The agitation against the BJP regime's contentious 'Agnipath' scheme has been escalating across the country and the in the midst of tensions, two BJP leaders have played the role of fueling the outcry through their foresight of what would be the next career path of the Agniveers who are ousted from the scheme after their contract of four years.
The Agnipath scheme has been shelved as yet another contentious programme of the Modi regime and it comes with a contract-based offer to serve in the Indian Armed forces. The Union Cabinet has on June 14 approved a recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the Armed forces. The scheme is called 'Agnipath' and the youth selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers.
People from 17 to 23 years of age can enrol in the scheme. The government has claimed that the Agnipath scheme allows patriotic and motivated youth to serve in the Armed Forces for a period of four years. Several opposition leaders including Congress have said that the Agnipath scheme for recruitment in the armed forces is a cruel joke on the jobless youth in the country.
Thousands of youngsters have taken to the streets to protest against this contract-based recruitment service in the armed forces. What has begun as a demonstration in parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh has later progressed to widespread protests across the nation as the young people have been staunchly agitating against the Agnipath scheme. Last week, the Indian Railways had cancelled hundreds of trains as the protesters had damaged and torched the trains.
While the Centre has cast a committed face to roll out the scheme, the leaders of the BJP have been fueling the outcry through their peccable remarks. What's next for an Agniveer who is coming out of the armed forces without proper graduation? BJP leaders Kishan Reddy and Kailash Vijayvargiya have answers. For them, the Agniveers are destined to become drivers, electricians, barbers, or even securities at the BJP office after they serve the armed forces with pride and patriotism for four years.
Union Minister G Kishan Reddy has said that the Agniveers will be trained with the skills of drivers, electricians, washermen, and barbers. He stated that after four years, they will be helpful in these posts. Kishan Reddy's remarks had troubled the Centre as several people had slammed Reddy for vilifying the young aspirants. Reacting to Reddy's remarks, Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi said, "Armed forces will now be a training ground for skilled labour workforce for the nation such as drivers, electricians etc under the Agneepath recruitment scheme. A new achievement unlocked!."
Within hours after Reddy made his controversial career chart public, there is yet another BJP leader who further diminished the future of Agniveers by claiming that the Agniveers can be employed as the securities in the BJP office. You read it right! For the BJP leader in Madhya Pradesh, Kailash Vijayvargiya, the Agniveers are destined to become the security guards of the BJP office.
In a press conference on Sunday, Vijayvargiya said, "I will give preference to an Agniveer to hire him as security in BJP office, even you can. One of my friends hired 35-year-old retired army personnel as his security guard stating that he has faith in him. He is a soldier so I am not scared. This means a soldier is the name of self-confidence." His remarks had gone viral on social media and triggered resentment from the protesters.
Later, Vijayvargiya has twisted the tale and brought in the toolkit gang to the picture of his claim that his comments were twisted. He said that all he meant was the excellence of these soldiers will be utilized in whichever field they go to after completing their tenure. Taking to Twitter, he wrote, "Agniveers who complete their service under the Agnipath scheme will definitely be trained and committed to their duties. This excellence will be utilised in the fields they choose after completing service in the army. This was what I clearly meant."
By citing that the nation is well aware of the conspiracies of this 'toolkit gang' against the national heroes-religionists, he further said, "People associated with the toolkit gang are trying to insult the workers by distorting my statement. This would be an insult to the karmveers of the country." Vijayvargiya's statement of employing the Agniveers as security guards to the BJP office had earned sharp condemnations from the opposition leaders.
Congress leader KC Venugopal took to Twitter and wrote, "Finally, somebody from the BJP clarified all doubts on the Agnipath scheme. Our Jawans are our pride. A true patriot will never insult them." Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has slammed the BJP leader's comment and said that it is an insult to the youth and army personnel of the country. Kejriwal wrote on Twitter, "Do not disrespect the youth and army personnel of the country. The youth of our country work hard day and night to pass the physical exam and clear a test because they want to serve the country and not because they want to be a guard outside the BJP office."
Armed Forces will now be a training ground for skilled labour work force for the nation such as drivers, electricians etc under the Agneepath recruitment scheme. A new achievement unlocked!— Priyanka Chaturvedi🇮🇳 (@priyankac19) June 19, 2022
Video courtesy: @krishanKTRS pic.twitter.com/WC0hcoWuYQ
#WATCH | I will give preference to an Agniveer to hire him as security in BJP office, even you can...People have faith in armymen: BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya in Indore, Madhya Pradesh pic.twitter.com/6NQoXw2nFv— ANI (@ANI) June 19, 2022