oppn parties Stop Politicizing the Army

News Snippets

  • 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
  • The Bihar assembly passes a resolution to stick to the old NPR form, making it the first NDA state to do so
  • Arms deal for advanced helicopters, worth $3bn, signed with the US, but the trade deal remains elusive
  • Trump says he has a good equation with Pak PM Imran Khan and assures India that Pakistan is working to reduce cross border terrorism
  • Trump once again offers to mediate in the Kashmir issue
  • Trump says it is up to India to decide on the CAA
  • US President Donald Trump says PM Modi wants religious freedom for all
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
Stop Politicizing the Army

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-12-21 12:17:52

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.