Can Nationalism Be Measured By Height — Indian Army & The Physical Requirement

By Avani Raj-

The Indian Army has several protocols and measures to follow and abide by during the recruitment process, out of which one is to ensure good health and proper physique. Certifying the mental and physical well-being of the candidate is primarily far-reaching for tasks assigned.

Here a question arises, whether aspects like height and weight of the candidate can be overlooked during the PFT (Physical Fitness Test).

What Are The Eligibility Requirements And Tests?

The significant physical tests include eye, ENT, a trace of any previous surgery, X-ray, ultrasound, blood test, ECG, and BP. The insignificant ones are height and weight.

The case we are discussing is such wherein all tests have been licensed while only the height of the candidate is slightly lesser than the eligibility criterion (5'0'’ — 6'8'’ for males and 4'10'’ — 6'8'’ for females).

Can Height Be Overlooked?

Any and every standard can be attained with due exercise and diet sans height. The question remains why a person who has cleared all tests, has still been stamped out because his height was a little less than the required criterion.

Is Height Relevant To The Feeling Of Nationalism?

Even today, there exist many brave-hearts who are willing to serve the motherland and have no suspicion about its unconditional love and capacity to give endlessly.

The nation needs all of these men and women alike, who will not hesitate to step forward or think twice before sacrificing all benefits for the nation.

But the PFT has bound their hands along with their yearnings. The only thing that has not happened, is the crumbling of their feeling of nationalism and given a chance, they would yet again stride straight ahead in the Indian Army.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, “ Nationalism is the love for your country and willingness to defend it.”

If love and loyalty are said to be absolute, then how can one’s nationalism that is all about love and loyalty for the nation be measured by height.

Furthermore, many countries do not regard the insignificant physical attributes and urge all citizens to serve the nation under the “ Mandatory Military Enlistment” like in South Korea.

What Is MME (Mandatory Military Enlistment)?

Ever since 1965, the South Korean Government has brought about MME wherein “ All able-bodied Korean men aged between 18 and 28 are required to serve in the country’s military for about 20 months without any exemption. Women may volunteer.”

The service can be in any form — medic, educator, cook, soldier, etc.

The essence being that every individual should know and understand the dues they have to the nation and should serve in whatever way they can. This might seem quite forced, but the intention behind the initiative remains unparalleled.

Physical attributes can be overlooked, lest they are grave matters of concern.

Should India Also Initiate MME Then?

We are by no means asking or urging the government to launch Mandatory Military Enlistment Programmes.

But our focal point is such wherein every able-bodied individual (with no handicap of any kind for fear that it may threaten to be a deterrent along the way) should be allowed to enlist. Height alone should not be the cause of rejection of the candidate.

No child of the motherland should be starved of his longing to serve the nation. Neither should patriotism be underestimated simply because of the unfulfillment of any physical criterion.

Originally published at https://edtimes.in on January 15, 2021.

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