In a tweet on the Supreme Court‘s decision to give women soldiers permanent commission in the army, former INC president and MP Rahul Gandhi targeted his own Manmohan Singh government in an attempt to corner the Narendra Modi government.
On Monday, after the Supreme Court approved the Delhi High Court’s decision to give permanent commission to women officers in the Indian Army, saying that the union government was obliged to give permanent command to women in all areas except combat in the army, Gandhi tweeted to say, “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.”
In a bid to target the current government, Rahul Gandhi forgot it was the Manmohan Singh government that had taken the stand he is critical of. On 6 July 2010, the UPA government had challenged the high court’s decision in the Supreme Court. The Delhi High Court had ruled in favour of permanent commission to women officers in the army.
In July 2010, the Singh government challenged the high court’s decision of 12 March 2010 in the Supreme Court, challenging the Delhi High Court that had ordered a permanent commission like the men on completion of 14 years in service under the Short Service Commission. The then government argued that the unit in the Indian Army entirely comprised men and that the men would not be able to accept female officers!
The Singh government made the appeal a day after the single bench of the court issued a contempt notice to the chief of the army and the Ministry of Defence for not following any instructions on the 12 March verdict of the high court. Along with this, the Centre had filed another petition demanding not only a stay on the high court verdict but also a review thereof.
The then central government’s case was that the soldiers from mostly rural backgrounds in the army were not comfortable with women officers taking command. Many things like the physical condition of women, family responsibilities are hindrances to their becoming commanding officers, the Singh government had pleaded before the court.
Advocate Anil Katiyar, who had filed the petition on behalf of the Centre, had said that the then government had filed an appeal against the ruling of the high court and also requested the Supreme Court to stay its implementation.
Here’s a screenshot of Rahul Gandhi’s tweet, lest he should be too embarrassed to retain it: