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Maj Gen GD Bakshi is not dead, debunks rumor of his death on Twitter

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Maj Gen GD Bakshi has debunked the rumour circulating on the entire social media that he died.

The General in a new Twitter post he shared this evening said he is still very much alive that no one should panic

He said he has since been receiving calls from panic-stricken friends and loved ones to know if he is alive:

“To all my Worried friends and those not so friendly. IM ALIVE please no panic.I haven’t gone upstairs to Allah tala as yet. Since morning i have been flooded with calls from panic-stricken friends to find out if i am alive still. Short answer – I Am”

 

Who Is Gen Bakshi And Few Things You Need To Know About Him

Gen Bakshi lost his brother, Captain Srishthi Raman Bakshi, in a mine explosion during the India-Pakistan War of 1965. The Captain was only 23 years old at the time.

“His entire body was shattered to pieces in that mine blast. People collected whatever was left and burnt his body then only. Then they gave us urn with the ashes, saying ‘here, this is your brother’,” Bakshi tells ThePrint.

He has gained five decades of illustrious career in the army, He is a PhD holder in military history, and two grandkids later, Bakshi’s quest for revenge has not mellowed. Rather, it has metamorphosed into another form rabid rhetoric on television.

It is noted that whenever the media needs a defence expert to cry war on Prime Time television, Bakshi is inevitably the man for the job. You can find him wagging a self-righteous finger on your television every other night, his gruff voice reaching a breaking point as his temper rises and his nostril flares.

In January this year, while speaking at a conclave on Article 35A, regarding ‘permanent residency’ in Jammu and Kashmir, Bakshi spoke on the situation in the state. “I want their top commanders,” he says.

“I particularly want those Pakistanis who have come into my country without a passport or visa. Yeh koi randi khana hai? (Is this a whorehouse),” he yells into a reverberating microphone. “Yeh koi randi khana hai!?” he shouts again.

For those watching, Bakshi has become a performance — the top-most liked comment on the video (with over 3000 thumbs ups on YouTube) is by Dhruv Chopra who writes, “Those who came to see that moment when he loses his s**t, head over to 11:44. Thank me later.”

A week ago, as Bakshi sat on a panel in conversation with News Nation’s senior correspondent Ajay Kumar, a debate on alleged Pakistan-sponsored terrorism descended into the retired army general shouting, “Screw you! This isn’t about Pulwama.

“I’m only asking ‘Is Indian blood this cheap?’” he goes on in a tirade. “Come on, tell me you bloody peaceniks! Is Indian blood this cheap, you kabootar udane walo! Marjao chullu bhar paani me doobke (Die of shame). We are not prepared to die!”

The audience applauds.

All of this, say some of those who know him, is part of the problem behind the retired general’s hawkish posturing.

“In part, I blame the media and the viewers,” a retired army man, who has known Bakshi for 40 years, tells ThePrint. “They love controversial people, and even he (Bakshi) knows that if he hadn’t created this persona, they would give him less space on strategic matters.”

That he makes an impression on an audience is also due to his credentials.

Bakshi has seen more war, insurgency and terrorism than even an average Armyman — he was at the China front during 1971, in Punjab at the height of militancy in 1985, Kaksar in Kargil in 1987, Kishtwar, J&K, in 2000. His war-time experience has earned him both the Sena Medal and the Vishisht Seva Medal for his service.

If that wasn’t enough, service in Kashmir is a family legacy. His father, S.P. Bakshi was the chief education officer of the Jammu & Kashmir State Forces (6 J&K Rifles), and his brother lost his life while serving in that regiment.

Bakshi says he joined the forces against his father’s wishes — who wanted him to be an IAS or IFS officer — and was commissioned into the very same 6 J&K Rifles.

His military experience, however, isn’t merely restricted to the battlefield. He was a member of the Military Operations Directorate — a planning body directly under the supervision of the Chief and Vice Chief of Army Staff. In the Ministry of Defence, Bakshi helped plan the Indian Peace Keeping Force operations in Sri Lanka before he was sent to Siachen when tensions in the Kashmir Valley heated up.

For Bakshi, the horrors of war are real. He says that he has seen the bodies of soldiers tortured to death by Pakistani terrorists who “receive continuous refuge from the state”. When he talks of men dying at the border, he does not access a theoretical framework, but a lived one.

All of this, however, suggests the retired army man quoted above, shouldn’t cloud the judgement of Bakshi’s views.

“We have no doubt about his commitment and love for the nation, but the manner in which he is presenting it in his speeches needs more balance,” the army man adds. “People who have a love for the strategic domain are concerned.”

Away from the glamour and aggrandisement of the TV spotlight and in the comfort of his Gurugram home, Bakshi’s views appear more tempered. He says “communalism, of course, is bad”, and that “nobody is forcing you to watch any particular media channel”.

But he also insists that Mughal rule in India was akin to Muslim colonialism by “our enemy for eight centuries”.

As we wait in his Gurugram home, three young students from Delhi University (DU) sit with a laptop next to the retired officer. One of the boys mentions forming an “Azad Hind Sena in every Delhi college,” paralleling that set up by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose during the freedom struggle.

Bakshi says that “it’s a great idea” and that “just as the NCC (National Cadet Corps) wears a uniform, Azad Hind Sena should have a uniform in every damn school and college”.

“I’ll invite ex-servicemen to deliver lectures on military history, strategy and give you training — you can learn judo, karate and other forms of defence. As long as they’re willing to say ‘Jai Hind’, Hindu, Sikh, Musalman, doesn’t matter,” Bakshi says.

For Bakshi, the distinction between a good and bad Muslim is clear — the faultline balancing on allegiance to Bharat Mata. Muslims in the Azad Hind Sena and Muslims who denounce the Mughal period are good Indians, but the rest, aren’t Indian at all.

It, however, merely takes the mention of Pakistan, Kashmir, and “our boys at the border”, to catalyse an unfurling — Bakshi’s bottom lip shakes as his mouth forms a grimace. He sits up straight, eyes wide, fist curling into a pointed finger as he asks, “Who died in Pulwama you tell me! All of you preaching for peace!”

On the alleged human rights violations by the Indian Army in Kashmir, he says the stone pelters are “them”, who deserve “no special treatment than the rest of the country”.

He makes his case by attempting to draw a parallel between pellet gun victims in Kashmir and the rioters who died in the Dera Sacha Sauda protests (in Chandigarh) “here in Hindustan”.

“In one day, 36 Indians were killed. No FIR was filed, there were no humans rights violations,” he says. “But pellet guns against violent protesters in Kashmir are human rights violations — it can happen only there, right?”

With More Extracts From Theprint

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