Kolkata: A Bengali scholar has stirred controversy by comparing Indian Army Chief Major General Bipin Rawat to British General Reginald Dyer, infamous for organising the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
The massacre took place on April 13, 1919, when non-violent protesters, along with Baisakhi pilgrims, were subjected to unprovoked firing by the British Indian Army troops, commanded by Colonel Reginald Dyer.
More than 1,000 people were believed to have died in the action, which left the nation in a state of shock and paved the way for widespread public rebellion.
Despite criticism, scholar Partha Chatterjee has said that he sticks to his opinion and will not change his opinion whatsoever.
"I have nothing to say. I have written what I have written. I am not changing anything at all," Chatterjee told ANI.
The Bengali scholar's article titled “In Kashmir, India Is Witnessing Its General Dyer Moment” came after Major Rawat extended support for Major Leetul Gogoi over the human shield controversy in Kashmir.
In his write-up, the scholar cited General Dyer’s testimony before the Hunter Commission and compared it with Army Chief Bipin Rawat’s justification of Major Gogoi’s ‘innovative’ way of using human shield to counter the dirty war underway in Kashmir.
"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 defense of the acts of the Indian Army in Kashmir," Chatterjee wrote in his article.
Indicating his firm approach to counter the insurgency, Gen Rawat had said Army would take steps, which would break the clutches of militancy in South Kashmir.
Major Gogoi was in the spotlight after a video shot during the April 9 Srinagar Lok Sabha by-polls, posted on the social media, showed a man tied on the bonnet of an Army jeep in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam.
The video went viral and sparked a major controversy, with one faction condemning the Army's action while the other commended their ingenuity.
(With Agency inputs)