“Army chief must take the correct course”: former army commander on Aarti video, Chinar Corps Tweet
In a forceful and candid interview, which will not please the current leadership of the military, one of his most esteemed former army commanders sharply criticized the video of a aarti performing in a ceremonial parade at the Regimental Artillery Center as well as a birthday greeting tweet sent to the Prime Minister by the 15th Corps based in Srinagar.
The video and the tweet went viral. Lt. Gen. HS Panag, former army commander of the northern and central commands, also said army chief Gen. Naravane should “make a course correction” and give “new instructions. “down the line to make sure that sort of thing doesn’t happen again. Lieutenant-General Panag added that an official statement from army headquarters on these two developments was “absolutely necessary” and he is surprised that there has been nothing but silence.
Lt. Gen. Panag said the fear expressed by former naval chief Admiral Ramdas in a joint letter sent to the Chief of the Defense Staff, the Chief of the Army as well as to air force and navy chiefs that the aarti video âwill only serve to focus on community differences between armed forces personnel,â is âvalid.â As Lt. -General Panag: âIf you choose a religion, soldiers of other faiths will feel discriminated against.â He added, âThis discriminates against other soldiers.â
The former commander said playing aarti in a ceremonial parade “absolutely violates the practices and traditions of the military.” Speaking specifically about the artillery regiment, Lt. Gen. Panag said the regiment is “a regiment made up of all of India” which means it has soldiers of all faiths. Therefore, playing the aarti in a ceremonial parade, thus assigning special importance to the Hindu faith, also violates the practice and traditions of the artillery regiment.
Second, Lt. Gen. Panag pointed out that the video shows that the military’s well-established procedures for the parades were also violated, although he did not give details.
Speaking of the tweet posted by the Srinagar-based 15th Corps, also known as Chinar Corps, on the Prime Minister’s birthday, which sent âthe warmest birthday wishesâ and then added âTrue leadership is not about title or designation; it’s about impact, influence and inspiration, âLieutenant-General Panag was specifically and severely critical of the language as well as the three accompanying photographs of the Prime Minister in combat uniform.
He said: âThe language is similar to what politicians use when relying on an elderly person. It is servile. It is inappropriate. It is not done.
Lieutenant-General Panag stressed that in the army “individual formations and commanders do not send such tweets”. He said that this particular tweet raises the suspicion that the corps commander is currying favor in the hopes of securing promotion and promotion.