In the wake of nationwide protests against the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed National of Register Citizens, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat Thursday said, “leaders are not those who lead people in inappropriate directions”.
“Leaders are not those who lead people in an inappropriate direction. As we are witnessing in a large number of universities and colleges, students, the way they are leading masses and crowds to carry out arson and violence in cities and towns. This is not leadership,” Rawat said while addressing a gathering at a health summit in New Delhi.
#WATCH Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat: Leaders are not those who lead ppl in inappropriate direction. As we are witnessing in large number of universities&colleges,students the way they are leading masses&crowds to carry out arson&violence in cities & towns. This is not leadership. pic.twitter.com/iIM6fwntSC
— ANI (@ANI) December 26, 2019
The outgoing Army Chief, who is due to retire on December 31, termed leadership as a “very complex phenomenon”. Gen Rawat is tipped to be India’s first Chief of Defence Staff who will be the single-point military adviser to the government on tri-services matters. In his three-year tenure as Army Chief, he faced allegations of not remaining politically neutral.
“Leadership is all about leading. Therefore what is so complex about leadership, if it’s all about leading? Because when you move forward, everybody follows. It is not that simple. It appears simple, but it’s a very complex phenomenon,” he said.
He further 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 live.”
His remarks came against the backdrop of the violent protests that took place over CAA and NRC issue, which have resulted in the death of at least 25 people, property damage and clashes between protesters and the police.
Opposition hits out at Rawat over his ‘political’ views
The opposition parties, including the Congress, attacked Gen Rawat for making remarks on political issues.
Congress Spokesperson Brijesh Kalappa slammed Gen Rawat for his remarks. “Army Chief Bipin Rawat speaking against #CAAProtests is wholly against constitutional democracy. If Army Chief is allowed to speak on political issues today, it also permits him to attempt an Army takeover tomorrow!!,” he tweeted.
Rawat’s remarks also drew flak from Lok Sabha MP and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi, who took a dig at the Army chief saying, “leadership is knowing the limits of one’s office.”
Rights activist Yogendra Yadav tweeted, “I agree with him. Yes, leaders should lead (people) in the appropriate direction. I am absolutely sure, he has the prime minister of this country in mind when talking about that.”
“Leadership is knowing the limits of one’s office. It is about understanding the idea of civilian supremacy & preserving the integrity of the institution that you head,” Owaisi wrote on Twitter.
(with PTI inputs)
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines