oppn parties Stop Politicizing the Army

News Snippets

  • Amit Shah says the government will identify and deport illegal immigrants from all parts of the country
  • Reports from Pakistan confirm that Hafiz Saeed has been arrested and sent to jail
  • After the SC order, Karnataka Speaker says he will go by the Constitution in deciding on the resignations of the 16 MLAs
  • Rebel MLAs say they will not attend the trust vote on Thursday
  • Supreme Court rules that rebel MLAs cannot be forced to attend the assembly and vote in the floor test
  • Both the Centre and the Assam government have sought re-verification of up to 20% of draft NRC data
  • Pakistan opens its airspace for Indian planes
  • Dilapidated building collapses in Mumbai, killing more than 10 people while many were still trapped
  • Kulbhushan Jadhav case verdict to be delivered today by the ICJ
  • A Vistara flight landed in Lucknow with just 5 to 10 minutes of fuel left in the tank
  • Supreme Court to decide on Karnataka MLAs plea today
  • Karnataka alliance to face floor test on Thursday
  • China says that the next Dalai Lama will be appointed by it
  • Pakistan assures India that no anti-India activity would be allowed in the Kartarpur corridor
  • Pakistan to allow visa-free access to 5000 pilgrims every day to undertake pilgrimage using the Kartarpur corridor
ISRO calls-off Chandrayaan-2 mission launch at last moment due to technical snags. revised date will be announced later
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 It has been claimed that giving seniority a go-by, the government has superseded several officers to appoint Lt.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.