The army does not gloat over counter-insurgency deployment; in fact it tries to avoid it for more pressing professional reasons.
Most army personnel do not relish being posted to Kashmir or the Northeast. Distance, terrain and terror are forbidding factors, yet the Army does its job of keeping the country together and protecting the innocent majority from the cruelty, violence and depredations of the terrorists and the insurgents.
They are there because the level of violence has meant that no other instrument of the state can handle these situations.
The critical imperative is the cooperation of the state and its people with the army in preserving the integrity of the country. This cooperation has to be predicated on faith in the army as an institution and respect for the character of army personnel.
The selective and motivated clamour from some anti-India quarters for removal of the AFSPA is designed to breach the trust and cooperation between the large majority of the people and the Indian Army.
Debates, which impinge on the integrity of a country, are not encouraged anywhere in the world even in so called liberal western democracies.
Former senior officers of the Army must not allow TV channels to pit them against the most bizarre, unsavory and anti-national characters. It is like Dawood Ibrahim being pitted in a debate against the former Director General of Police, Julio Francis Ribeiro, on crime and patriotism.
The state, therefore, must restrain the media from picking up such preposterous themes. Till then, army officers need to decline invitations to such debates.
Image: An Indian army soldier (L) looks on as pedestrians pass in a forest area at Mir Takiya Khrew south of Srinagar.
RSN Singh is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research and Analysis Wing, or R&AW. The author of two books: Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and Military Factor in Pakistan, he is also Associate Editor, Indian Defence Review.The nauseating campaign against Baba Ramdev