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India: Social Media propaganda posts on The Muslim Regiment of The Indian army - Open Letter to Authorities from Senior Veterans | Oct 14, 2020

by admin, 14 October

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14 October 2020

To:

The President of India, Supreme Commander of Indian Armed Forces

Cc:

Vice-President of India / Speaker of Rajya Sabha

Prime Minister of India

Chief Justice of India

Speaker of Lok Sabha

Union Minister of Defence

Union Minister for Home Affairs

Chief of Defence Staff

Chief of the Army Staff

Chief of the Naval Staff

Chief of the Air Staff

By Email to:

secy.president at rb.nic.in; presidentofindia at rb.nic.in; pmosb at pmo.nic.in; vpindia at sansad.nic.in; speakerloksabha at sansad.nic.in; pmindia at pmindia.nic.in; rmo at mod.nic.in; mos-defence at gov.in; secy-defence at nic.in; defsecy at nic.in; mhaweb at mhant.delhi.nic.in; supremecourt at hub.nic.in; cds.sectt at gov.in;

webmaster.indianarmy at nic.in; coas-india at nic.in; cns-india at nic.in; cas-india at nic.in;

Subject: FALSE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS on ‘MUSLIM REGIMENT’

Sir,

We, the signatories, are all Veterans of the Indian Armed Forces, who have served in the defence of our nation in various ranks and appointments in peacetime and in operational/war zones, over the past several decades. We do not represent any group or political party, and each of us only has the best interest of our country and our Armed Forces at heart in making this Statement.

We therefore request that our respectful comments, requests and urgings in the following paragraphs be taken in that spirit alone.

We wish to draw your 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. When we refer to ‘soldiers’, we mean All Ranks of India’s Army, Navy and Air Force.

These falsehoods began in 2013, when @120croreHindus - ‘World Hindus United’ posted the following on Twitter on 19 May 2013 at 9:57AM: “In 1965 there was a regiment in Indian Army called Muslim regiment which refused to fight against Pakistan after which it was dismantled." [https://mobile.twitter.com/120crorehindus/status/335975010877464576?lang=en]
The tweet was meant to show that Muslim soldiers had their loyalties to Pakistan rather than India. The ‘Muslim Regiment’ post has been re-tweeted many times thereafter, and its insidious surfacing during the on-going Chinese aggression, is certainly suspect.

The hundreds of such tweets cannot be included in this letter, so examples mentioning social-media identity, date-time and social media channel are provided below, beginning with the most recent:
(1) @Shwaami1 Swami Bijay Puri Maharaj on 20Sep2020;6.36AM on Twitter (https://twitter.com/Shwaami1/status/1307486194377404416),
(2) @gurjar436 vinod.gurjar on 18Sep2020;1:19PM on Twitter (https://twitter.com/gurjar436/status/1306862884866023424),
(3) @ComondoDhruv SuperCommondoDhruv on 16Sep2020;9:55AM on Twitter (https://twitter.com/ComondoDhruv/status/1306086906241802243),
(4) @Alostinsane Abhishek Shukla on 16Sep2020 on BBC News <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9H...> at 0.10-min
(5) @Thekhushbo Khushboo Mishra 16Sep2020;1:39PM on Twitter (https://twitter.com/Thekhushbo/status/1306143221068693505),
(6) @FansYati Narsinghanand Saraswati ji Maharaj on 15Sep2020;12:54PM on Twitter (https://twitter.com/Thekhushbo/status/1306143221068693505),
(7) @DK_Dube on 15Sep2020;11:29AM on Twitter (https://twitter.com/DK_Dube/status/1305748118030426112),
(8) RK Dessai on 03Apr2020;09:04h on Facebook (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2984184964972200&id=100001421761005),
(9) Ashish Bisht on 03Feb2020;14:43h on Facebook (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=535568030636952&id=100025512800441),
(10) Yash Raghav on 21Dec2019;18:19h on Facebook (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=700170750506750&id=100015414943960),
(11) @rambagree1970 Arnath Hiranyavarn on 16Oct2019;1:41PM on Twitter (https://twitter.com/rambagree1970/status/1184381452336517121),
(12) Bharamal Gadhavi on 31Aug2019;15:06h with Youtube on Facebook (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1025583231124504&id=100010185107679),
(13) Sanjay Bidani on 26Mar2019;20:43h on Facebook (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10214034927811841&id=1370731661),
(14) Manjunath Khot on 26Apr2018;03:46h on Facebook (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1936201699747298&id=100000724616476),
(15) Kamesh @kamesh_gadia on 01Feb2018;9:29PM on Twitter (https://twitter.com/kamesh_gadia/status/959093852568104960?s=08),
(16) ABP Live ‘Viral Sach’ on 02Nov2017;18:20h on Facebook (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2003440843007263&id=759078590776834),
(17) @rbatra01 on 27Jul2017;5:37PM on Twitter (https://twitter.com/rbatra01/status/890544164357550082?s=08),
(18) Pradhan Singh on 28Oct2017;03:17M on Twitter (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1976094619303714&id=100007095850063).

