Women are breaking the glass ceiling…. and it is good
They are breaking the glass ceiling in many fields and rightly so. They have shown enormous capabilities and have led from the front in many instances. In the political realm, there have been women of substance such as Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, etc and in the corporate world, we have quite a number of women who are at the helm of affairs of big corporations, steering them to greater heights. In the battlefield too, there are legends such as Laxmi Bai of Jhansi, Razia Sultan, among others.
However, when it comes to military combat, the doors are closed to them in almost all the countries, exceptions are Israel and Pakistan. On the International Women’s Day on March 8, television channels ran a debate on allowing women in combat divisions and the obvious outcome from these debates has been that the ‘acceptability mindset’ should change. An Israeli Military report indicates that female combatants display higher levels of alertness, are more knowledgeable about the use of weapons and have better shooting abilities than men.
In this issue, we have Air Marshal (Retd) Anil Chopra opining that though there are pros and cons of such a decision and all things considered, it is indeed time that women get equal opportunity, irrespective of the profession.
The military acquisition programmes in India are growing, along with it are many challenges. OEMs are keen on garnering a larger pie of the Indian market and Russia which was a favoured country till recently, has lost out in international competition. In the helicopter segment, the Russians are now reworking their strategy to recapture their stronghold. It is good for India, as it will have many options to toy with.
We have news that the Indian armed forces are considering the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey as a possible future platform. In SP’s Exclusives we have reports on how the armed forces are looking at the world’s only operational tilt-rotor aircraft as a platform for specific set of missions.
With regard to space programmes, India is in a niche club, thanks to the visionary efforts of leaders such as Indira Gandhi. Air Marshal (Retd) Anil Chopra recalls the journey of India’s space programmes and rightly states that the space programmes make us Indian proud.
In his frank and forthright column, Lt General (Retd) P.C. Katoch argues that India needs to build its deterrent capabilities, considering the volatile region we are in and both China and Pakistan getting ‘politically’ aggressive. He calls for review of the nuclear policy in light of the developments in the region.
Internally, there are issues, some of which are spawned from across the border, and the recent blasts in Hyderabad is one of them. Naxalites using modern weapons and exploiting tribals in various ways are not only disturbing the security situation, but also social structures. As mentioned in our earlier editorials, it is indeed time for us to come up with firm and comprehensive national-level policies/ actions to deal with such threats, both internal and external.