‘Senior Army officer wife slapped a Lieutenant Colonel’s junior wife during an AWWA Event when she arrived late at Chetak Officer’s Institute in Bhatinda Military Station in the presence of Army officers and Jawans. As the Army wives are not subjected to Military laws so the Army top brass were blamed of brushing aside the whole incident and the Junior officer wife filed a complaint everywhere from PMO to Ministry of Home Affairs,National Human Rights Commision, National Commision for Woman,CBI and DGP Punjab Police.’
This much is splattered across the social media,Fauji communities and Facebook Pages which are enraged with the debates. But the newspapers and mostly online websites presented it as if some kind of war going on among all (lakhs if we talk numbers) the Army Wives.
If the victim complains to National Commission for Woman then she surely is complaining as just another woman who has been harassed just like any other woman of this country and pointed to that particular lady.
It does not mean that anyone have rights to say Army is embarrassed, Army Top Brass ashamed, AWWA is not relevant etc as I gathered from few of the related articles. You can not blame entire organisation and all the ladies over two women misunderstanding or cat fights.
AWWA is one of the largest voluntary organizations in India that has charted its course for fulfilling the societal obligation through social empowerment and skill building of spouses and dependents of Army personnel since inception. It does not control individual moods and temperaments.
The people raising fingers on AWWA are mostly those who are not even aware of its functioning and set up. Some say that AWWA is not relevant in modern times and does not suit the new Army Wives.
Here are the list of things AWWA is involved with
- Vocational Training Centers (employment oriented training)
- AWWA Women’s Hostel (boarding and lodging facilities for Army daughters of all ranks)
- AWWA Shopping Complexes (Vocational commercial centers)
- Veer Nari Committee (Welfare and rehabiliation of martyr’s wife)
- Prerna Patient Welfare Committee (Cancer Support to all armed forces)
- AWWA Lunch Project (providing employment to veer naris and ex servicemen)
- Field Area Family Welfare (FAFA:happy living environments for the family of deployed personnels)
- Aahwan project (To empower war widows and differently enabled)
- Parishram AWWA(manufacture clothes to provide employment to war widows etc)
- Pateint Welfare Commitee (to provide comfortable environment to the patients in wards)
- ASHA Schools (everything for special children)
Going by the logics of so many liberated intellectuals, enlighten me who will look after these projects if Army Wives Welfare Association is banished?
If AWWA is not relevant who is looking after these projects? Do we want Chief of Army Staff and Army Headquarter to raise a new arm of Army Officers to look after these thousands of projects going in hundreds of Army cantonments all across the country? And yes, each of this projects are relevant. We do have schools,shopping complexes, VTCC centers,FAFA and ASHA schools which are looked after various units which means the work is distributed and we as a fraternity look after these projects to lead this chaos free life that we live in Army Cantonments. and of course for the benefit of the community.
This also raises another point that if all senior ladies are wearing the ranks of their husbands and also Junior ladies are not willing to work for these Welfare works and ladies meet and all the Army Wives are fighting together then who is running these AWWA welfare programs?
There is a work force of lakhs of dedicated Army Wives under the guidance of the president of Army Wives Welfare Association i.e. the first lady of Indian Army working day and night for these things which evolve us as Army Community.
So is it justified if a few people tarnish the image of Army wives over a few incidents?
As far as jobs of Army Wives are concerned who is stopping the Army wives? The AWWA? Army wives are not able to work because of frequent postings and that too mostly in rural areas but then were we not aware of the consequences and work profile when we married the men in uniform?
Yes, some stations especially peace stations are busy regarding AWWA activities but I find many women maintaining a perfect work and Army Life balance there too. Many ladies who are willing to pursue high flying careers live separately (mostly in FAFA) and pursue their dreams. Who stop them? Are there any interference from The Commanding Officer’s Wife or the AWWA?
Moral of the story there are millions of women alone in India and catfights are almost like a routine but for some media houses everything is about Army. Yes, Army life is different than Civil Life and Army officers have a different work profile full of deployments,risks,postings and what not than the civilians but we married them willingly. Now where is Army at fault? Coming back to the incident where a senior wife slapped a junior wife, I guess this is one of a kind incident in the history of Indian Army. There have been incidents among Army Wives(they are women only ) in past but physical squabble in a public event has happened for the first time. But why Army is expected to win at every front and redefine perfection all the time? Don’t we have rights to exercise human errors like other people?
Now before blaming the hierarchy or AWWA or wrapping all the Army Wives into it comfortably are we even aware of the mental status of that lady? Do we even know that if she is mentally fit and same goes for the Junior lady? The background check? The personal vendetta? and many things more? It is a very much individual thing. Army is concerned, not embarrassed. Only because it care for its employees and their families!
But we don’t know the individual background because all the newspapers and online magazines pointed towards Army Wives and blatantly blamed the hierarchy system that exist among Army Wives for this particular incident.
There are a few people who wear the ranks of their husbands and just not the rings but then there are many who don’t! It is same as an IAS wife or politician wife taking pride in their husband status. Don’t they get facilities and privileges? Why do you think young men and women work hard to grab a government job in this country? Can a clerk and District Magistrate perks be the same? Some DM’s wife would stay humble some might not do the same. Do we blame entire Bureaucracy? Why Army always? Media mean to say all wives outside live in mutual peace and so they especially target Army fraternity?
I remember Neo from Matrix movie where he fought to correct the system for two whole parts of the movie only to discover the truth that the creators attempted to create a perfect system but it collapsed each time and only an imperfect system is suppose to sustain.
I am an example of an new Army Wife too and part of the modern day Army wife fraternity. I so love this chivalrous world of Army and feel very respected.
Problem is the silence of good people. Speak up! Don’t promote negative voices and let it influence you. We are already part of a very well organised community which is a dream world for many outside. Yes, there are problems, they would always be but we can not lead an ordinary lives because we have vowed to the extraordinary men. Difference would be created if we will accept our roles and learn to deal with it by ourselves just like we do at our jobs etc.
Pictures are for representation purposes only!