Pooja Thakur, Who Led Guard of Honour For US Prez Obama, Sues Indian Air Force

The Indian Armed Forces continue to be battled by women personnel who fight for equal rights as men that serve the country.

NDTV reported today that Commander Pooja Thakur had moved a petition against the Indian Air Force’s decision to deny her a full-service post.

She was the first Indian woman ever to lead the Guard of Honor when the US President Obama visited the country last year. The President in fact complimented her presence in the armed forces as being one of the best things about the country.

Thakur, joined the IAF way back in 2000 was awarded the opportunity to take up a permanent position in 2012, which she then turned down. Her lawyer states that no other opportunity has opened up ever since.

According to the IAF, permanent commissions are granted on the basis of different criterion across different cells within the IAF.

Thakur worked in the administrative section and didn’t meet the required standards. Reports suggest that these things are dealt with as individual cases especially in matters pertaining to women.

The IAF accepted its first batch of women pilots but has signed them on a short-term-contract. This means that the commissioned will serve for 14 years but will receive no benefits.

Additionally, unlike full-service commissions with men who are allowed to stay in service of the country until the age of 60; short contracts do not provide the opportunity to be promoted to top ranks. This means that the women took in by the IAF as pilots will not grow in designation and will serve the force for a limited period only.

The Indian Armed Forces have been pulled about nearly 50 times for such gender-biased discrimination; 22 of which have come from the IAF alone. Pooja’s grievance now adds one more to the list.