According to a report in the Hindustan Times, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar stated that the army’s importance had diminished because the country wasn’t in battle mode for the past 40-50 years. Though Parrikar made it clear that he wasn’t endorsing war and only referring to the Army’s limited role during peace-time.
Parrikar was speaking at a seminar in Jaipur where Information and Broadcasting minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was also present.
“I have written to many chief ministers (over defence matters). Some have acted on it and at many places it (response) has ended. The primary reason for this is that we have not been to war for 40-50 years. I don’t mean to say that we should go to war. I mean to say that without war the army’s importance has diminished.”
Parrikar also said, “Two generations of officers have retired without seeing a war, but that doesn’t mean the army should not command the respect it deserves. “A country that fails to protect its army cannot progress.”