oppn parties Stop Politicizing the Army

News Snippets

  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
  • Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress postpone meeting the governor of Maharashtra
  • Shiv Sena not to attend the NDA meeting on 17th November, says break up "a formality"
  • Shiv Sena says that the confidence the BJP is showing about forming the government in Maharashtra is based purely on its expectation of getting numbers through horse trading
  • Anil Ambani resigns as director of the bankrupt Reliance Communications
  • India beat Bangladesh by an innings and 150 rums inside three days in the first Test. Indian pacers excel after Mayank Agarwal's double century
  • Sena-NCP-Congress work out a common minimum programme, will form the government soon and it will last 5 years, says Sharad Pawar
  • Income Tax Appellate Tribunal upholds the decision to withdraw the charitable status of Young India, making it liable to pay Rs 145 in income tax. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra are the majority shareholders in the company
  • CBI raids offices of Amnesty International across India
  • Supreme Court quashes NCLAT order against Arcelor Mittal and paves the way for the company to take over ailing Essar Steel
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says concerns of telcos will be addressed and no company will close down
  • Government thinking of providing higher insurance coverage on bank deposits
  • Mayank Agarwal scores a double century as India take firm grip on the first Test versus Bangladesh
  • Supreme Court warns Rahul Gandhi to be more careful in future but drops contempt proceedings in the "chor" case
  • In a flip-flop, Vodafone CEO says sorry to the government, sys no plan to exit India
Supreme Court dismisses plea for review in Rafale case, says no need for roving inquiry, maintains clean chit to government
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 It has been claimed that giving seniority a go-by, the government has superseded several officers to appoint Lt.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.