Retired army officer Major General Gagan Deep Bakshi, while speaking to Republic TV on Thursday condemned the violent protests and supported COAS Bipin Rawat's remarks on the same. He reiterated that peaceful protests are an essence of democracy and everyone has the right to do it, however, he strongly opposed arson and riots while protesting. He also said that certain political parties should not use students for their personal political gains by inciting them.
Reacting to COAS Bipin Rawat’s comment, GD Bakshi said, “If the universities and colleges certainly feel like protesting against any political issue or any issue concerning the nation, they have the right to peaceful protest. But they do not have the right to commit arson, riots, burn half the cities, burn public property, private property. They are holding entire cities to ransom. This is not done.”
“People who are inciting the students to do these things are indeed not good leaders. The second point is from a national security point of view. We have had the case of intelligence agencies orchestrating coloured revolutions in Eastern Europe and the others by inciting the students, through fake news, through text messages. Then you use professional rioters to riot and commit arson and all this is coming from abroad. It has a national security dimension, so the army chief has every right comment on it,” he added.
Talking about the role of youth in the country, GD Bakshi said, “We have a demographic youth bulge. 50% of Indians are below the age of 35. We can’t afford to have our youth led astray and incited to commit violence. They are there to study, they are there to groom themselves, contribute to the Indian economy, to take up jobs. We cannot afford it. And, here are unscrupulous leaders, some of them vanish abroad. They come back and riots start. There is a rather suspicious connection here.”
Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat earlier said, "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."