Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat has made extraordinary political comments by speaking the ruling party’s language while criticising the ongoing protests against the amended Citizenship Act. As expected, General Rawat is now facing widerspread condemnation for destroying the integrity of the Indian army.
Speaking at an event in Delhi, General Rawat said, “Leadership is all about leading. Therefore, what’s so complex about leadership if it’s all about leading? Because when you move forward, everybody follows. It’s not that simple. It appears simple but it’s a very complex phenomenon….But leaders are those who lead people in the right direction. Leaders are not those people who lead people in inappropriate directions, as we are witnessing in a large number of university and college students, the way they are leading masses of crowds to carry out arson and violence in our cities and towns. This is not leadership.”
#WATCH Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat: Leaders are not those who lead ppl in inappropriate direction. As we are witnessing in large number of universities&colleges,students the way they are leading masses&crowds to carry out arson&violence in cities & towns. This is not leadership. pic.twitter.com/iIM6fwntSC
— ANI (@ANI) December 26, 2019
Rawat is due to retire on 31 December but his political comments while still in uniform have evoked angry reactions from everyone including opposition parties. Many felt that Rawat’s political comments conclusively proved that the Indian army was no longer an impartial institution.
Reacting to Rawat’s comments, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi told news agency ANI, “His statement undermines the Modi government. Our Prime Minister writes on his website that as a student he participated in protest during emergency. Then, according to Army Chief’s statement that was also wrong.”
Congress MP Manish Tewari tweeted, “Since when have Army Chief’s started commenting about internal affairs .It undermines Civil-Military Relations whose cornerstone is that Armed Forces neither comment or interfere in domestic politics. This has been our singular success going back to 1947.”
Rawat was made the Indian army chief out of turn after the Indian government ignored the seniority of several officers.
This is not the first time Rawat has disgraced his uniform by making political remarks. In February last year, Rawat had said that Maulana Badruddin Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) in Assam had grown faster than the BJP.