Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat is facing social media hammering for his comments on the difficulties preventing women from being given combat roles. This was after General Rawat told a website that one of the difficulties for the army would be that women in combat roles will complaint of ‘peeping’ from male soldiers.
General Rawat had told News18, “Now what will happen will be if there will be a lady officer here. Our orders are that a lady officer will get a hut in the COB, then there are orders that we have to cocoon her separately. She will say somebody is peeping, so we will have to give a sheet around her.
” If you think this, then even in Delhi, ladies tell me that people peep. I am talking about isolation situation when she has 100 jawans around her but it happens here also in Delhi.”
General Rawat also said that another problem in women being given combat roles was their pregnancy period. He said, “Ok, so now I make her a commanding officer. She is commanding a battalion. Can that lady officer be away from her duties for 6 months? Then what happens? Do I put a restriction on her to say that in that command tenure you will not be given maternity leave? If I say that, there will be ruckus created.”
Rawat’s comments evoked angry reactions from social media users as many called him regressive and embarrassment for the army. Activist Kavita Krishnan wrote, “Bipin Rawat says women can’t be given combat roles for fear they might accuse male jawans of sexual harassment, coz “even in Delhi, ladies tell me that people peep”. Like sexual harassment & pregnancy are a design flaw in women!! Regressive BS.”
User Manimugdha Sharma wrote, “My goodness! General Rawat is a major, major embarrassment! A woman officer will complain that jawans peep into her hut while she changes clothes and therefore women cannot be given combat roles, says the chief of Indian Army. My ears are red reading this.”
Another Vishnukant Sharma wrote, “Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat says women can’t be given an opportunity for combat roles because they would accuse male Jawans of peep. Right now, he is being a major embarrassment for the country.”
In February this year, The General Bipin Rawat had found himself in a spot of bother after he said that Maulana Badruddin Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front had grown faster than the BJP causing huge political controversy in India.