Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Major Gogoi deserves medal

Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi should be given Wisdom Medal. India should institute that medal to give to Major Gogoi and others who act wisely under hostile conditions. The motto of Indian Military Academy is Valour and Wisdom (Veerata aur Vivek). Army has many medals for wartime and peacetime. Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh has said Major Gogoi be given distinguished service medal. I suppose he means Vishisht Seva Medal.
On 9/4/2017 Major Gogoi tied a ringleader of stone-pelters to a jeep and that enabled him and others to get away peacefully. The incident happened near a polling booth at Utligam. Major Gogoi went there with a Quick Reaction Team after a distress call from an ITBP officer. Stone-pelting was going on. The criminals were trying to burn down the polling station by hurling bombs. He made repeated announcements on a megaphone that they were there just to rescue the polling staff and ITBP personnel stuck in the polling station. The mob was not listening. He saw Farooq Ahmad Dar, ringleader of stone-pelters, at a distance of 30 metres. Major Gogoi told QRT boys to catch the ringleader and they caught him despite intense stone-pelting and getting hurt.
Major Gogoi and QRT rescued four civil polling staff, seven ITBP personnel and one J&K Police constable. They started moving towards the road. The mine protected vehicle got stuck in the mud. Stone-pelting started again. A petrol bomb was thrown at them which did not blast. Major Gogoi ordered his boys to tie Dar to the vehicle. Stone-pelting stopped. Major Gogoi and others moved out safely. Major Gogoi’s action saved lives because had he fired there would have been casualties. There were women and children.
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat awarded a commendation certificate to Major Gogoi for sustained efforts on counter-insurgency.
Most Indians, including most former army men, are happy about commendation certificate to Major Gogoi. Some are unhappy. Some of them are former army men.
Some are politicians who criticise for the sake of criticism. If something happens under BJP government they should criticise it. Digvijaya Singh is one of them. On the issue of cow vigilantism he is with BJP.
Some are opportunistic politicians who say one thing when they are in power, another thing when they are out of power. Omar Abdullah is one of them. Soldiers, ITBP personnel and J&K Police constable have fundamental rights and right of self-defence. Omar Abdulla forgets that when he is out of power. Major Gogoi did not violate the Constitution of India. He could have shot dead all stone-pelters.
J. S. Bandukwala wrote “After Operation Bluestar, Indira Gandhi insisted on keeping her Sikh guards. Today, Kashmir demands similar maturity and empathy.” Indira Gandhi showed stupidity, not maturity. She was killed. Thousands of Sikhs were massacred in Delhi and other cities. India does not need such stupidity.
Praveen Swami wrote “The applause for Major Gogoi’s act needs to be examined, and the notion that savage force will solve the problem unpicked.” Major Gogoi did not use savage force.
Karan Thapar wrote “Not the Indian Army I know.” “It has cast a cloud over millions of army sons and daughters.” His father Pran Nath Thapar was General when China defeated India in war and had to quit. Is Karan Thapar proud of that? Karan Thapar further wrote “Finally, the major’s surprise appearance on television only added to the problem.” There is no problem. Major Gogoi has the right to respond to his critics.
Retired Lt. Gen. H. S. Panag said “Whatever the provocation, the Indian army cannot take recourse to illegal acts.” Major Gogoi did nothing illegal. He defended himself and others.
Army should file cases against Dar for stone-pelting, instigation, obstruction of government servants, attempted arson, attempted murder, destruction of public property.
We have seen videos of criminals attacking, beating, kicking and slapping CRPF jawans. One Kashmiri army officer had gone to attend a wedding in his family. He was abducted, tortured and murdered. Those who speak against Major Gogoi have not spoken against those criminals.
Some have spoken of Geneva Conventions. Geneva Conventions have nothing to do with Major Gogoi’s action.
Election Commission should be even handed in its dealings. In R. K. Puram it countermanded the election because a candidate gave 4,000 rupees each to voters. In Srinagar it did not countermand the election though it was clear, free and fair election was not possible due to intimidation and violence. In Anantnag it postponed the election and later countermanded it.
Army is for the defence of the country. Soldiers are trained to shoot to kill. Law and order is a state subject and is a responsibility of states. Army is called when the situation is out of control. Our soldiers are not for getting beaten by criminals. Those who throw stones on soldiers should be shot dead.
Army is taken for granted. Using it during natural calamities like cyclones, earthquakes and floods is justified. Using soldiers as manual labourers for The Art of Living programme was unjustified. An amount of 1,02,000 crore rupees was spent for Commonwealth Games 2010. When army sent a bill for the work it had done Commonwealth Games Organising Committee refused to pay.
In November 2016 BJP members boasted that demonetisation has put an end to stone-pelting in Kashmir and Naxal activities. Stone-pelting is back with a vengeance in Kashmir and Naxals killed CRPF jawans in Chhattisgarh.

Updated: May 27, 2017 — 7:39 am

1 Comment

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  1. Yes..you are right ..innovative idea of Gogoi should be appreciated.

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