Army chief General Bipin Rawat yesterday said the military should keep away from politics, adding that the armed forces will do well by remaining above politics.
“Of late, we have seen politicisation of military. We operate in a very secular manner. We have a very vibrant democracy, where the military should stay far away from the polity,” the general said at an event.
“In that aspect, whenever the issue of linking any military establishment or military personnel with political entity comes, I think that is best avoided.”
Rawat said: “The Indian defence forces would do well to remain above (politics)... where they are expected to remain, and do not meddle with politics....”
Asked later what exactly his statement meant, he said it was a clear statement and refused to elaborate.
“In the good old days, we always said we don’t discuss women and politics in the army... gradually, we find we are inching towards that but that is best avoided,” he said.
The army chief also stressed on a synergy with other organisations, and said contradictions should not come out in their statements.
“Military does not function alone. There are other organisations within the country... it is important for the military to understand the functioning of other organisations...”
“... because there are adversaries who are looking at contradictions that emerge from various establishments within the country and then they take advantage of that and overplay the issues,” he added.
Rawat also said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has promised to resolve the issue of a cap of Rs10,000 on educational expenses paid to the children of defence forces martyrs.
He said Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, has informed her of the issue, and she has said the it will be addressed on priority.
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