Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday slammed Bengali scholar Partha Chatterjee for comparing Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, who backed Major Leetul Gogoi over the human shield controversy in Kashmir, to British General Dyer.
“Major Gogoi did a great job by saving lives but few people have to condemn Army than condemning acts of Pakistan,” Naidu told a news agency.
Earlier during the day, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra called the comparison as “abhorring and appalling”.
“As far as the issue of Partha Chatterjee is concerned, it is really abhorring and appalling that Indian Army Chief is compared with General Dyer. Do these people not see the basic difference? One (General Dyer) was a killer who massacred innocent Indians and the other one (Indian Army) is saviour of humanity,” Patra said.
Meanwhile, another BJP leader TN GVL Narsihma Rao was of the opinion that the academician was trying to attract “unnecessary attention” by involving in such controversial acts.
“There are many who are ganging up with foreigners and stabbing India in the back. They are trying to give bad name to the Indian armed forces. This exposes their lack of commitment towards their country,” Rao said.
However, Chatterjee refused to withdraw his opinion and strongly said that he "sticks" to his opinion. "I have made my arguments as clearly and precisely as I could in my article. If I need to clarify or change anything then I will write again. I stand by what I wrote. I am not seeking any publicity,” Chatterjee said.
The 69-year-old Bengali scholar in his article titled ‘In Kashmir, India Is Witnessing Its General Dyer Moment’ had written, “There are chilling similarities between the justifications advanced for the actions of the British Indian army in Punjab in 1919 and those being offered today in defence of the acts of the Indian army in Kashmir.”
This comparison came after General Rawat justified Major Gogoi’s ‘innovative’ tactics of using human shield to keep stone-pelters at bay in Kashmir.
Major Gogoi had tied one Farooq Ahmed Dar to the bonnet of a jeep and paraded him down the streets through a stone-pelting crowd on 9 April. The video of the incident was widely circulated and created quite a controversy with many condemning the act.