Anyone who fathered a teen can tell you that any speech to a teenager about what they cannot do only incites the young mind to peruse the same. General Bipin Rawat, though, does not understand this. The Chief of Army Staff told Indian Express that the youth in Kashmir must not get “carried away unnecessarily” and understand “azadi” is not possible as the security forces will always fight those who want to secede.
The General simply does not understand information warfare and the enormous damage he has done to this nation with this one statement. As one the most experienced counter insurgency officers who has served Rashtriya Rifles the General knows ‘Azadi’ as a secessionist movement in the valley actively sponsored by Pakistan. His regimented mind simply does not understand that he effectively threatened Independence of Kashmiri youth with the might of Indian Army.
For an enemy that has effectively fighting a social media warfare, General Bipin Rawat just gave away his one advantage, the moral high ground of Indian Army.
More than that – the bigger question is on Defence ministry which has sanctioned the general to speak to press. handling Public Relations is an art, which is a domain of carrer Politicians and Marketers. Soldiers in-charge of information warfare is as disastrous as civilians manning sophisticated artillery guns. Both are dangerous only to allies.
Also for the government that hardly opens to press, its stupidity for it to open its Armed forces to Public Relations.
Even if this is a hard talk stance the Modi government wanted to showcase before Karnataka elections its hardly worth the sacrifice. The silent approval of Government to such stupid statements is louder than the Guns firing in the valley.