A high-ranking Indian military official ended up evoking a storm of criticism on social media with his recent comments on the role of women in the country’s armed forces.
During an interview with News18 TV channel, General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Indian Army Staff, spoke against assigning women to combat roles in the military, claiming that India "is not ready" to see slain female troops returning home in body bags.
He also argued that some male soldiers may be reluctant to accept a female commander, and that it would require extra effort to prevent male soldiers from peeping on their female counterparts.
A number of Twitter users however took a dim view of the general’s assessment, criticizing his stance and even accusing him of sexism.
Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat said women are not ready for combat roles because they have the responsibility of raising kids.— Sudeep Sudhakaran (@SudeepSudhakrn) 16 декабря 2018 г.
Mr. General Have you heard about Lyudmila Pavlichenko and many other Soviet women who have sent hundreds of Nazis to hell? pic.twitter.com/wFeMjEvxTY
Such gender biased sexist comments not only demeans women but also doubts our capabilities. At present, about 3,700 women serve in the military on Short Service Commission (SSC). And you still undermine the capability? Shame on you!!!@MahilaCongress @sushmitadevmp #IndianArmy https://t.co/oVOezwDzqv— Szarita Laitphlang (ज़रिता लैतफलांग) (@szarita) 16 декабря 2018 г.
My goodness! General Rawat is a major, major embarrassment! A woman officer will complain that jawans peep into her hut while she changes clothes and therefore women cannot be given combat roles, says the chief of Indian Army. My ears are red reading this. https://t.co/ZLL63kAzkT— Manimugdha Sharma (@quizzicalguy) 15 декабря 2018 г.