Partha Chatterjee defends his article comparing Army Chief Rawat to General Dyer

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A social scientist and historian Partha Chatterjee on Tuesday evaded questions over his article comparing Army chief Bipin Rawat to General Dyer who is known as 'Butcher of Amritsar'.

Asked about his stand in his article, Chatterjee said he stands by what he wrote. "I have nothing to say. I have written what I have written. I am not changing anything at all," he told ANI.

Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat. PTI file photo

In his article 'In Kashmir, India Is Witnessing Its General Dyer Moment' published in online news portal 'The Wire', Chatterjee writes: 'There are chilling similarities between the justifications advanced for the actions of the British Indian army in Punjab in 1919 and those being offered today in defence of the acts of the Indian army in Kashmir.'

Yet, Chatterjee wrote: 'It would be unfair to suggest that General Rawat's motives are the same as those of Dyer. Rather, the similarity in their words stems from a structural feature that is now being revealed in the way in which the Indian army is permanently deployed in regions under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act - like an occupying force in a conquered colony.'

In fact, General Bipin Rawat backed Major Gogoi for using human shield to protect army personnel surrounded by stone-pelters in Kashmir during a parliamentary by-election.

In an exclusive interaction with PTI, Rawat said the main objective of awarding Major Leetul Gogoi, when a Court of Inquiry was finalising its probe into the incident, was to boost the morale of young officers of the force who are operating in a very difficult environment in the militancy- infested state.

Rawat said, 'This is a proxy war and proxy war is a dirty war. It is played in a dirty way. The rules of engagements are there when the adversary comes face-to-face and fights with you. It is a dirty war... That is where innovation comes in. You fight a dirty war with innovations," Rawat said, in what were the General's most comprehensive comments yet to the media on the issue.'

(With agency inputs)

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