Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat’s criticism on ongoing protests in India against the passage of anti-Muslims Citizenship Amendment Act, has sparked the controversy as retired Indian military officers as well as India’s political parties are criticizing his statements. He was immediately called out for taking sides while still in a post that must be neutral and apolitical.
“Leadership is all about leading. When you move forward, everybody follows…But leaders are those who lead people in the right direction. 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. This is not leadership,” said the outgoing Army chief at an event in Delhi on Thursday.
General Rawat, who is due to retire on December 31, has spoken for the first time against the nationwide protests against the Citizenship Act. “‘The citizenship Amendment Bill was passed despite reservations from a couple of northeastern states. It would not be hard to guess that some hard decisions on left-wing extremism may be on the anvil after this,” he had said.
The Army Chief’s comments were criticized by opposition parties like the Congress.
“Army Chief Bipin Rawat speaking against #CAAProtests is wholly against constitutional democracy. If Army Chief is allowed to speak on Political issues today, it also permits him to attempt an Army takeover tomorrow!!” – tweeted Brijesh Kalappa, a spokesperson of the Congress.
“Leadership is knowing the limits of one’s office. It is about understanding the idea civilian supremacy and preserving the integrity of the institution that you head,” tweeted Asaduddin Owaisi, Hyderabad MP and chief of the AIMIM.
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