What do you think of Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat’s appointment as the Army Chief and the government’s decision to supersede two senior officers?

What do you think of Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat's appointment as the Army Chief and the government’s decisi… by @balajivis

Answer by Balaji Viswanathan:

It is a very surprising and a bold move. Normally, the army chief of India is selected only through seniority. Whoever is the most senior of the generals gets to be the army chief. Like in most government jobs, there is little merit in how someone gets a top job. For the first time, two Lt Generals have been bypassed to give Gen. Rawat the top role. [Why Lt General Bipin Rawat, the man who led surgical strikes in Myanmar, was best suited to be Army chief]

The senior most general, Lt Gen Bakshi is from armoured corps [of leading tanks] an experience that is useful in a conventional war, not the kind of war on terrorists India is doing now.

Who is this man?

  1. In June 2015, when India army commandoes crossed the border to destroy the terrorists camps of Naga terrorists, Rawat was the GoC there. Myanmar operation: 70 commandos finish task in 40 minutes – In 40 minutes, army got the job done and was a major achievement of the government then that helped bring some peace to Nagaland.
  2. In September 2016 on a diametrically opposite side of India, when Indian army had a famous surgical strike in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, Rawat was the one who coordinated. Lt General Bipin Rawat: Master of surgical strikes – The Economic Times
  3. In the 1987 Sino-Indian skirmish, he was a key Colonel who led the army against PLA.
  4. Rawat is a man with experience in counter-terrorism, high altitude warfare and mechanized warfare. He has experience in the south, north and north east – all key attack points into India.
  5. The two generals he superceded had lesser operational experience in dealing with terrorism or border warfare.

In short, it was a move where merit superseded seniority and an example of assertive governance Modi is doing.

Since the army chief post was merely through seniority, there was also allegedly factionalism as people knew who would become the general and did chamchagiri around him. Is Lt General Bipin Rawats appointment an end of factionalism in Army?

What do you think of Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat's appointment as the Army Chief and the government’s decision to supersede two senior officers?

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