The Supreme Court today ruled that all women officers shall be considered for permanent commission and will also be eligible for command posting on par with male officers. Leader of the Congress party and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to attempt a dig at the Modi government, using this instance as a pretext.
Truth of the matter is that Rahul Gandhi is actually criticising his own UPA government. Facts of the matter remain that:
- Supreme Court dismissed the Centre’s submission against a 2010 Delhi High Court order which had approved permanent commission for women officers. So, Rahul Gandhi should know who was ruling at the Centre in 2010?
- It is the Modi government that supported the idea of permanent commission for women in armed forces.
Now, read the tweet of Rahul Gandhi and you will realize how his rants against the Modi government are laughable and ill-informed.
One should, in fact, read the tweets now with a change of words. It is better to paraphrase the tweet’s beginning as ‘Congress disrespected every Indian woman’ and the last sentence as ‘proving the UPA and Congress wrong.’
Setting the Record Straight
Contrary to Rahul Gandhi’s claim, the Modi government never argued in Supreme Court that women are inferior. Here is a report from the website Bar Bench that exclusively covers legal matters, that reported the arguments in the court on February 5, 2020.
As per the report, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta “clarified before the Supreme Court today that the Centre did not intend to advance the argument that male officers cannot take orders from female officers.”
Woman in Forces – Modi Government’s Track Record
Even a cursory glance at what the Modi government has done to bring parity between men and women in the armed forces is telling in itself:
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has supported the idea of permanent commission for women, and announced the change in policy in his Independence Day speech in 2018.
- A historic decision to allow women in field operations came in 2015. The recruitment process started in 2019.
- In 2019, the Defence Ministry granted permanent commission to women in all 10 branches of the Indian Army, including Signal Corps, Intelligence, Aviation, Engineering, Service Corps and Ordinance Corps.
- In May 2019, Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth became the first woman pilot of the Indian Air Force to qualify for undertaking combat missions on a fighter jet.
- Three women – Kanth, Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh – were commissioned as flying officers in July 2016, less than a year after the government decided to open combat roles for women on an experimental basis.
- The first woman pilot of the Indian Navy, Lieutenant Shivangi, joined Naval operations in December 2019. She was inducted into the Indian Navy as SSC (Pilot) as part of 27 NOC course in Indian Naval Academy Ezhimala, and got formally commissioned by Vice Admiral AK Chawla, in June 2018.
Very recently, Rahul Gandhi had scored a similar self-goal when he tried to blame BJP for the decision taken by a Congress government on SC/ST reservation in Uttarakhand. You can read about that in our article Rahul Gandhi’s Congress Refuses SC/ST Reservation in States, Blames BJP for It Eight Years Later.
Now, another lie of Rahul Gandhi stands exposed.