Indian Army is Conservative, LGBT not acceptable: Bipin Rawat

Bipin Rawat
Bipin Rawat

New Delhi, Jan 10: Army Chief Bipin Rawat on Thursday said that the force is conservative and could not accept LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans).

Addressing an annual press conference in the national capital, Rawat said “For LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans) issues, in the Army these are not acceptable”, adding we are neither modernised, nor westernised.

“We will still be dealing with them under various sections of the Army Act”.

“Talking about Article 377 and other issues, let me tell you that we have always treated Army as a family…I think anything that has been said and has been talked of, cannot be allowed to perpetrate in the Army”.

He said the phrase “stealing the affection of a brother officer’s wife” does not exist in any manual of military law but gained popular currency in the 1980s when it was used “to provide media with reasons for action against senior officers”.

“It connotes the ownership of a woman by the husband where she cannot act out of her free will. It is something hard to argue in these times. Generally, Army is conservative. We have not modernised, neither are we westernised. We are conservative,” Rawat said.

“In the Army we never thought this (gay sex and adultery) can happen. Anything that was thought of could happen was put in the Army Act. This was something unheard of in the Army when the Army Act was made, therefore it was not put into it. We have never allowed it…We can take action against people, but will never allow this to happen,” he said.

Reacting to this, LGBT rights activist Ashok Row Kavi, stated “Agree, there should be discipline, regarding private life of his officers”.

“I don’t think he can regulate that, he said some untrue things, homosexuality was always in our culture & homophobia came in with British”, Kabi added.

Last year in September, the Supreme Court decriminalised homosexuality by declaring Section 377, the penal provision which criminalised gay sex, as “manifestly arbitrary”.


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