Chief of Army Staff Gen Bipin Singh Rawat during the launch of the Atal Bhujal Yojana, in New Delhi on Wednesday.(ANI Photo)
Chief of Army Staff Gen Bipin Singh Rawat during the launch of the Atal Bhujal Yojana, in New Delhi on Wednesday.(ANI Photo)

‘This is not leadership’: Army chief Bipin Rawat slams anti-CAA protests

General Rawat’s term as Army chief ends on December 31 and the government is likely to name the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) before that. He is widely believed to be the front-runner for the post.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON AUG 12, 2020 02:15 AM IST

Outgoing Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Thursday slammed the protests over the new citizenship law, saying leaders emerge from crowds but are not those who “lead people in inappropriate directions”.

“Leaders are not those who lead people in inappropriate direction. We are witnessing in large number of universities and colleges that students are leading masses and crowds to carry out arson and violence in cities and towns. This is not leadership,” the Army chief said at an event in New Delhi.

After Parliament approved amendments to the citizenship law earlier this month, violent protests have taken place across the country. Multiple protesters have been injured and have died in these protests, especially in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.

Watch l Army Chief on CAA protests: ‘Leading people towards arson is not leadership’ 

“What is so complex about leadership, if it is all about leading. Because when you move forward, everybody follows. It is not that simple. It appears simple, but it is a complex phenomenon,” General Rawat said.

The Army chief, however, received some advice from those opposing the amendments to the citizenship law.

“Leadership is knowing the limits of one’s office. It is about understanding the idea of civilian supremacy and preserving the integrity of the institution that you head,” AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said on Twitter. 

Some others on Twitter called him a political Army chief.

“One of the reasons India’s Army is highly respected around the world is because it is apolitical. Such political comments are unbecoming of an Army Chief. The political neutrality of the Indian Army shouldn’t be compromised under any circumstances!” tweeted Congress’s National Media Panelist Shama Mohamed. 

General Rawat’s term as Army chief ends on December 31 and the government is likely to name the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) before that who will head the department of military powers in the defence ministry. General Rawat is widely believed to be the front-runner for the post.

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