Defence forces work best in a secular environment, should be kept away from politics, says Army chief

"Of late, we have been seeing that politicisation of the military has been taking place. We have a very vibrant democracy where the military should stay far away from politics," said Bipin Rawat

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: December 6, 2017 4:11 pm
army chief bipin rawat, COAS, indian armed forces, politicisation of army, indian army, indian express, express online, india news, defence news Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat (File)

Raising concerns over “politicisation of the military”, Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday made it clear that defence forces work best when they operate in a secular environment and “should be somehow” kept away from politics.

Rawat said it was essential that the military stayed far away from politics for a vibrant democracy. “The military should be somehow kept out of politics. Of late, we have been seeing that politicisation of the military has been taking place. I think we operate in a very secular environment. We have a very vibrant democracy where the military should stay far away from politics,” he said at an event organised by the United Service Institution.

In the “good old days”, the norm was that women and politics were never discussed in the forces. However, these subjects were gradually “inching” their way into the discourse and this should be avoided, the army chief added.

“Whenever (any) issue (of) linking any military establishment or military personnel where political entity comes in then… that is best avoided,” he said. The defence forces, he asserted, play an effective role when they don’t meddle in the political affairs of the nation.

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