The combat veteran and TV commentator says he’s against human rights ‘where they are used as a pretext to induce guilt’ in the military.
Major General GD Bakshi is a decorated Indian Army officer, a veteran of many skirmishes along the Line of Control and counterinsurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. He served in the military for 37 years, winning the Vishisht Seva Medal for commanding a battalion during the Kargil War and the Sena Medal for distinguished service in commanding a battalion during counterinsurgency drives. He has authored as many as 36 books, including on information warfare and psychological operations.
In conversation with Abhinandan Sekhri, he talks about how the Army is represented in the media and popular culture, human rights violations, psychological warfare, collateral damage in war.
Speaking about psychological warfare, Bakshi says, “There are two negative emotions in combat. These are disorganising emotions. One is fear, the other is guilt.” He claims the Indian Army has been the victim of a sustained campaign painting it as one of the worst perpetrators of human rights violations.
“Where human rights stem from compassion, I’m all for it,” he says. “But where they’re used as a pretext to hamper operations, induce guilt and to make sure the insurgent gets away, that I’m totally against.”
Discussing his latest book, The Sarasvati Civilisation, Bakshi says the British colonial historiography had an ingrained bias, for it was employed to justify foreign rule to the Indian population. “There is an amazing level of cultural continuity that comes down to us from that ancient era,” he adds.