oppn parties General Rawat And His Idea Of "Inappropriate Directions"

News Snippets

  • SC says it will revisit its definition of 'Hindutva' in the light of growing hate speeches
  • Indigo reduces the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra to three months after an inquiry committee finds that it was a Level 1 offense not meriting a 6-month ban
  • Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral says Delhi Police did not act on his phone call asking them to help 16 people trapped in riot-hit areas
  • AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked for murder and arson, says he is being framed
  • New HC bench allows the Delhi Police plea that the situation is no conducive to the filing of FIRs and also allows the Centre to become a party to the case
  • Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who was part of the bench that pulled up the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs against BJP leaders for hate speeches, transferred to Punjab HC
  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
oppn parties
General Rawat And His Idea Of "Inappropriate Directions"

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2019-12-27 09:24:55

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

India's armed forces have largely been apolitical. Hence, despite witnessing military dictatorships in the neighbouring countries, India has remained free of the malaise. Yet, in recent times, the trend of retired army officers joining political parties has grown. There is no harm if a retired general wishes to continue serving the country in a different capacity. But when a senior officer makes a political comment while in service, ostensibly with an eye to gain favour with those in power or even otherwise, it not only lowers the prestige of the armed forces but also holds dangerous portents for the future.

Hence it is that General Bipin Rawat's recent comments regarding protesting students need to be condemned by all right-thinking people. General Rawat is the Chief of Army Staff and a distinguished officer. He is due to retire on December 31. The grapevine has it that he is the frontrunner to be the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). Given the apolitical nature of the armed forces, it was highly inappropriate (and one is using a mild term) for General Rawat to make a comment of this nature at this time in his career. Such a remark from an army officer of his stature can never be condoned but coming at this time, it immediately opens General Rawat of trying to cull favour with the ruling dispensation. But in doing so, he has done irreparable damage to the neutral image of the armed forces.

General Rawat said, "leaders are not those 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". All Indians are pained at the arson and violence during the otherwise peaceful protests being carried out by the students and ordinary citizens. These protests have largely been apolitical in most cities and towns. General Rawat could have expressed his anguish at the same and no one would have faulted him for that. But by talking about "leaders" and "inappropriate directions" he laid himself open to charges of political comments and the reason for his comments became suspect. The government should ideally look for someone else to be the first CDS after this.