Chandigarh, March 10 – Even as he welcomed the Election Commission directive against use of pictures relating to defence personnel for election propaganda or campaigning, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday called for an end to politicisation of the armed forces for political gains.
Earning brownie points through politicisation of forces was as wrong as using photographs of defence personnel to take political mileage, said the Chief Minister in a statement issued here.
The EC had on Saturday issued an advisory to all national and state political parties of the country, asking them to refrain from display of
photographs of Defence personnel or photographs of functions involving Defence personnel in advertisements, or otherwise as part of their election propaganda/campaigning’.
It was good that the EC had taken note of the shameful practice of using such photographs for electoral gains, especially in the wake of the recent IAF air strikes across the LoC, said Captain Amarinder, urging political parties to desist also from any attempt to politicise the forces.
The armed forces are above all petty considerations such as caste, religion or political affiliations and need to be kept so if India is to remain an independent sovereign power, said the Chief Minister, an ex Army man himself and a strong advocate of freedom to the armed forces to handle all sensitive situations at the border as they deem fit.
Any political interference in the functioning of the forces would be highly detrimental to the security and the larger interest of the nation and its people, Capt Amarinder said.
Political control of the armed forces could have devastating effects on a country and its future, as much as interference by the forces could have on its polity, said the Chief Minister, warning the Indian political parties not to make the mistake which some other nations had done to their peril. The armed forces are a vital institution of our country and any erosion in their authority could be dangerous to the safety and security of our people, he warned.