Through the turmoil and turbulence of independent India, as casteism and religious extremism ran amok, the armed forces -- with the commitment to the uniform their only faith -- have remained a consistent beacon of hope.
But a seemingly innocuous query by the Rajendra Sachar Committee appointed by the Prime Minister's Office to find out the number of Muslims in the armed forces threatens to change the script.
The ostensible reason behind the move is to prepare a report on the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community in India. But the defence forces fear this will strike at the core of the men in uniform and introduce divisions like in the civilian world. What it will do to the army's morale is anybody's guess.
Should the Indian Army be put through such an exercise? Tell us!