1. Know what next Indian Army chief Lt Gen Bipin Rawat thinks about China, war and women

Know what next Indian Army chief Lt Gen Bipin Rawat thinks about China, war and women

Army Chief-designate Lt Gen Bipin Rawat comes as a sensible and reform-friendly top military official who believes that war should be the last option.

By: | New Delhi | Published: December 19, 2016 2:49 PM
lt gen bipin rawat, congress, manish tewari, bipin rawat, next army chief, army chief, indian army chief, who is lt gen bipin rawat, everything about lt gen bipin rawat, lieutenant general bipin rawat, indian army, narendra modi, modi government, army chief controversy, chief of army staff, coas, army chief appointment controversy The Union government’s decision to elevate Lt Gen Rawat as the next Army chief, however, has given the opposition a new reason to step up its attacks against the Centre. (Source: IE)

Army Chief-designate Lt Gen Bipin Rawat comes as a sensible and reform-friendly top military official who believes that war should be the last option. He supports more openness in the military-media relationship and wants women to play similar roles as men in the army.

The Union government’s decision to elevate Lt Gen Rawat as the next Army chief, however, has given the opposition a new reason to step up its attacks against the Centre. Leading the charge, Congress has questioned why seniority was not respected while elevating Lt Gen Rawat who superseded Lt. Gen. Praveen Bakshi who leads the Eastern Command and Southern Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mohammed Ali Hariz.

Here we present the next Chief of Army Staff’s views on important issues like border aggression with China, Army’s relations with media and the role of women in the battlefield. Rawat had shared these views during an IDEA Exchange with The Indian Express in April this year.

On trust deficit between China and India, incidents of transgression on border

“There may be disputes on the border which are not for armies to settle. There are parts which are claimed by both sides. The perceptions are varying. Yet, at the level of armies, we want to maintain peace and tranquillity. We don’t want to initiate a war just because there are differences. So this Track-II diplomacy is also needed in the form of military exercises. China being aggressive is a perception,” Lt Gen Bipin Rawat had said told IE.

Lt Gen Rawat had even suggested that transgressions happen from both sides. However, they get reported more in India as the Indian Army is more open to media as compared to China.

On media-military relations

Media-military relations was the subject of the COAS-designate’s PhD. He had said, “I am of the opinion that media interaction is necessary… At a senior level, I feel that some kind of interaction should take place with the media at regular intervals. At the lower level, when an incident takes place, the commanding officer at that level should be made available to the media to explain what has happened.”

On allegations of AFSPA excesses

Rawat said that AFSPA has been toned down in “real practice” over the years. Also, the Indian Army still opt to use minimum force and remain sensitive towards human rights.

On the role of women in Army

The COAS-designate had said during the interaction that women should play more role in the forces but they should be ready to serve in the same conditions as men. “The operating conditions in these arms are very difficult. Now, whether women are ready to operate in these conditions or not is a call that women themselves will have to make. I am a strong believer of one thing — equal opportunity means equal responsibility,” he said.

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  1. R
    Ramakrishnan
    Dec 19, 2016 at 10:37 am
    I think very sensible views in today's context. 'War is the last option' is the crowning glory of his views. In other words I would say, 'Be prepared for the worst, but hope for the best'. With a somewhat more sensible than his predecessors Chief on the other side of LoC, cross LoC and cross border firings should come down, paving the way for resumption of dialogue. However, it is the cross border terrorist activities, which will finally decide the issue. We need to fine tune our security against such terrorist threats and launch counter terrorist operations with minimal loss of lives to frustrate their attempts. Ground level surveillance, alertness, quick reaction and well practised and well thought about operations against such terrorist activities can only achieve that. To do this a Chief of his experience and commitment is definitely needed.
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