The government unveiled Agnipath on Tuesday, June 14 — calling it a “transformative” scheme– for the recruitment of soldiers in the Army, Navy and the Air Force, largely on a four-year short-term contractual basis. Protesters are unhappy with the changes, particularly the length of service, no pension provisions for those released early, and the 17.5 to 23-year age restriction that now makes many of them ineligible. The looming question being asked is “What after four years as tour of duty?” And what for the 75 percent Agniveers who did not make the mark?
There has been a massive protest all over the country. At least 12 trains have been set on fire and over 300 others have been affected – 214 cancelled, 11 diverted and 90 did not make it to their destinations – since the protests erupted on Wednesday, according to the Railways. One youth was killed in police firing in Secunderabad.
The country is on the boil with the youth looking to a bleak future. But the government is in no mood to relent.
Vo! attempts to understand the difference between a regular Army soldier and an Agniveer.