Army Chief general Bipin Rawat raked up a huge controversy today with his comments on illegal immigration from Bangladesh and the tectonic demographic shift underway in Assam during his address in a seminar on the North East. He alleged that Pakistan and China were engaging in proxy warfare against India through their facilitation of illegal immigration into India and remarked on the AIUDF’s rise in Assam politics as an indication of the demographic shift.
Other issue is planned immigration taking place because of our western neighbour. They will always try & ensure that this area is taken over. This proxy dimension of warfare is well played by our western neighbour & supported by our northern neighbour: General B Rawat (21.02.18) pic.twitter.com/TdrwX0tY0g
— ANI (@ANI) February 22, 2018
Certain sections of the political spectrum were up in arms against the Army Chief, figuratively thus far, for his remarks. Badruddin Ajmal, whose name was missing from the first list of NRC in Assam, has objected strongly to General Rawat’s remarks. He termed the remarks ‘shocking’ in a tweet and asked why the rise of his party was a cause for concern for him.
Gen Bipin Rawat has made a political statement, shocking! Why is it a concern for the Army Chief that a political party, based on democratic & secular values, is rising faster than BJP? Alternative parties like AIUDF, AAP have grown because of the misgovernance of big parties.
— M Badruddin Ajmal (@BadruddinAjmal) February 22, 2018
Asaduddin Owaisi, the chief of AIMIM, also jumped into the controversy and criticized the Army Chief for his remarks.
What,the Army Chief should not interfere in political matters it is not his work to comment on the rise of a political party ,Democracy & Constitution allows it and Army will always work under an Elected Civilian leadership https://t.co/PacWqqYXz1
— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) February 22, 2018
Others mocked him for drawing a link between the illegal immigration from Bangladesh and a Pak-China nexus.
Army Chief saying Bangladeshi immigrants are coming to India as a form of warfare by Pakistan supported by China. ?♀️ https://t.co/d2fZHcHGBP
— Suhasini Haidar (@suhasinih) February 22, 2018
Is our army chief saying Bangladeshi immigration into India is a Pak-China conspiracy? What? https://t.co/LnizzNy6Rc
— Pragya Tiwari (@PragyaTiwari) February 22, 2018
The Army Chief only made remarks that are painfully obvious to everyone but political correctness has entrenched itself to such an extent in public discourse that uncomfortable truths are deemed as controversial. When one thinks with an open mind, there is nothing surprising about the Army Chief’s claims Pakistan and China facilitate illegal immigration into India. It is only natural for our enemies to try and destabilize the country by whatever means necessary.
Coming to the remark that certain people have objected to the most, that he is somehow engaging in political discourse, he is clearly not. He merely remarked on the rise of AIUDF and the demographic shift in Assam. No one can deny that there is a clear definitive link between the two. Members of the minority community do tend to vote en masse for ‘secular’ parties and in Assam, AIUDF is the most ‘secular’ party of all. The Army Chief did not accuse the AIUDF of facilitating illegal immigration or encouraging it themselves nor did he express any displeasure with the rise of the party.
The Army has come out in the defence of its chief. “There is nothing political or religious in the talk. Army Chief just mentioned amalgamation and development in the seminar on North-East organised at DRDO Bhawan on 21 Feb 18,” the Army said. The remarks of the Army Chief should not have created such a controversy but we are currently living in times that demonizes speaking truth itself. It is also a matter of concern that certain political sections are more interested in bashing the general Bipin Rawat than the tectonic demographic shift underway in Assam and the threat that illegal immigration presents to the unity and integrity of India.