In an address at the Raisina Dialogue 2020 in New Delhi, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Thursday said that de-radicalisation camps are operating in the country as it was necessary to isolate people who are completely radicalised.
On the Kashmir issue, General Rawat said that girls and boys as young as 10 and 12 years are being radicalised in the Valley and must be "isolated from radicalisation in a gradual way".
"Like what we are seeing in Kashmir...we saw radicalisation happening," Rawat said. "...there are people who have completely been radicalised. These people need to be taken out separately, possibly taken into some de-radicalisation camps. We have de-radicalisation camps going on in our country."
"Let me tell you, even Pakistan is doing the same. Pakistan also has de-radicalisation camps. They have understood that some of the terrorism that they have been sponsoring is actually hitting back at them." he further added.
According to Rawat, young people are the most vulnerable to radicalisation. These radicalised youth must first be identified. This could be followed by a counter-radicalisation programme can be initiated while identifying the degree to which people have been radicalised.
"You have got to segregate them into degrees and then look at those who are completely radicalised, target them but then start also looking at the future," Rawat stated.
Rawat also called for an end to "online radicalisation".
He is of the opinion that radicalisation was happening in schools, universities, religious sites and that certain groups of people are responsible for spreading it.
On the issue of terrorism, Rawat said that the only way to put an end to terrorism was to follow the path taken by the United States.
In an indirect reference to Pakistan, Rawat said that terrorism cannot be curbed as long as countries continue to harbour it.
The Logical Indian Take
The concept of camps existing for the sole purpose of deradicalizing the youth is a new low for the country.
The situation becomes even more poignant when somebody as significant as the newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff announces this to the entire world without any qualms.
General Rawat's take on de-radicalisation through camps seem eerily similar to China's persecution of it's Uighur Muslim population.
The freedom to form one's own ideas and beliefs without the influence of societal conditioning is the most basic human right. Moral policing cannot and must not be done through apathetic government schemes.
The constant probing into Kashmir is just another example of how in recent times, only a particular section of the Indian population gets targeted, by the virtue of their faith.
If we cannot move ahead of communal bias, even in 2020, then we are failing as a nation.
Also read: Day Before His Retirement, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat Named India's First Chief Of Defence