India rejoiced when Supreme Court scrapped Section 377 to decriminalize homosexuality. There is no denying the fact that changing a law mean a transformation in the mentality of people too. However, steps taken by authoritative bodies slowly helps in familiarizing that law and breaking the barrier of the people to accept the change. What happens when one such essential body reeks of discrimination? How can the common citizen get over the taboo? Homosexuality is already a frowned upon subject in India. Army chief General Bipin Rawat’s comment on homosexuality certainly added on to the homophobia prevalent in our nation.
During the annual press conference of Army, the general said that they will not allow it to happen in India. By it he obviously meant homosexuality. He actually went ahead to say any action related to homosexuality is forbidden in Army.
In his speech, he was vocal about homosexuality and adultery not being permissible in Army. This is what he said:
“In the army these are not acceptable. We will still be dealing with them under various sections of the army act. Gentlemen, the army is conservative…we have not modernised, neither westernised…We can still take action against people but we will not allow this to perpetrate in the army. This cannot be allowed to happen. It is a very serious matter.”
Naturally, Army chief General Bipin Rawat’s comment on homosexuality brings up the question if our Army considers themselves above the law. The general also addressed that saying:
“We are not above the country’s law, but in the Indian Army when you join it, some of my rights and privileges that are authorised to you by constitution are not authorised to me…There are some issues where we are different…we are not above the Supreme Court.”
He said that Army is well-aware of SC’s verdict but they are yet to take a call on the same. The words he further said were clearly covered with homophobia.
“Let us see how this comes into the society. Aap logo ke yaha chalega to chalne do. Humare yaha nahi. Dekhte hain aap logon me kitna chalega. (If it happens at your place, let it happen, but it won’t happen in the army. Let’s see how long it will last) Let us watch. Aap ke media chalega ya kitna chalega… After all when these things start happening in the country lets see what will happen…I can’t say what will happen 20 years down the line.”
There is no doubt that Army chief General Bipin Rawat’s comment on homosexuality is regressive. In a country where LGBTQ community is already having a hard time, comments like this further push back any chances of progression. Most of the netizens, including LGBTQ activists, had the same line of thought and these are their comments:
What makes people assume that LGBT persons don’t already exist in the army?
— harish iyer (@hiyer) January 10, 2019
They obviously think homosexuals are not masculine enough to fit in with the rest of them… General sahib is gonna be so surprised when people who have previously served are gonna come out with their stories.
— rajneesh (@rajneesh49) January 11, 2019
The confidence and pride in their ignorance (and/or wilful blindness) I suppose
— ]AD[ (@attadaminura) January 10, 2019
Do you or respected Gen Bipin Rawat even understand what a homosexual is? It is ignorant and against any modern facts to discuss it with adultery. Homosexuality is not a behavior that alters your work or forces you to behave a certain way. It is a normal variation in sexuality.
— Vishal Arora (@TheVishalArora) January 10, 2019
So called Army chief is going against the Supreme Court!
Are we living in India or Iran!
What army person can do with their body & sexual preference, the army chief is going to decide for them!
Will not allow gay sex in Indian Army, says Bipin Rawat https://t.co/T7y8nKyaGx
— Joey Shetty (@ShettyJoey) January 10, 2019
Do you agree with Army chief General Bipin Rawat’s comment on homosexuality? Or do you have something else to say? Why don’t you share your thoughts in the comments below?