Dear General Rawat, Homosexuality Does Not Make One a Poorer Soldier

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Dear General Rawat, Homosexuality Does Not Make One a Poorer Soldier

Illustration: Akshita Monga

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omorrow might be the release date for the film Uri, but Bollywood doesn’t compare to reality when it comes to providing drama. General Bipin Rawat, chief of the Indian Army, stirred up a hornet’s nest today with comments about homosexuality made at a press conference. Spoiler alert: He’s not a fan, and his views have landed him in hot water with online commenters. But before you sharpen your knives and head to Twitter to spit fire in 280 characters, please remember, like many news stories that break online in our age of outrage, this one too has been overblown.

On homosexuality, Rawat stated, “Hum logon ke yahan nahi chalega… We will still be dealing with them under various sections of the Army Act.” An act which, by the way, still considers homosexuality a crime. In fact, only a few weeks ago, a bill was introduced in the Winter Session of the Parliament to allow LGBT people the right to serve in the armed forces. It took Section 377 a couple of decades to be repealed – it will be a while before the Army Act catches up. So General Rawat is not technically wrong when he says that homosexuality will be dealt with under the Army Act.

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