Women are break­ing the glass ceil­ing…. and it is good

SP's MAI - - EDITOR’S DESK - Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Ed­i­tor-in-Chief

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.

Happy read­ing!

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