The apex court of the country today dismissed the Centre’s submission against a 2010 Delhi high court order that had approved permanent commission for women officers. The court ordered the centre to ensure that women officers are given a permanent commission (PC) in the Army while also adding that the officers will be now eligible for command posting. Pulling up the government for opposition to the permanent commission to women officers citing physiological features, the Supreme Court stated that such mindset should change as it perpetuates “gender stereotypes”.
Upholding the Delhi HC’s judgment in 2010, a Bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta stated that the time when women officers were seen merely as “adjuncts” of men officers was long past.
However, the historic judgment too was not spared by the former Congress president Rahul Gandhi who brazenly attempted to politicise the issue while trying to slam his political rivals-BJP. Painting the BJP in a bad light, Gandhi tweeted that the central government disrespected every Indian woman by fighting in the SC against the women Army officers deserving command posts and permanent service.
The Govt disrespected every Indian woman, by arguing in the SC that women Army officers didn’t deserve command posts or permanent service because they were inferior to men.
I congratulate India’s women for standing up & proving the BJP Govt wrong. https://t.co/B67u5VNkrK
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) February 17, 2020
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The Wayand MP proceeded to politicise the issue concerning permanent commission and command posts to women officers to score political brownie points. But it appears that he was seemingly unaware that it was the Congress government which appealed against the Delhi HC decision that granted these benefits to women in 2010. The Congress government, in its plea in Supreme Court, had demanded a stay of the implementation of the High Court judgement sought a review of its verdict.
In fact, when Gandhi was acquainted with this brutal reality by one of the Twitter users, instead of pulling down his tweet, he used the new feature available on Twitter and hid the mortifying response. Here is the hidden reply to Rahul’s tweet:
Veteran Rohit Agarwal shared an article from 2012 which stated that the Congress government, in its affidavit against the Delhi HC order, said that the women should not be granted permanent commission in the Army claiming the progress of the women army officers “was far from encouraging”.
Rahul Gandhi, being as smart as he is, hid the response by veteran Rohit Agarwal but instead, ended up making the response even more visible because the ‘hidden responses’ are rather visible and make readers curious. It is also interesting that clearly, Rahul Gandhi read the response and knew that he was being a hypocrite, but chose to try and hide the fact rather than rectify himself.
The affidavit stated that the women in the army cannot be accorded with a permanent commission as the majority of the army’s junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and other ranks came from rural India and were not yet ready to accept a woman as their leader in combat situations. The affidavit also said that the woman officers must be excluded from combat not only for the time being but “as a matter of policy for all times”.
However, unbeknownst of his own party’s stand on the issue, Rahul pompously tried to project the BJP as a misogynist party that sought to sustain gender stereotypes in the Army.
In fact, it is pertinent to note that the petitioners, in this case, women army officers, were represented by none other than the BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi. “The court has rejected all those misleading statements. Now women will get equal rights in the Army like men. The judgement has paved the way for women officers to hold command posts,” Lekhi said while hailing the judgment.