‘Armed Forces Not Anyone’s Pvt Army’: Retd Army Generals, Ex-Navy Chief Slam Yogi’s ‘Modiji ki Sena’ Remark
“…we, the armed forces of the country, owe our allegiance only to the Constitution of India,” said Former Navy chief Admiral L Ramdas.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday, April 1 called the armed forces “Modi ki Sena” during an election rally in Ghaziabad. Retired defence personnel are upset with Adityanath’s remark and criticised the saffron party for politicising the armed forces. Former Navy chief Admiral L Ramdas (retired) approached the Election Commission in this regard on Tuesday.
In a letter to CEC Sunil Arora, Ramdas said that “As one of the senior most former Chiefs of the Armed Forces, I consider it my duty and responsibility to bring to your notice the fact that we, the armed forces of the country, owe our allegiance only to the Constitution of India.”
The former Navy chief urged the Election Commission to take action and pointed out that the “Armed Forces are not a private force”. “The Armed Forces are NOT a private force belonging to any individual or political party, and therefore any suggestion to that effect is completely unacceptable. I am sure that you will take suitable action as soon as possible to arrest such irresponsible actions,” he wrote.
It is noteworthy that Ramdas had also written a letter to the EC last month asking the commission to prevent political misuse of events like the Indian airstrike on Jaish-e-Mohammed “to send triumphalist or jingoistic messages which can influence the electorate”.
Former Army Chief General Shankar Roychowdhury said the armed forces were not anyone’s “private army”. “They (politicians) must know the basic fact. Indian defence forces serve the government of the day, not a political party,” he told NDTV.
Lt General (Retd) HS Panag also expressed his displeasure and said, “Concerted efforts are being made to exploit the armed forces… this is the beginning of the politicisation of the army,” reported Hindustan Times.
Lt General (Retd) AS Lamba told HT, “Any army in a democracy belongs to the nation and is meant for security and sovereignty.” He added that “Alluding to the army in a way that is akin to personalising the force is out of place. The Indian Army is an apolitical army.”
As per an NDTV report, military personnel have expressed concern to the Defence Ministry against any politicisation of the armed forces in election season. Further, they reportedly told the channel that Adityanath’s comments were unacceptable.