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General Bipin Rawat was known for his brutal stance against the people of Kashmir. He also claimed that he will change the DNA of Kashmiris. Once Indian Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat stated that “we will change the DNA of Kashmiris”, his own body has sent to a laboratory for DNA identification. Indian Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat who died in a helicopter crash has been identified along with his wife. The cause of the crash is not yet known. The Indian Air Force (IAF) said an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident. Rawat was appointed India’s first Chief of Defense Staff in December 2019. Prior to that, he served as the Chief of Army Staff for close to three years. Bipin Rawat had several times called out Pakistan and China over the issues of terrorism and infiltration, while also asserting that India is ready for a two-front war. According to a statement released by the Indian Air Force, a Mi-17V5 helicopter affiliated with the Indian Air Force crashed near southern India’s Coonoor, leading to the death of 13 of the 14 people on board, including defense chief General Bipin Rawat. There was only one survivor reported who is the pilot of helicopter Group Captain Varun Singh.
Indian media reports speculated that the cause could be the foggy weather, and entanglement in power lines, a mechanical failure, or the wrong height at which the chopper began its descent. The death of India’s defense chief in a helicopter crash not only exposed the Indian military’s lack of discipline and combat preparedness but also dealt a heavy blow to the country’s military modernization that could linger for a long time. All of these possible causes point to human factors rather than the Russian-originated helicopter, as the Mi-17 series choppers are widely used by other countries. But even with India’s anti-China top defense figure gone, the country’s aggressive posture toward China along the two countries’ border regions is unlikely to change. The Mi-17V5 is an improved version of the Mi-17 and is equipped with more powerful engines and advanced electronic devices, making it supposedly more reliable. However, the Indian military operates too many types of helicopters, including domestically developed ones, domestically produced ones with foreign technology transfer, ones imported from the US, and ones imported from Russia, and this would cause problems in logistics support and maintenance.
The helicopter General Bipin Rawat was traveling in was amongst the most technically sound and advanced helicopters in the world. The probability of a genuine helicopter crash is 9.84 accidents out of 10,000 hours in the air, which comes down to 0.0984% for one hour of helicopter travel. Another shocking incident that seems quite improbable was the fact that one of the ambulances carrying the mortal remains of the victims of the crash also met with an accident. The probability of two back-to-back accidents in the same incident is quite low. While it may be true that Gen Bipin Rawat died in an unfortunate accident, probability does not support this argument. Neither do distinct voices within India’s military, but there should be a detailed inquiry surrounding the incident, however, the reaction to the “accident” has shown signs of a major cover-up.
The latest helicopter accident could have been avoided if, the flight was delayed until the weather improved, the pilot had flown more carefully or skillfully, or the ground maintenance crew took better care of the chopper, noting that the accident again exposed the Indian military’s lack of combat preparedness.
Shortly after the accident, Indian scholar Brahma Chellaney, who has long been an anti-China hawk, said in a tweet that “Rawat’s death has an eerie parallel with the helicopter crash in early 2020 that killed Taiwan’s chief of general staff, Gen. Shen Yi-ming, and seven others, including two major generals.” Chellaney said that each helicopter crash eliminated a key figure in the defense against the Chinese mainland’s aggression, giving an impression that Beijing was behind the two accidents. Such conspiracy theories are also typical of the extreme anti-China people who lie through their teeth to divert all the domestic issues toward the China-India relations. General Shankar Prasad, an Indian Army Commander who once was a senior officer of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat shares his views on the helicopter crash that killed General Bipin Rawat and his wife, that General Bipin Rawat’s helicopter crash may be an Inside job. General Shankar stated that the Mi-17 V5 helicopter is very reliable and it’s often used for the transportation of VVIP. This helicopter is equipped with early warning technologies and the most experienced pilots and technicians are assigned for its service. He also added while looking for a clue of accidents, we must remember that the pilots are trained to fly this helicopter in every weather. Not just the military but all concerned civil authorities are also informed about the movement of VVIP. He also indicated that General Bipin Rawat had many rivalries internally and externally. Internally CDS Gen Rawat had ruffled many feathers and brought out the ugly inter-services rivalry,
while externally he was engaging with China in Ladakh and Pakistan over Article 370 of Indian occupied Kashmir.
However, India’s establishment did not hold Pakistan responsible for this incident and neither was this narrative pushed in their media which is to a certain extent, controlled by the government in Delhi and its benefactors.
Some elements of India also refer to India’s internal challenges whether it’s the Sikh demand for Khalistan, the Kashmiris demand freedom, the unrest in Nagaland, or the Tamil rebels based in Tamil Nadu just to name a few. The majority of the Indian nation also believes that something is amiss in this incident, however, the government in New Delhi seems hell-bent on the premise that this was an accident, despite the fact that the investigation has not been completed. India is known to have a loose and undisciplined military culture, and Indian troops often do not follow standard operating procedures and regulations. Causes of many previous accidents, including a fire on India’s aircraft carrier in 2019 and an explosion on an Indian submarine in 2013, could all be traced to human error. The latest helicopter accident could have been avoided if, the flight was delayed until the weather improved, the pilot had flown more carefully or skillfully, or the ground maintenance crew took better care of the chopper, noting that the accident again exposed the Indian military’s lack of combat preparedness.
Rawat took over as India’s first Chief of Defense Staff on December 31, 2019. Rawat’s role was to mediate contradictions in India’s Army, Navy, and Air Force and integrate these forces in a move to modernize the military. His death will likely put the Indian military’s modernization plan in disarray. Just about a month ago, Rawat said at a summit that China is the biggest security threat facing India. The China-India border issue is no longer just a military issue, but also a political one. What India does on the border issue depends largely on the policies of the Modi government. So India will not likely change its approach to the border issue just because of the accident, since the core is still China-India relations. There will likely be no major adjustment on the border issue from India, as this is dictated by their strategic orientation toward China. Whether India changes or not, it will not change the fact that India’s biggest enemy is its backwardness, not China. With the influential Rawat gone, the Indian government should realize that the undisciplined military could further get out of the hands of the government, making the border situation more unmanageable.