Just go with the book and do not jump on to the conclusion and advocate for the punishment to the officer.
Vishwas Dass | May 26, 2018
Ever since the controversy over Major Leetul Gogoi's meeting with a young girl in a Kashmir hotel started raging on May 23, I have seen that people, particularly scribes, are leaving no stone unturned to blemish the Indian Army’s image.
First things first! If the meeting had happened at a hotel and the girl was actually ready to meet the Major then why is there so much commotion? Why the news outlets are not highlighting the consensual part of the meeting?
Did the Major try to molest her or misbehave with her should be the real question. It should be ascertained before putting a blot on the ethos of one of the world’s most professional armies. Just go with the book and do not jump on to the conclusion and advocate for the punishment to the officer.
Let’s first accept that ever since Major Gogoi landed himself into the ‘human shield’ controversy after he tied a Kashmiri youth Farooq Ahmad Dar onto his jeep to save the lives of his men from the irate mob pelting stones on the army, almost entire Kashmir hates him like anything. Such an incident should be looked at an officer’s ‘presence of mind’ perspective. Had Ahmad Dar got killed or suffered serious life changing injuries, the Army would have punished the Major but nothing of this sort of thing happened and Dar was sent back to his home.
I have immense respect for the soldiers and officers of the Indian Army and the way they are trained to protect the ethos and values that the Army carries. Army works under extremely difficult situations in the valley and sometimes ‘human shield’ kind of incidents happen especially when there is a question of saving the lives of innocent people surrounded by a mob of stone hurlers.
Meanwhile, Army chief General Bipin Rawat has already said that strictest punishment would be served if the Major found to be guilty.
Army is there to protect the lives of innocent and gun down terrorists in the valley. Do not try to break the morale of the soldiers who sacrifice a lot in the line of duty. A normal civilian can’t even think about the quantum of sacrifices made by the soldiers.
Major Leetul Gogoi rose from being a non-commissioned soldier to a commissioned officer after he had qualified the exams of Indian Army and passed out from Dehradun-based Army Cadet College. Before becoming a Lieutenant in December 2008, a commissioned officer, Gogoi had already served nine years in the Indian Army.
We should firmly support our soldiers no matter what the situation is. However, I also stress upon rendering punishing to the errant officers violating rules anywhere in the country. Such officers should be severely punished to set an example for rest of the folks who are sacrificing their today for our tomorrow.
This piece is based on a previous article by the authors published in Geoforum [Elsevier] in May 2019: available online: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/ S0016718519300764?via%3Dihub
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