’t on the post. All the LO are in the base (RHQ). You see when you “man” a post you are cut off for more then 3-4 months which leads to many issues. Your body performance reduces your medical conditions destabilizes, so for a all “women” post I genuinely forsee it a big problem( now please don’t compare the biological differences, I haven’t made them)
          2. Now coming to the point of taking orders, let me correct you guys. In defence forces men do take order from LO or any other army officer invariable of their gender, as the ranks take the position and not the person. So I genuinely see no problem about taking orders from LO, but here comes a catch, in a combat role like said by the author of the article, the LO has to go through many problems , firstly we don’t have any women in lower ranks like in other countries ,so doing their normal chores in open is a way of life for men, but that doesn’t come up with women , you can’t expect the same from them(nor do we recommend that). And it’s not just about post, army personal goes on LRP, AMBUSH, CAMPS in which you have to be on fields and where do you expect LO to perform her morning chores.
          3. Now CAPF do have women in combat role so their isn’t a problem with them, because
          i. The women are on lower ranks
          ii. They are structured in that manner
          So I don’t see any problem in women in combat role untill some things don’t change
          I. You can’t expect any LO to give order to a men without being present in field, till the time LO aren’t on post , LRP, and other places men won’t take orders and to do that a singlurar LO can’t be send ( cry how much you want to BUT SINGLE LO CANT BE SEND WITH MEN) so firstly women need to be introduced on lower ranks , and for that a mixed unit won’t work, a all women brigade subsequently Bn has to be set up.
          Permanent commission.
          I agree with permanent commission, I don’t see any issues in the same.
          And for the feminists and male chauvinists, stop being radical about everything both side need to understand their are some biological indifference between men and women ( I know I know women are doing way better then men and all that but I don’t want to get into that, their are some differences so let’s just keep them and stop trying to be equal) if you can reach to a conclusion without making it emotional do keep your point but just screaming won’t help. I hope “VeeeNari” ma’am your obligation to the country is not about what is right or wrong for women, it is more towards the facts and figures and reality.
          Rab rakha . And if you need any clarification on any points do comment.

          • A more logical and less patronizing comment that requires a response, Here goes:
            1. Post SC judgment, women have got command billets as well as PC. They have also got a combat role as anyone – forget having served in the fauj – who takes the trouble visiting the Indian Army’s Youtube channel and watches even a 5 minute clip about “Combat” Engineers, Army Air Defence, Arrmy Aviation et al should understand. The Fauj’s stubborn insistence that only infantry and armor are truly combat arms is part of a larger internal political struggle between different branches that predates women. Women aren’t clamoring to join that all-boys club because that last bastion will fall inevitably due to its internal contradictions.
            2. Biological difference between men and women is a reality. Distorting that to make a false argument that Biological differences are critical in modern combat and that’s why you cannot have women in combat is what women and sensible men are objecting to.
            3,. Related is the issue of “Physical standards”. These are different for different all-male units in the Indian army as well. So again this argument is deliberately muddied to bully women in debates since they have different physical abilities. Set the required standards. if women or men fail that, no problem.
            4. Whether all-women units with women officers and PBOR are better than clumsy attempts at integration, whether 80-20 is better or 20-80, is all going to be a learning process and no different from other attempts in the army at other types of integration and conversions. Change is tough and problematic, and no one knows that more than the women.
            5. Outlier examples of the Siachen type to paint a distorted picture of women being a logistical liability can be similarly countered by outlier examples of women being indispensable assets in other ops (think certain CI scenarios). Again this is a test of genuine open mindedness and understanding of modern combat in all its avatars.
            6. One notes with great interest the steering wide yet again by men of the REAL issue – Sex. Men need to start addressing behavioral problems – some attributable to biological differences – with their own gender when it comes to non-consensual sex, and start getting prepared for real problems with unit cohesion and command climate that will result with consensual sex, which is inevitable as more women join. Again these are real issues that will have to be worked through, being in denial like the author was, is what is called romanticizing a subject, women are under no illusions.

