Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Thursday slammed the violence that plagued several college and university campuses during the weeks-long anti-CAA agitation across India. Addressing an event in New Delhi, Rawat said that those who lead students to commit violence and arson do not represent leadership. This is the first comment made by the Army chief on the agitation around the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
"Leaders are those who lead people in the right direction. Leaders are not those who lead people in inappropriate directions. We are witnessing a large number of college and university students, the way they are leading masses of crowds to carry out violence and arson in our cities and towns. This is not leadership," General Rawat said.
Adding to this, the Army chief said, "A leader is one person who leads you in the correct direction, gives you the right advice and then ensures that you care for the people you lead. Leadership is through personal example and that is what we in the armed forces are proud of." General Bipin Rawat also asserted that servicemen in the Indian armed forces have proven their leadership skills time and again and that has made them stand out from the rest.
General Rawat also paid his reverence to Army jawans who brave harsh winter at key border areas to defend the country. "I want to pay my reverence to the soldiers who stand steadfast, manning Saltoro ridge in Siachen and others manning high altitude positions where the temperature ranges between -10 to -45 degrees. My heart goes to the people manning the borders in Siachin, Tawang, Tibet at a temperature of around -50 degrees Celcius." He added, "It is difficult to understand what these men have to go through at these altitudes. They are vulnerable to many diseases, but they never back off. Even they challenge us to put them at the border many times."