Can You Join Indian Army/AF/Navy With 6 Fingers [Polydactyly]

Most of the defence aspirants have watched Lakshya and a whole generation get inspired by this cult movie. I mean whenever I watch this movie it gives me goosebumps. I remember my father coming from his unit and ordered this movie on DVD and make me and my brother sit and watch is as he felt it’s a very inspirational movie. But when I again saw it in my college days what caught me perplexed was that “Captain Karan Shergill” had two thumbs in his right hand. This condition is called as polydactyly and is a case for permanent rejection in SSB medical.

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The thing which stood out to many:

Well! The entire movie had very less to nil inaccuracies but the fingers in the hand of the Captain while saluting stood out to me and that too many others defence aspirants also. Most of us know that the actor playing the role of Captain Karan Shergill has an extra thumb in his right hand. The makers of the movie didn’t try to hide this fact or didn’t use any kind of prosthetic to cover up his extra thumb. Though showing in a movie is a totally different thing and inaccuracies do find their way in a large number but its influence can’t be neglected. There are a large number of candidates who get influenced and think it to be true but gets disappointed when they are not recommended for medicals. Their only fault is that they were misinformed and didn’t dig deep into this regard.  The defence aspirants who have a similar condition of extra growth of fingers are quite confused regarding the medical criterion of selection for officers in armed forces.

 

What is Polydactyly?

Let’s explore what exactly Polydactyly means in the medical terms and what other interpretations can be drawn from it. Polydactyly simply breaks up to form the words “many fingers” and is congenital physical mutilation in humans and animals which results in extra growth of fingers or toes. Generally, such a case of extra growth of finger does not have any negative implications or any kind of hindrances in doing the daily work. But, in the case of armed forces, it is taken very seriously and such cases are given downright permanent rejection. This means that if you will go to the SSB medicals with extra fingers or toes then it is a sure case that you will be rejected on the grounds of polydactyly.

 

The reasons were given by veterans:

The reasons which are given generally by veterans are that the military clothing and equipment, including that of the standard gear such as gloves and footwear, comes in prescribed standard sizes. It would be too expensive and will often stand out for the makers to make items for people with extra fingers and toes. Sometimes, in an operational area, you are out of your gear or you lose it somewhere and no spare is in sight then it would be difficult for a soldier to arrange for proper gear. It will be disastrous for the soldier as well as for his immediate commanding officer to tackle such an issue which could have been no issue at all. Military medicals are often pre-determined according to the operational norms which are suitable for people with a certain type of physique. That’s why you won’t find any candidate with less height, other than that of hilly terrains or with other medical issues which can’t be cured.

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Consider this example with which you will be able to relate:

Many of us, who have tried for flying branch, are aware of the fact that candidates who don’t fit in the prescribed torso and leg length are rejected for the same. Usually, the militaries across the world prefer that its members are confirmed to a set standard of physical criterion and that’s why correlated height and weight brackets are created. Anything, which is outside the functional norm, which may or may not require out of the way accommodation, is generally a case for disqualification. As already stated above that in the case of polydactyly, it would prevent that person from wearing a standard size gear in a comfortable manner. These are some of the answers which have found their way as preconceived notions in the mind of aspirants.

 

Well! A convenient solution for aspirants:

What could be the possible course of action in such a case? That’s just the question which will be lingering in your thoughts as being an armed forces aspirant you won’t back off so easily. That’s what makes us defence enthusiasts different in every domain. In the case of Polydactyly, one can go for a surgical operation to get the extra growth of finger or toe removed. In such an operation, it should be ensured that no such visible dominant scars or disability is left that can hamper the normal functioning of that body part. It is highly advisable for the aspirants to undergo such an operation with proper caution and by taking consultation of, if possible, any military associated doctor.

The above is a classic case of deformity and is a sure shot permanent rejection scenario. But, as stated it is treatable and one can join armed forces if the external growth of extra fingers or toes is eliminated completely with full functioning of the body parts.

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