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Undermining the Army

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  13 Jun 2017 12:00 AM GMT

The last thing the Indian Army needs is politicians undermining its difficult if not thankless role. Army Chief General Bipin Rawat recently tried to give a perspective to the challenges facing the defence forces, stressing the need for an ‘integrated command’ and stating that the Indian Army is ‘completely ready for a two-and-a-half front war’. He obviously meant Pakistan and Chi, along with interl rebels in Kashmir, the Maoist belt and the Northeast. Earlier, he had spoken about the ‘dirty war’ foisted upon his soldiers in the Kashmir valley, with rabble rousers mobilising flash mobs to act as human shields and protect jihadis from army operations. Some Left leaders have been targeting General Rawat for ‘objectioble’ statements and insinuating that he is toeing the NDA government’s line. But Congress leader and former parliamentarian Sandeep Dikshit has hit a low blow by calling the Army chief a street thug. “It looks bad when our Army chief gives a statement like a sadak ka goonda... I believe this Army chief does not live up to my image of what the Indian Army should be. I believe, the Army chief should not make political statements”, Dikshit has pontificated. Expectedly, the Pakistani media has gleefully lapped up Dikshit’s comment even as an embarrassed Congress is trying desperately to distance itself from his outrageous words. But when Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi saw it fit to accuse the NDA government of khoon ka dalali while seeking to ridicule its announcement of a surgical strike across the LoC, there is little the party can do if other leaders hold forth in similar vein. Politicians demeaning the Army chief to grind their little axes need to be condemned in the strongest terms. There should be some appreciation for a powerful army that has kept itself scrupulously neutral in the largest (and noisiest) democracy that is India. It is systemic political failure that has kept the pot of insurgency boiling in parts of the country, forcing the Indian Army to be battle ready for ‘two and half’ fronts, rather than two. Any professiol soldier worth his salt will tell how frustrating it is to enforce law and order on fellow citizens, when he should be primed for the enemy from outside. As for citizens of this country who live near the two fronts with Chi and Pakistan, it is deeply dismaying to see their own top soldiers being made cannon fodder by irresponsible politicians.

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