Major General GD Bakshi has found himself in deep trouble after a student from the IIT-Madras complained to the institute’s director accusing the RSS leaning former army officer of hate speech.
Student Abhinav Surya, who was present in the lecture by Major General GD Bakshi, alleged that the latter had even insulted the freedom fighters.
Surya’s latter, according to India Today, stated, “The speaker made the utmost insulting comment when he mocked our freedom movement and made fun of it. According to him, only Indians in Indian army got us freedom and whatever everyone else was doing in the name of ‘Ahimsa’ was nonsense!”
This is not the first time, Bakshi, known for his right-wing stand, has insulted the freedom fighters. In February this year, we had exclusively reported how Gen Bakshi had mocked the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi.
Not so long ago, Bakshi had written a very emotive blog saying that ‘Only soldiers like us are stupid enough to become extreme nationalists.’
You can read Surya’s letter below
I am writing this letter to you with a bleeding heart, worried about the recent EML lecture by Mr GD Bakshi on 11th Aug, 2016. I am still not able to digest the fact that the institute has given a platform to such a speech filled with hatred, instigating violence among the students. A lecture that was heavily loaded with brewing enmity, inhumanity and glorification of brutality.
I hope that EML team would present to you the video recording of the lecture. I request you to kindly watch it so that it’ll be clear that this is not an empty accusation. The speaker was constantly making direct and indirect comments that were instilling a sense utter disrespect for human life and a deep-rooted sense of hatred and enmity towards the people of our neighboring countries. Right from when he glorified the ‘skull-smashing elephants’ of ancient India to him saying, and I quote, “Fight Pakistan. That will strengthen the unity!”, the lecture was designed to foster irrational jingoism.
The level of hatred in his speech was going out of proportions when he said, and I quote, “In our generation, we split Pakistan into 2. Your generation should split it into 4. Only then we can live in peace!”.
And later he went on to glorify nuclear weaponry and justified the usage of it. At this point, I am ignoring other horrendous comments made about justification of usage of metal pellets against civilians in Kashmir (which has been severely criticized by several human rights organisations including Amnesty International), misrepresentation of facts regarding the history, unscientific claims by quoting mythology as facts, glorification of lighting cities up on fire, expression of clear-cut affiliation to a particular political party, etc., which may be considered as politically debatable topics).
The underlying implication behind his constant call to “give tit-for-tat” was for calling out students to take up violent aggressiveness as their strategy (This might even be the reason for the violent behavior of few students in the hall who were intimidating the students who were trying to question the speaker).
The speaker made the utmost insulting comment when he mocked our freedom movement and made fun of it. According to him, only Indians in Indian army got us freedom and whatever everyone else was doing in the name of ‘Ahimsa’ was nonsense!
This is a complete insult to the lakhs and lakhs of masses who fought bravely against the British imperialism. I am unable to imagine the fact that we, IIT Madras, gave the speaker a platform to make such insulting comments about our freedom movement, especially in the name of “Special Independence Day Lecture”. If this does not show shame IITM in a bad light, then I don’t know what else does!
At this point, I may be brushed aside as a person with certain political affiliations who cannot tolerate contesting views. But let me make it clear that I have not been so seriously concerned in the past about several other lectures with contents contesting my views. But this is not a mere speech with contesting views, but a dangerous hate speech! Anyone who loves humanity, anyone who loves people and not symbols, anyone who wants to eliminate hate and spread love would have cried at the level of hate mongering in the lecture!
As much as I want freedom of expression to be upheld, I am seriously concerned, as a student of IIT Madras about the peace and harmony among various students of IIT Madras. I hope necessary actions will be taken.