It’s a common feeling amongst people that politicians only use the armed forces for their political gain and then quickly forget about them.
While this thinking might be true to an extent, there are also many known politicians, who before joining the political chaos were part of the armed forces and were posted on borders to serve the nation.
Here is a list of five such politicians who at one point in their life were part on the prestigious Indian Armed Forces.
Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is a retired soldier from the Indian Army, who took premature retirement from the armed forces in 2013 so as to join the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP).
While serving the Army, Rathore became a veteran shooter who won India many laurels including an Olympic Silver medal in the double trap event.
In all Rathore won India an Olympic medal, four Commonwealth Games medals, two Asian Games medals and also a World Championship medal.
Currently, he is serving as the Minister of State (MoS) for Information and Broadcasting in the Indian government since 2014.
General Vijay Kumar Singh, popularly known as VK Singh, is the first four-star general in Indian history to have joined politics after serving the country.
Gen. Singh retired from the Indian Army back in 2014 and just days later joined the BJP so as to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections.
Just months after joining BJP, Gen. Singh tasted victory and in May 2014 got appointed as the Minister of State – External Affairs and Minister of state (independent charge) for North East Region.
While Rathore and Singh moved from Army to politics, Lt. Anurag Singh Thakur, in 2016 became the first serving BJP Member of Parliament (MP) to got a regular commission in the Territorial Army.
Though he is yet to be posted at a regular commission, Thakur has not given up his post as MP and is also serving as the president of Indian cricketing board BCCI.
While majority of us know about the above three Army officers in the BJP, Congress too had its fair share of former officers.
One of the biggest names to join Congress was Squadron Leader Rajeshwar Prasad Singh Bidhuri popularly known as Rajesh Pilot.
Pilot, before joining politics had served as a pilot in the Indian Air Force and had taken an early retirement after reaching the rank of Squadron Leader.
He had left the Indian Air Force to join politics and to help his friend Rajiv Gandhi.
Pilot served over two decades in politics before being killed in a freak car accident back in the year 2000.
During this time, he held many important cabinet positions, including that of Minister for Internal Security between 1993-95.
He over the years became the face of Gujar political leaders, but his passion for flying was only reflected when he adopted the title ‘Pilot’ as his last name.
Besides Pilot, Captain Singh was another former Army man who joined Congress post retirement.
Captain Singh, is presently the sitting President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) and serves as the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
He was chosen for the position after he won 2014 Lok Sabha election as a member of Congress from Amritsar and as he had served as the Chief Minister of Punjab before that.
What must be noted, Captain Singh defeated prominent BJP leader and cabinet minister Arun Jaitley in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections so as to achieve this position.
Further, Captain Singh was in the Army not once but twice. He has initially joined the Indian Army in June 1963 after he graduated from the National Defence Academy (NDA) and the Indian Military Academy.
He though resigned from the Army in early 1965, only to rejoin in few months as once the hostilities between India and Pakistan had broken out.
Turing the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War he even served as a Captain in the Indian Army.