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Khushboo Sharma

IWB Blogger

Army Chief Says “Cannot Allow Gays And Adultery” In Army, Lands Himself In The Soup Yet Again

  • IWB Post
  •  January 11, 2019

While the Supreme Court’s decision of decriminalising homosexuality was largely received as a welcome move in the country last year, it somehow seems to have failed to impact any changes in one of the most integral constituents of the nation i.e. the Indian Army.

The army chief General Bipin Rawat seems to be on a roll of late as he keeps giving out controversial statements one after the other. It was only recently that he had had to face some serious flak for his comments on the inclusion of women in combat roles in the India army.

Not even a month has passed since then and General Rawat is in the eye of the storm yet again for his comments on the inclusion of LGBT individuals in the army. On Thursday, News18 reported him making the following statement: “We are not above the law, but some things which the Constitution does not give the Army, ‘hum logo ke yahan nahi chalega.’ The Army is conservative, we cannot allow gays and adultery.”

News18 on Twitter

NewsAlert | We are not above the law, but some things which the Constitution does not give the Army, ‘hum logo ke yahan nahi chalega.’ The Army is conservative, we cannot allow gays and adultery: Army (@ADGPI) Chief General Bipin Rawat on Article 377.

He added, “We are neither modernised, nor westernised. LGBT issues are not acceptable to us.” While he accepted that the Indian army isn’t above the law, he also stated that the Constitution does have some provisions which make it independent to make certain calls.

While the Supreme Court had struck off parts of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which led to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the country, the laws that govern the three arms of the Indian military still bar homosexuality and rule it a punishable offence.

General Rawat’s irresponsible comments have enraged activists nationwide and he is being  criticised for his reckless use of words time and again. As per a report by Scroll, LGBT rights activist Ashok Row Kavi called out General Rawat’s lack of knowledge about India’s culture and history as he condemned his remarks. He said that homosexuality has always been “in our culture and homophobia came in with the British.”

Activist Harish Iyer also responded to his statement. Here’s what he had to say:

harish iyer on Twitter

What makes people assume that LGBT persons don’t already exist in the army?

General Rawat seems to be a man full of contradictions. While there are times when he says that the army is an open-minded unit and then goes on hyphenating the statement with the thought that our country is not ready to see women in combat roles, the other times the man takes a 180 and calls army a “conservative” unit and teams it up with the idea that “gays and adultery can’t be allowed.” Well, General Rawat really needs to make up his mind!

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