These ‘Muslim Regiment’ posts are blatantly false, because the Indian Army did not have a Muslim Regiment in 1965 or since. Some senior-ranking Veterans have unequivocally pointed out the false nature of these posts. Veteran Lt Gen S.A.Hasnain in his Times of India blog of 30 Nov 2017, states that this was not true, and was possibly part of Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) psyops disinformation campaign. [“The ‘missing’ muslim regiment: Without comprehensive rebuttal, Pakistani propaganda dupes the gullible across the board”; <https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com...> ].

We further wish to point out that Muslims fighting as part of multi-class regiments proved their absolute commitment to the cause of our nation. For example, Quartermaster Havildar Abdul Hamid was posthumously awarded Param Vir Chakra, for his courage and valiance in the Battle of Asal Uttar during the 1965 India-Pakistan War. Also in the 1965 war, Major (later Lt Gen) Mohammad Zaki and Major Abdul Rafey Khan were both awarded Vir Chakra, the latter posthumously, when he fought against the Pakistani division commanded by his own uncle, Maj Gen Sahibzada Yaqub Khan. Such are the legends of Muslim warriors.

Even earlier, at partition in 1947, when his Baluch Regiment went to Pakistan, Brigadier Mohammad Usman chose to remain in the Indian Army. He was approached personally by Jinnah to move to Pakistan, but he refused. He fought the Pakistani invasion in Kashmir, was the senior-most officer killed in action in July 1948, and was posthumously awarded Mahavir Chakra for his gallantry. He lies buried in the Jamia Millia Islamia campus in Delhi and remains an inspiration to students who throng the annual memorial service that India’s Parachute Regiment conducts to honour the gallant paratrooper.

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. Further, it helps the enemy by striking at the morale of India’s soldiers to degrade their operational capability.

Our soldiers fight shoulder-to-shoulder as a Team at every level of all military functioning and operations from the Section and Platoon level up to the highest level, based upon mutual trust, respect, comradeship and fraternity, regardless of the religion, language, caste, etc. of other members of the Team. Social media posts like the ‘Muslim Regiment’ posts put in the public domain are an insidious attack on the morale of our Armed Forces. It generates doubt in the public mind that if Muslim soldiers cannot be trusted, then other Muslims too are no different. It exacerbates mistrust and hate between communities.

The ill-motivated ‘Muslim Regiment’ posts on social media have far more reach among the public than a few denials by senior Veterans like Lt Gen Hasnain, and hence cause serious damage to the morale of soldiers and to the social fabric of our diverse nation.

When falsehoods like the ‘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 perpetrators.

