New Delhi, October 15
Social media posts are spreading “outright falsehood” that a Muslim regiment of the Indian Army refused to fight against Pakistan during the 1965 war, stated a letter written by 120 retired officers of the armed forces to President Ram Nath Kovind.
The letter written on Wednesday and has also been marked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, urges the government to “investigate the antecedents of individuals who have made ‘Muslim regiment’ posts” and take “impartial, firm and immediate action”.
“These ‘Muslim Regiment’ posts are blatantly false, because the Indian Army did not have a Muslim Regiment in 1965 or since,” stated the letter signed by former Navy Chief Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas, Lt Gen (Retd) Ramdas Mohan, Lt Gen (Retd) R K Nanavatty, Lt Gen (Retd) Vijay Oberoi, and many others.
The letter, dated October 14, stated that it wishes to draw attention to the “outright falsehoods being spread by forces inimical to our country and our armed forces”, which will adversely affect morale and national security.
“We specifically refer to a number of social media posts to the effect that a ‘Muslim regiment’ of the Indian Army refused to fight against Pakistan in India’s 1965 war with Pakistan and was therefore disbanded,” it added.
“Saying that Muslim soldiers of this so-called ‘Muslim regiment’ refused to fight the war against Pakistan in 1965 and hence the ‘Muslim regiment’ was disbanded, denigrates and questions the loyalty of all serving and retired Muslim soldiers,” the letter noted.
It said when falsehoods like these ‘Muslim regiment’ posts are repeated often, “as they have been starting perhaps in 2013”, the public assumes that it is the truth, especially when there is no official action against the ones spreading these lies.
In light of national interest, the letter urged “impartial, firm and immediate action” against the perpetrators.
It asked to “identify and charge individuals who have made ‘Muslim regiment’ posts for anti-national activities” and “issue warning to the social media providers (Facebook and Twitter) who have enabled ‘Muslim regiment’ posts”.
The letter also urged to “issue immediate instructions to all state governments that the generation of false and seditious messages in social media should be acted upon with alacrity so as to not jeopardise national security”.
The letter drew attention to the fact that the Indian and Chinese armies are locked in a bitter standoff in multiple locations in eastern Ladakh for the last seven weeks and “the threat from Pakistan remains”.
“While in any situation, the ‘Muslim regiment’ posts would be condemnable, in the current situation on our borders it is especially so, calling for serious attention of Government and expeditious action to counter Pakistan’s propaganda,” the letter added. — PTI