Caught In The Firing Line: General VK Singh And The ‘Cut-Paste’ Interview
The Union Minister denied he ever made the statement and cast aspersions on the media house after they published it.
Former Indian Army chief General (retd) VK Singh has found himself in a bit of controversy. Now a part of the BJP and a minister in the Narendra Modi government, Singh gave an interview in which he reportedly said that those people who termed the Indian Army as “Modi’s Sena” were traitors. He later denied that he had ever made such a statement, but there was no escaping the controversy.
The comment had come on a question related to what Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath had said while on the campaign trail in Ghaziabad and Greater Noida. It had caused much controversy at the time, with many opposition leaders criticising the controversial chief minister for making such a statement. The issue was also brought to the attention of the Election Commission, which is currently investigating to determine whether it is an offence, and has issued a notice to Adityanath.
In an interview in Hindi, given to BBC India, Singh reportedly said, “If someone says that the Indian Army is Modi ji ke Sena, they are not just wrong, they are also traitors. The Army is of India, not of any political party…I don’t know who all are saying this; one or two people, maybe, who have nothing else (to say).”
After the interview was released, Singh backtracked and denied having made any such statement. Further, he said that the reporter concerned did a "cut-paste job", and took to Twitter to ask the media house as to "how much money did he get" for doing so. He even referred to the media house as “pressitute”, a word that has become common in the last five years. In response, the media house has said it will release the original interview.
At a rally in Ghaziabad on April 1, Adityanath referred to the Indian Army as "Modi ji ki sena" while drawing a comparison between the BJP-led central government’s actions against terrorism and the previous Congress government. "Things which were impossible for the SP-BSP, are now possible; it is possible since Modi is here. Congress used to feed biryani to terrorists but Modi ji ki sena (Prime Minister Narendra Modi's army) gives them only golis and golas (bullets and bombs). This is the difference," he said. Asiaville covered the controversy and had done a story at the time.
This latest episode is part of a long strategy of the BJP to use the armed forces for electoral gain. The attempt to politicise the armed forces will set a dangerous precedent which will, in the long run, harm the democratic principles of this country.