brihaspati wrote:There is a certain viewpoint that presents the IA as being a fresh start post Independence, which is thereby taken to imply a complete rupture with the BIA and no continuities at all. In many senses this is perhaps true, but there are confusing and contradictory postures on this.
No one has made any such suggestion.
Au Contraire - the Indian Armed Forces on 15th August 1947 were the same people who were constituents of British Indian Armed Forces in India a day earlier. And who had fought the Japanese in Burma and under the British Flag elsewhere.
However, contrary to the line of thought pushed here about men who formed part of BIA being somehow traitorous to cause of Indian independence and associated nonsense, these men were in fact responsible for maintaining the territorial integrity of new nation state. If a 'Baba' Meher Singh was dropping supplies to BIA soldiers in Burma before 1945 and earned the sobriquet of "The Eyes of the Fourteenth Army", he was also singularly responsible for ensuring Poonch did not fall into the hand of Pakistanis or Ladakh was saved.
To cut the long story short - Men who joined the BIA before 1945 joined for many reasons. As did those who worked with British administration from ICS cadre to peons. It all boils down to the political consciousness of men in uniform. The same Britishers were not sure of the loyalty of men in BIA in 1945 if another Quit India movement was launched - which they feared would happen.
The institution of Services has stood the test of times. More so during the critical phase from 1947 to 1965. And it was that way because of the men who formed the backbone of this institution.
(1) The logic used by the GOI to prevent reabsorption of the INA surviving soldiers fit otherwise for active duty into IA - was based on formal technicalities of the BIA rules, and explicitly cited discontinuity of service, among others. As far as I know explicit orders connected to this are associated with JLN and Sardar Baldev Singh - who used adjectives like "perverse" in connection to INA. The new IA command appears not to have protested this. If there are docs which are not public which state otherwise, then I do not know.
There is material on the net to show that one of the conditions of granting independence to India which was put forth by Mountbatten was that these men will not be reabsorbed into Indian Army. Because while India was getting independence, there were many other countries which continued under British rule and he did not want their thoughts to spread. He (and British) wanted to exterminate every evidence of armed uprising against British Empire. The technicalities you site were simply tools to implement the same.
It has been further suggested that Nehru did not want such politically conscious soldiers in the army who could question political authority.
(2) The RIN uprising - those dismissed on spot after surrender - and others dismissed through court martial, in spite of formal promises otherwise given in person by JLN and Sardar Patel, were under BIA rules. These rules appeared to be valid for the "fresh start" IA so that these dismissals were not overturned after independence.
I've already written about the re-absorption bit based on what I've recently read.
As for the Army Act - The Indian Army Act of 1911 was revised and introduced in the Constituent Assembly in 1949 and became an act in 1950. Indian Army is governed by this act today. In the intervening period of 1947 to 1949, the then GOI could have cited the old rules and regulations to implement a certain agenda. Why it did so is something for them to answer. Not the Indian Army.
(4) I remember having discussions on this forum where BIA period bravery/recognitions of battlefield prowess - were remembered with pride, cited and associated with for example the Mahars. The continuity with BIA seems very much there back in the mind when it can be associated with pride and glory.
Please. You can do better than to present a twisted argument such as above about Battle Honors from pre-independence period.
Th Regimental History is an account of the conduct of a body of men who have chosen profession of arms for earning their living. The Battle Honors were earned for acts of valor and courage. Of men going beyond call of duty and putting everything on line for matter of honor. Honor of their clan(s), their brotherhood, their regiment.
The Battle Honors are the part of the legacy of a regiment - testament to the fact the forefathers of current generation fought with bravery and were true to their profession. These acts of valor are not diminished by the fact that the Regiment was under British when some of these Battle Honors were awarded. As per gallantry Award.
4th Sikh is one of the most respected regiments of the Indian Army. And very sought after by GC passing out of IMA who wants to be part of Sikh Regiment - Do you know why? Because it draws it lineage from the same unit whose 21 men in in 1897 chose to go down fighting to last man in the Battle of Saragarhi. Even today, The Sikh Regiment celebrates this day as the Regiment Day.
So, is Indian Army lesser of a nationalistic force because The Sikh Regiment considers Saragarhi as part of their marital history? The simple answer is NO. The act of valor and bravery of those 21 men is an example which every Sikh soldier is expected to imbibe. Because it the history of his forefathers in the Regiment.
(c) All the known leadership and bulk of the Indian soldiers uprisings came from the lower ranks even among the Indians. They were not led by the officer category - even to up to the mid levels then allowed at most to Indians within the BIA. None of the post independence "upper" level commanders of the IA were associated with any of the uprisings. If there are exceptions, will be most glad to be corrected.
And is that supposed to mean something?