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For a man who shoots his mouth more than his guns, army chief Gen Bipin Rawat has crossed all previous limits with his latest statement on Northeast.
“He clearly put his foot in the wrong place when he compared the relative growth of BJP and AIUDF,” says former soldier and columnist Ajai Shukla.
“It is like comparing the man with the wall. There is no basis for the comparison,” says veteran journalist and Northeast expert Subir Bhaumik.
Bhaumik says the Bangladesh bashing that followed the Rawat fusillade was uncalled for a can only upset a trusted ally in Dhaka.
“The Bengali Muslim is not an ally but an enemy of Pakistan as this controversy makes it look like. They are the only Muslim in the world to have broken up a Muslim state,” said Bhaumik.
The Bengali Muslims and Hindus fought with Indian army to kick Pakistan out of the East. It is the indigenous rebel groups of Northeast who worked for Pakistan and China
He pointed out that the “chief agent of ISI in northeast is ULFA chief Paresh Barua and not a Bangladeshi”.
“The Bengali Muslims and Hindus fought with Indian army to kick Pakistan out of the East. It is the indigenous rebel groups of Northeast who worked for Pakistan and China,” said Bhaumik, author of ‘Insurgent Crossfire’ and ‘Troubled Periphery’.
The comments of Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat at a conference in Delhi on Wednesday has triggered a big row. Speaking about India’s Northeast in a conference at DRDO Bhavan in Delhi. General Rawat said that Pakistan, with the support of China, is playing a proxy war in India’s northeast and the influx of people in the region from Bangladesh is “planned”.
The Army chief said that the “planned immigration” is taking place in India’s northeast because of Pakistan. He also said Islamabad will “always try and ensure that this area is taken over, playing the proxy dimension of warfare,”. While talking about the influx of people from Bangladesh into the northeast, the Army chief said the “proxy game” is being “very well” played by Pakistan, which is supported by China, to keep India’s northeast disturbed. Talking about the solution, the Army chief called for “identifying the problem” and looking at it “holistically”.
Gen Rawat’s pitch for integrating these Muslims is realistic but his demography expertise goes haywire because the migration of Bengali settlers into Assam dates back to the British days.
General Rawat said migration from Bangladesh was happening because of two reasons: First, they are running short of space. Large part of the areas get flooded during the monsoon and they have constricted area to stay. As per Gen Rawat the other issue is “planned immigration” that is take in place because of India’s western neighbour
General Rawat said migration from Bangladesh was happening because of two reasons: First, they are running short of space. Large part of the areas get flooded during the monsoon and they have constricted area to stay. As per Gen Rawat the other issue is “planned immigration” that is take in place because of India’s western neighbour.
General Rawat also referred to the reported increase in Muslim population in many Assam districts and allegedly connected it with the rise of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) led by Badruddin Ajmal. The Army chief said AIUDF has grown “faster” than the Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP in the 1980s.
The BJP had won only two seats in 1984. The AIUDF, which was formed in 2005, has three members of Parliament and 13 MLAs. The AIUDF has championed the cause of Muslims.
The Army chief’s remarks have, however, not gone down well with Muslim dominated political parties like the AIUDF and Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM. They have accused Army chief of targetting a particular religion and making political statements.
The less Rawat speaks on social sciences and demography and the more he focusses on modernising the Indian army, the better.
He boasts Indian military is prepared for a two front war with China and Pakistan, little realising the air force is 12 squadrons short of the required 44 for such a scenario. ■