Agnipath scheme, in spite of its popular Bollywood title and its hyped launch, has set the Indian youth on fire against the government within a day of its launch. In the present environment of economic uncertainty, the young Indians are instigated with the scheme announced by our prime minister, as it shrinks their job opportunity in the defense forces further. The ‘hire and fire’ logic of cost cutting will not only hurt the careers in the army, but it will also reduce the professional competency of the defense forces in the long run. While all this is discussed by defense experts, one must explore another side of this scheme, that it makes thousands of trained ‘Agniveers’ -75% recruits who lose their jobs after four years contract is over – simply unemployed. Government is saying that they can be absorbed in the state police force or other professional security requirements, but that can turn out to be a half truth. Most of them are more likely to be absorbed as private security guards by agencies out to exploit them. One dangerous prospect is – they will become easy recruits for political ideologies that believe in violence, to be used in the capacity of foot soldiers.
by Harshavardhan Purandare and Sandeep Pandey