Army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s remark on the anti-Citizenship Law protests triggered a political controversy on Thursday. All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi took a sharp swipe at army chief for making a political remark on the ongoing stir against the Citizenship Amendment Act. “Leadership is knowing the limits of one’s office. It is about understanding the idea of civilian supremacy & preserving the integrity of the institution that you head,” Owaisi said in a tweet. It is not leadership if leaders guide masses, comprising university and college students, to carry out arson and violence in our cities, Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat said on Thursday while commenting on protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
This is not the first time that General Bipin Rawat has waded in to a controversy with his comment on a political issue. Last year, general Rawat had sparked a row when he had said that the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) has been growing faster than the BJP in Assam because of the support of Muslims, with Pakistan and China pushing Bangladeshi migrants into the North-east part of the country to destabilise India.
Reacting to this, AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal had tweeted: “By making such a statement, the army chief has indulged in politics which is against the constitutional mandate given to him.” Later, he told reporters in Guwahati, “We respect General Rawat a lot but I think he has been misinformed and misguided. If the Army chief is saying demographic change is happening in Assam, it is the government’s job to check it. We are the only party which said, `Shoot anyone who infiltrates our borders’.”
General Rawat is due to retire on December 31st. General Bipin Rawat, in his career spanning 41 years, has had anillustrious military profile with vast operational and staff exposure. As the Chief of Army Staff, he has been a member of COSC since January 2017. During his tenure in COSC, the Committee has deliberated on a number of diverse issues ranging from operations, training and administration, with an aim to enhance jointmanship and integration. General Bipin Rawat, with his foresight and professional acumen, has contributed immensely to the committee with his non-partisan views on critical issues.