INDIA: The latest episode of Transcontinental Times’ 360° Live Talk Show featured Veteran Indian Air Force Officer-Wing, Commander Anuma Acharya. She served for 24 years in the Indian Air Force. During her tenure in the service, she emerged as an officer from the first batch of women in logistics from 1993-2017. Anuma has dedicated herself to working on a mission against fake narratives.
Progressive parents shaped Anuma’s childhood that birthed her inspiration to join Air Force
Anuma’s armed force influence chronicled from childhood; when she was three, her mother purchased her an armed force uniform. People used to see Anuma and assume that she couldn’t drive a jeep since her father insisted on making her perform things that were generally frowned upon in society. Therefore, she was exposed to all of these things through her father, but sadly, in 1989 and 1990, she lost both of them.
Outlining the motivational factor for joining the Air Force, Anuma added, “When the first advertisement for the Indian Air Force appeared in the newspaper at that time, I saw it as a service where goals could be fulfilled.” People advised me not to join these services for only five years at the time, but we were determined that this experiment had to be successful because if it were, more women would be hired as officers. As a result, the Indian Air Force now has fighter pilots, which is how it all began.”
Anuma emphasises her explanation for taking the voluntary retirement from the armed forces after 24 years of service, stating that it is prohibited to have a political orientation or engage in political activity while serving in the Air Force.
“I took voluntary retirement so that I could try my hand at politics and a decent person should come to politics primarily strengthening the structure tenor,” she added.
Veteran Indian Air Force Officer also briefly explains her experience in the struggle for a pension, remarking, “Since we didn’t have a pension before, we had to fight for it.” I thought it was time to give back to society, but absolutely through a political arena after we successfully won a court case against the government and received our pension. “
Discussing the leads to work on a mission against the fake narrative, Anuma reveals, “Everyone had a WhatsApp, and people started getting messages. I suddenly realised that certain messages start with a correct narrative. I have read Mahabharata, Ramayana, Vishnu Puran, and Shiv Puran, including a lot about our Indian mythology culture. As a result, I discovered that while the beginning is accurate, something changes in the middle. In conclusion, it has changed and is blaming some specific individuals who have genuinely made contributions to our independence.”
“So that made me pay attention to those things, and I understood there is a requirement to educate people that everything you read on WhatsApp is not news and is not the truth. I walk to the towns and villages near my home, and I explain to people the difference between real and false narratives,” she explained.
“Many misconceptions are being spread about the armed forces, leading people to believe everything that has occurred up to this point is false. This is my humble attempt to inform people that only by taking the name of the armed forces somebody doesn’t become a nationalist there is a truth behind it, and they ought to be aware of it,” she continued.
Spotlighting various issues of fake narratives, Anuma states, “We did not notice when we all fell for the trap and become victims of the false narratives. Any nation’s right-wing army served as its origin. They begin fabricating stories in which they claim that you have been a victim for a very long time and that history has been kept from you. I have observed that this stems mostly from that thinking; whenever somebody wants to have the power position, they tend to create a narrative and agenda.”
Anuma explains the Agniveer schemes
While highlighting the pros and cons of the Agniveer scheme, Anum states, “The Agniveer scheme’s sole advantage is that many people will get the chance to don a uniform for four years. Otherwise, neither the youth nor the military forces will benefit from the initiative. In actuality, our nation had a high rate of unemployment. Therefore the government struggled to create jobs in other industries. By devising this plan, they hoped to advance their nationalist narrative. It’s mostly a political choice, not a military one.”
“Our armed forces have triumphed in numerous battles thanks to their dedication and perseverance. So, different training stages produce varying levels of passion. Even if officers work for 20 years, they go through at least 5 to 6 training sessions. Similar to that, our soldiers must follow the same process. Every training programme fosters personal growth on all levels,” she added.
“Therefore, individuals who will only be there for six months will only comprehend a specific piece of the training; however, it is unclear how they will commit themselves to the organisation beyond that. After eight years, the scheme’s catastrophic damage to the armed forces will become apparent. According to the scheme, only 25% will remain after four years. But what will happen to the remaining 75%? We have to concentrate on them and their psychological impact primarily,” she continued.
Indian Air Force aspirants must focus on a determined mindset and passion for the country
While highlighting the essential qualities of joining the Air Force, Anuma emphasises two factors: a determined mindset and passion for the country and the uniform.
“Leadership, etc, all will happen when you are determined, determination plus the passion for the country and the uniform are the two factors that are essentially required. I am very passionate about even now; when I look at my Air Force people doing something, it touches my heart. So, passion is an everlasting phenomenon once an officer, always an officer,” she remarked.
Anuma addresses the Indian Air Force aspirant, quoting, “I just want to tell the aspirants that don’t feel disheartened because of whatever has happened, time will pass on but at the end of the day, the armed forces are the best services in the country if you want to make your life meaningful.”
“If you have a passion for the country, you should enlist in these services. You get all this in one package: respect, stability, acknowledgement, and confidence. The most significant thing you can do is work for your nation if you love it,” she advised.
Watch the whole interview here:
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