Days after getting compared to the infamous General Dyer, who ordered the massacre in the Jallianwala Bagh, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Thursday said he is unperturbed by the comparison. “See, I am an Army officer, just anything cannot affect me. You have to be prepared to face such…. People can misinterpret (comments made by him). There is no need to react. He (Chatterjee) was trying to draw a reaction from somewhere else. It should not bother me,” said Rawat.
When asked if he was not hurt by the comparison, he said, “Not at all. People are the best judges; majority’s decision will be right.” In 1919, General Dyer, had ordered firing at a crowd of protesters in Jallianwala Bagh of Amritsar on April 13, in which 379 people were killed.
In an article in portal The Wire, academician Partha Chatterjee, had compared General Rawat to General Dyer. In the article titled, “In Kashmir, India Is Witnessing Its Moment”, Chatterjee had written, “There are chilling similarities between the justifications advanced for the actions of the British Indian army in Punjab in 1919 and those being offered today in defence of the acts of the Indian army in Kashmir.”
The article was widely condemned but Chatterjee defended it saying he stands by what he wrote. “I have nothing to say. I have written what I have written. I am not changing anything at all,” Partha Chatterjee had told ANI.
In his article, he quoted General Dyer’s testimony before the Hunter Commission and compared it to Army Chief Bipin Rawat’s justification of Major Gogoi’s ‘innovative’ tactics of using human shield to tackle the insurgency. Major Gogoi has been in the spotlight after a video surfaced showing a man tied on the bonnet of an Army jeep in Jammu and Kashmir’s Badgam during the Srinagar Lok Sabha by-election on April 9, 2017.
Rawat also said that the condition in Kashmir will be normal soon. Speaking on the volatile situation of Kashmir, the Army Chief added social media is an important tool being used by Pakistan to create unrest in Kashmir. “Pakistan is spreading disinformation among the youth of Kashmir with doctored videos and messages. This is further supported by some of the people in the valley who spread it and glamorize the young boys who have joined terrorist organisations.”