The armed forces were considered synonymous with patriotism and nationalism. Nehru took a personal and abiding interest in the creation of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) to improve the moral character of the Indian youth and for their personality development.
Parents took pride in dressing up their children in uniform. One of the most enduring photographs is of Nehru with young Rajiv and Sanjay dressed up as sailors on board an Indian naval vessel.
The armed forces were reckoned as institutions of character building.
The Indian Army, in its internal deployment, is performing the same patriotic duty in areas impacted by terrorism and insurgency, i.e. preserving the territorial integrity of India. It has been doing this at an increasingly forbidding cost. So far, 572 officers and more than 8750 troops have died since the army was committed to counter-insurgency operations.
Since the 1990s, 80,000 AK-series rifles, 63,000 hand grenades, 1300 GPMGs (General-Purpose Machine Gun), 2,000 rocket launchers, and 37,000 kg of military explosives have been captured from militants in Kashmir itself. An estimated 2000-2500 Pakistan-sponsored jihadis are active in Kashmir and some 700-800 are waiting in the launch-pads in POK.
The large number of casualties of army personnel and the enormous quantity of weapons etc. recovered from the insurgents indicate the vicious nature of the threat. It is actually a war.
It is only the Indian Army, which has ungrudgingly accepted the heavy constraints so that it can be politically labeled as terrorism and insurgency.
Heavy-caliber weapons have never been used nor airpower. Pakistani armed forces on the other hand have been using most of its available arsenal against its insurgents and so too has the NATO in Afghanistan.
Image: Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, his daughter Indira Gandhi and her sons - Rajiv and Sanjay, dressed up in sailor uniforms on a cruise to Indonesia on INS Delhi in June 1950.
Image Courtesy: Bharat Rakshak