            Finally since “Rab Rakha” was invoked, this would be a good time to remind folks that the battle cry (Men scream too!) of arguably one of the fiercest Indian all-male infantry units invokes “Mahakali!”!

        • Well all said and done, why don’t women speak about the difference in physical fitness standards that are set for them in training establishments? Pls go and very for yourself, all the physical fitness tests that are conducted for women are almost half the difficulty level of the men. Why don’t women fight to get the standards of difficulty at par with men. As far I am concerned, there should be no different standards of difficulty for anyone. Men or women anyone passing the tests must be deemed fit.

    • VeerNari dunce, there are no women in frontline infantry ANYWHERE on Earth able to cope up with Men. They are a nuisance & a hindrance to the vastly superior male soldiers who now have to worry about the safety of these crackpot females.

  26. Women in combat role is a distant romantic dream for the feminists. Armed Forces already reeling under spate of accusations and counter-accusations on sexual harassment cases in peace stations, are in no situation to induct women in field postings.
    Women must get over their feminisic attitude first, but are they prepared for it yet?
    Male counterparts, superiors and juniors still keep themselves at arms length in services.
    Officers and men in combat arms rarely come across lady officers, interaction with them is even rarer. Just imagine a burly Jat taking combat instructions from a frail and delicate lady officer? This is funny to imagine.
    In India, where women argue over having separate ques at ATMs, its a long time before they be considered fit for combat roles.

    • I think you are the dumbest one to get funny things from this post…You know what at first change your mentality…Then come here and talk about feminism…It is not the part of feminism …Many hirap really want to be a part of combats….Even they don’t know the word of feminism…Why there is the point about numbers of ladies….It mag be one lady in 1000 men ..The only point is that who is eligible…It may be lady or gentleman.

  27. You are being to logical for arm chair elites
    Your life in A:C homes Are very different from people in the army

  28. Women should be ready for this if they want to be in the army with permanent commission. Also, women are recruited with less physical requirements. It is discriminatory to men. If the women are given permanent commission, the physical requirement for men should also be relaxed.

  29. I shall not call the author (Snehesh Alex Philip) a male chauvinist – but a person with a pragmatic understanding of the issue. It’s time we stopped Romanticising about Soldiering and Combat unless we want to agree on the present ethos of EQUATING SOLDIERING WITH POLICING. Before we copy-paste the Israelis or the American way of soldiering, we need to change three things – 1. It requires a societal change first. 2. We need to seriously rethink the belief that “Soldiering = Policing” or Vice Versa. No, it isn’t. The two are very different & essential functions of the state & its machinery. 3. Let’s get out the Utopian Trance that there shall never be war again. “War” will be around; Only ‘Warfare’ will change its form. The relevance of the Armed Forces of the nation, in its toughest and most masculine of Combat forms, must be protected – by those who govern the country & those who lead the Nation to future glory.

  30. Very well written. As a society we still have on the statute, a crime for outraging modesty of a woman there is no such crime for outraging the modesty of a man. Take the filthy linguistic abuses, they are all directed towards the mothers, sisters, daughters and wives never at fathers,brothers, sons and husbands.
    Whatever is politically correct does not have to be so practically.
    Many violent crimes are committed in the society against men with physical mutilation and what not, which does not lead to public outrage as it happens in the case of violence against women. So unless as a society we are ready it may be premature to think of combat roles for women.

    • Any officer captured in combat is tortured. Here bringing in society’s idea of female sexual virtue is a patriarchal argument. Physical torture is the same irrespective of gender. The whole ideology of rape being worse than death for a woman is the patriarchal wiring to keep women behind closed doors. A woman who is a victim to rape suffers beyond physical violation is because the society does that to her. By making her feel she has somehow lost her worth. Its because patriarchy holds a woman’s value in her sexual virtue alone. Stop using rape as a tool to suppress women. This is the reason why rape is recognized as a crime of power and not a crime of sex.

  31. Add to this the scenario of soldiers being captured alive. Even men are brutalized. And women? Do we want that?

Comments are closed.