Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday suggested that compulsory military training is needed to overcome what he called “lack of patriotism among the people.”
Speaking at a ‘Know Your Army’ fair in the state capital, Sawant said that military training will ensure patriotism is inculcated in all Indians.
“At times one feels that military training should be compulsory. If it is made compulsory, I am not saying it should be made compulsory, but if it happens, then such patriotism will be inculcated in all Indians. There is a need for this today,” Sawant said.
He said the protests across the county against the Citizenship Amendment Act were evidence of the lack of patriotism.
“When the PM passes a law in the highest forum, in Parliament, it is binding on all countrymen. It is our duty to follow the law. Today, there is a lack of patriotism among people, I feel,” Sawant also said.
Protests against the CAA which facilitates citizenship for non-Muslim refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who arrived in India before December 31, 2014, have continued to rage in various parts of the country, including in BJP-ruled states. The Opposition says the legislation is divisive, discriminatory and unconstitutional because it makes religion a test of citizenship.
A party loyalist who rose through the ranks from being an ordinary worker, a BJP youth leader with an RSS background, Sawant was chosen to succeed Manohar Parrikar as chief minister in March last year despite being among the youngest BJP legislators in the Goa Legislative Assembly.
Military service in India is entirely voluntary as opposed to certain other countries like Israel where serving a few years in the Israeli Defence Forces is a mandatory requirement.