From the Managing Editor

Brig (Retd) Rumel Dahiya was Deputy Director General at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile.
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  • From time to time, the Journal of Defence Studies has published articles on specific themes. In keeping with this tradition, the current issue dwells at length on the vital aspect of ‘Ethics and Morals in the Indian Armed Forces’. This subject has always held relevance for militaries the world over. However, with increasing information flows and awareness amongst the citizenry about their right to information vis-á-vis the state’s institutions and bureaucracy, the practice of morals and ethics in the armed forces is coming under closer scrutiny. The Indian armed forces have lost the high regard they once possessed, with a growing perception that the armed forces are going the civilian way. Yet another factor is the expanding deployment of the armed forces in aid to civil authority – particularly in counter insurgencies or counter terrorism operations during which time soldiers are exposed to the public on a day to day basis. Earlier, when soldiers were confined to well-maintained cantonments with restricted accessibility or deployed in inaccessible border areas, the public were barely exposed to them or their life. Soldiers were simply considered as the nation’s protectors whose activities where not subjected to deep scrutiny. In the present day environment when people want to know everything and there is intense competition within the media for TRPs, the armed forces have also become a part of the societal critique along with other institutions of the state. They no longer find themselves on the high pedestal reserved for the saviours of the nation; hitherto beyond reproach.

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