On August 11, Major General (Retd) G.D. Bakshi delivered a lecture in IIT-Madras. The “Special Independence Day Lecture” coincided with the ‘independence day’ of Baluchistan, a Pakistani province struggling for independence from the country.
In his lecture, he spoke on the need for a nuclear-power India, the need for a strong military and the persistent threat from Pakistan and how to deal with it.
But one student of the prestigious institute has now written a letter to the director registering his objection to what he calls “hate speech” by the retired army officer. Abhinav Surya is an M Tech student of the institute. In his strongly worded letter, Surya alleges that Maj Gen Bakshi’s speech was “filled with hatred, instigating violence among the students”.
He writes that he was not able to able to “digest the fact” that the institute gave a platform to such a speech that was “heavily loaded with brewing enmity, inhumanity and glorification of brutality”.
He said that Bakshi exhorted the students to split Pakistan into four.
He also accused Maj Gen Bakshi of belittling the Indian struggle for freedom.
“The speaker made the utmost insulting comment when he said mocked our freedom movement and made fun of it. According to him, only Indians in Indian army got us freedom and whatever everyone else was doing in the name of ‘Ahimsa’ was nonsense! This is a complete insult to the lakhs and lakhs of masses who fought bravely against the British imperialism,” he wrote. Surya clarified that he has not been “so seriously concerned in the past” even if lectures had content that were not aligned to his own political views.
“But this is not a mere speech with contesting views, but a dangerous hate speech,” he writes. Speaking to The News Minute
, Surya accused Bakshi of justifying the use of pellet guns. He said that when some students in the audience tried to question Bakshi, they were silenced by those supporting the Maj Gen. He also accused the IIT-M administration of allowing personalities holding fundamentalist views to deliver speeches. “Many of the faculty members support and encourage this. They are definitely responsible and many of them hold the same views as General Bakshi,” he said.
But Maj Gen Bakshi is receiving support from a section of the media:
Maj Gen Bakshi’s speech coincided with Baluchistan independence day. Baluchistan is a province struggling for freedom from Pakistan.
A day before his IIT-M speech, the Maj Gen had posted this on Facebook, indicating clearly that he supported the Baluchi struggle for freedom and strongly protested the inhuman atrocities committed by the Pakistani authorities on the people of the region.