Adultery, homosexuality not acceptable in Army, says Gen. Bipin Rawat

Army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat at a press confierence in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Army is “conservative” and adultery and homosexuality will not be allowed to “perpetuate into the Army,” Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has said.

Only last year, the Supreme Court decriminalised adultery and homosexuality.

Gen. Rawat said on January 10, “It is hard to argue in these times. But the armed forces find huge resonance in the conservative actions of our society. The Army is conservative. We have neither modernised nor westernised… We can still take action against people. But we will not allow this to perpetuate into the Army. This cannot be allowed to happen. It is a very serious thing.”

A soldier on the border could not be worried and he had to be “reasonably assured that his family is being cared for,” he said at the annual press conference ahead of the Army Day on January 15.

Adultery, homosexuality not acceptable in Army, says Gen. Bipin Rawat

The Supreme Court had asked the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) community to forgive history for their brutal suppression. However, there has been no clarity on how it would affect the Army, which punishes adultery for “stealing the affection of brother officer’s wife” and has a strict ‘no’ policy on homosexuality.

Gen. Rawat said they (homosexuality and LGBTs) were not acceptable in the Army.“We will still be dealing with them under various Sections of the Army Act.”

He, however, stated that the Army was “certainly are not above the country’s law.” When one joined the Army, some of the rights and privileges authorised for civilians by the Constitution were not authorised for them [the Army]. “The Supreme Court has said something and we have to see how we take a call. Let us also see how this comes into the society,” he said.

Responding to questions on reported peace overtures made by the new government in Pakistan, Gen. Rawat said there was a lot of change, but they were yet to see results on the ground. “They talk of peace. On the ground, on the Line of Control [LoC], we don’t see it.”

Personnel related issues

Besides a massive restructuring of the force, Gen. Rawat identified personnel related issues as priority areas for action. “Haven’t done enough for our soldiers who have been genuinely disabled in the line of duty,” he said.

Another issue was the disparity in the disability allowance between jawans and officers, or based on kinds of disabilities which, he said, had to be addressed. For this, the Army was looking at formulating a new disability policy and it should be ready by mid-next year. After that, it would be sent to the Defence Ministry for approval.

Asked about alleged politicisation of the armed forces, Gen. Rawat said that anything that concerned national security, one should be clear [whether] it’s politicisation or not, and added, “If Army gets involved in something that impacts internal security for which we are tasked, we are accused of being politicised.”

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 6:09:08 AM |

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