Can a Person with a Tattoo Join the Indian Army?
According to the “TATTOO POLICY FOR CANDIDATES APPEARING FOR SSB
INTERVIEW WITH PERMANENT BODY TATTOO(s)” which came into effect from May 11, 2015, it is allowed to have a tattoo but it comes with certain terms and conditions. Body inscriptions are restricted to the forearms for all individuals. However, members of tribal communities are allowed to have permanent tattoos on any part of their body. In such cases, they are required to submit three certificates for verification.
- Self Certification Certificate
- Certificate of belonging to a tribal community
- Remarks of the Commandant, Selection Centre on permanent body tattoo(s)
As mentioned by official notification of Indian army, “Candidates belonging to tribal communities/from tribal areas, as declared by the Government of India Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Orders Act/Lists (amended and modified from time to time), are permitted to have permanent body tattoos on any part of the body, as per existing customs and traditions of the said tribe to which a candidate belongs”
Allowed Body Parts for Having a Permanent Tattoo
According to the Indian Army notification, candidates with permanent body tattoos on specific body parts are eligible to join the Indian Armed Forces. However, such candidates must sign a Self Certification Certificate as part of the process. So the allowed body parts are –
- Inner face of forearms i.e. from inside of the elbow to the wrist of both the hands (area between 1-2 and 3 in picture affixed) Note:-Area between 4, 5, 6 is not permitted.
- Reverse side of the palm/back (dorsal) side of both hands (area between 2 and 3 in picture affixed).
- Though no restriction on size or type of tattoo has been specified, tattoos are only permitted on body parts as given above.
- Only small innocuous tattoos, that are not prejudicial to good order and military discipline are permitted e.g. religious symbols or names of near and dear ones etc.
Regardless of location of a tattoo on the body (permitted/not permitted), the following will fall under the category of ‘Non Permissible Tattoos’:-
- Tattoos on any other part of the body.
- A tattoo with lewd or offensive content or indecent figures.
- Tattoos that are indecent, sexist or racist, explained as follows:-
(i) Indecent tattoos are those that are grossly offensive to modesty, decency or propriety.
(ii) Sexist tattoos are those that advocate a philosophy that demeans a person based on gender.
(iii) Racist tattoos advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on race, ethnicity or region and religion.