Veterans of the Indian Armed Forced have condemned the recent statement by former Congress President Rahul Gandhi where he said that India would not need its Army, Navy or Air Force against China if Indian labourers. farmers and workers were used. The party has not clarified what their senior leader meant by that comment. The veterans said that they were “shocked and deeply hurt” by the comments.
In a statement, they said, “We have the highest regards for Indian farmers, workers and labourers. They are the core strength of our economy, and the backbone of India. We salute them for their contribution to nation building. However, the Armed Forces of India are also a very dedicated, highly trained professional outfit with exceptional world-wide reputation, which can be casually undermined by irresponsible leaders only at a grave cost of lurking danger to the security of our motherland.”
The veterans said that the comments were “naive and far from truth, just like the imaginary Nehruvian utopia that failed us against China in 1962” and they decided to speak due to the impact it could have on the perception of the future generations of the country.
The veterans said, “Making demeaning statements like the Indian Army, Navy and the Airforce are dispensable not only seriously demoralise our men in uniform, but also derogatory to the Armed Forces of the Nation, who have never hesitated to make the highest sacrifices to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Nation.”
“Such ill-advised statements show serious inadequacy in threat perception that India is facing round the clock from enemies from outside as well as within some parts of the country,” they added.
The statement was signed by Maj Gen G.D Bakshi, Maj Gen P.K Sehgal, Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, Air Vice Marshal P.K Srivastav and others. It was signed by 20 veterans of the Indian Armed Forces.
‘You are using the Indian Army and Navy to protect India from China. If you use India’s farmers, labourers and workers, you will not need the Army, Navy and Airforce at the borders,’ said Rahul Gandhi while interacting with the weavers’ community in Erode. The Kerala MP also said that he can guarantee that if India’s labourers, farmers and weavers were strong, they were protected and given opportunities, China would never dare to come inside India.