New Delhi: In comments that are likely to stir a controversy, Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat on Thursday said the force was conservative and could not allow gays or adultery.
Homosexuality was decriminalised by the Supreme Court last year, but the Army chief insisted “hum logon ke yahan nahi chalega (all this won’t work here). He accepted that the Army is not above the law but maintained that the Constitution does give it some independence. “We are neither modernised, nor westernised. LGBT issues are not acceptable to us,” he said, adding that they would “still deal with the issues under the Army Act”.
The Supreme Court order striking off parts of the archaic Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code had been hailed as a milestone moment for LGBTQ rights in the country, but it has failed to translate into any change for the soldiers. Laws governing the three arms of the Indian military bar homosexuality and rule it a punishable offence.