oppn parties Stop Politicizing the Army

News Snippets

  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
  • Searching for Rajeev Kumar, ex-CP, Kolkata Police, the CBI approaches state DGP to know about his whereabouts
  • Ferry overturns in the river Godavari in Andhra. 46 feared dead
  • Supreme Court to hear pleas on Jammu & Kashmir today
  • Ghulam Nabi Azad moves Supreme Court for ordering the government to allow him to visit his family in J&K
  • GST Council meeting to focus on leakages and evasions, expected to tighten processes, especially regarding input tax credit
  • Finance minister, citing figures for July 2019, says that industrial production and fixed investment is showing signs of revival
  • Amit Shah's comment on Hindi as the unifying language draws the ire of MK Stalin and Siddaramaiah. Stalin says the country is India not Hindia
  • On Hindi Diwas today, Amit Shah says use of mother language must be increased but Hindi should be adopted as the common language of the country
  • Pakistan raises white flag on LoC to claim bodies of dead soldiers
  • India beat Bangladesh by 5 runs to lift the U-19 Asia Cup
  • A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court will examine the amendments to the SC/ST act made after an apex court order that 'diluted' the provisions and which were reinstatd by the amendment
  • Delhi government decides to re-implement the odd-even system of traffic management from November 4 to 15
  • UP to discontinue law that allows the state government to pay the income tax dues of ministers
  • Anand Sharma of the Congress to replace P Chidambaram on the parliamentary committee on home affairs
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
oppn parties
Stop Politicizing the Army

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
A needless controversy has been raised over the appointment of Lt. General Bipin Rawat as the next Chief of Army Staff. It has been claimed that giving seniority a go-by, the government has superseded several officers to appoint Lt. Gen. Rawat. Some have even claimed that this was done in order to avoid appointing a Muslim, Lt. Gen. P M Hariz as chief in the near future. This just shows people will stoop to any level to criticize any decision of the NDA government.

Supersession of officers is nothing new in the armed forces (read an excellent article, Supersession in forces not new: Why the fuss? by Abhijit Bhattacharya, on the subject in Deccan Chronicle). All previous governments have done it. Seniority basis of appointment is flawed. At any given time, there are several officers in the armed forces who are of the same rank. They might be separated by some months in their order of joining, but in combat experience, valour and merit, they are almost at par. It is the prerogative of the government to choose the army chief from within this pool. If the government has now decided that Lt. Gen Rawat fits the bill perfectly in the present circumstances, it must have taken the decision with due care and deliberations. It borders on pettiness to question the motives of the government in this regard.

What is even more disgusting is how some people have chosen to add a communal colour to the controversy. To say that the government has elevated Lt. Gen. Rawat only because it did not want Lt. Gen Hariz as the army chief some months from now is to impute a nefarious motive to it. No government of a secular democratic country that has a free and vibrant media and other institutional checks is capable of doing things like that on a regular basis. People with an agenda against the government should leave the armed forces alone. Otherwise, one of the very few professional and disciplined institutions we have in our country will also be brought into the mainstream of the corrupt and politicized. That will be a very sad and dangerous day for the nation.