It may well be the cause at least in part, to the increasing anti-Muslim feeling among the Indian public since that time. It may show the success of the psychological warfare waged by enemies of the Republic of India, through agents like those who have tweeted about the ‘Muslim Regiment’. It needs no emphasis that social unrest adversely affects the morale of soldiers who are far away from their families, doing their duty to defend our borders, at daily risk to life and limb.

The ‘Muslim Regiment’ posts are an attack on India’s Armed Forces. Remaining a-political and secular has been an article of faith for every soldier, sailor and airman, both at the institutional and individual levels. Every soldier swears to protect the Constitution of India even at peril to his/her life in the service of our nation, and serves in harsh and high-risk field service conditions. He/she also endorses the principle of civil control over India’s Armed Forces, which have loyally upheld Constitutional democratic principles.

Today, our soldiers are facing the Chinese aggression in Aksai Chin and also elsewhere, while the threat from Pakistan remains, and our troops additionally remain deployed for internal security duties. 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.

In light of the foregoing and in the national interest, we earnestly urge impartial, firm and immediate action as follows:
# Investigate the antecedents of individuals who have made ‘Muslim Regiment’ posts.
# Identify and charge individuals who have made ‘Muslim Regiment’ posts for anti-national activities.
# Issue warning to the social media providers (Facebook & Twitter) who have enabled ‘Muslim Regiment’ posts.
# 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 jeopardize national security.

We further appeal to you to ensure that the secular and a-political character of our Armed Forces is preserved, and to adhere unwaveringly to the vision and spirit of the Constitution of India, which spells out the framework for our nation and its people.

As we have done during our active service in the past, we assure you of standing in solidarity with our nation, the Constitution of India, the Government of India and our gallant Armed Forces.

Yours Faithfully,

Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas, PVSM, AVSM, VrC, VSM
Lt Gen Ramdas Mohan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Lt Gen RK Nanavatty, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM
Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Lt Gen UK Ganguli
Lt Gen Raman Dhawan, AVSM,VSM**, ADC
Lt Gen Ashwini Kumar Bakshi AVSM, SM, VSM
Lt Gen Oomman P Mathew, PVSM, AVSM, SM
Lt Gen Kishen Bhatia, PVSM
Lt Gen KS Rao, PVSM, SC, SM
Vice Admiral Madanjit Singh, PVSM, AVSM
Vice Admiral R P Suthan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Vice Admiral Michael Morales, AVSM
Maj Gen SG Vombatkere, VSM
Maj Gen PK Joglekar, PVSM
Maj Gen Arun Srinivasan
Maj Gen Suresh Krishnan
Maj Gen Inderjit Kashyap
Maj Gen Anil Sawhny, AVSM
Maj Gen SS Grewall, AVSM
Maj Gen Rajendra Prakash, VSM
Maj Gen TK Kaul, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Maj Gen MPS Kandal
Maj Gen SS Chohan
Rear Admiral Stanley Alan O’Leary
Brig Baqir Shameem
Brig Sharad Ramchandra Luktuke, SM, VSM
Brig Mohammad Nasim Khan
Brig Kakar
Brig JM Devadoss, SM
Brig Vijay Raheja
Brig M Sudandiram, VSM
Brig Vinod Kumar Adappa, SM
Brig Prem Hejmadi
Brig SP Agarwal
Brig M R Deshpande
Brig Deepak Grover
Brig AM Sharma
Brig Virendra Kumar Bajaj
Brig Anil Bhat
Brig SK Jandial
Brig Ali Adil Mahmood, VSM
Brig RJS Dhillon, YSM, VSM
Brig AN Suryanarayanan
Brig MJ Jacob, SM
Col Dinesh Kumar
Col Pavan Nair, VSM
Col Shashi Thomas
Col Ashwin Baindur
Col Ajay Dabholkar
Col RK Minocha
Col Rajendra Bhaduri
Col VK Rajendran
Col Vinay Kumta
Col A K Moghe
Col Ronnie Burjor Mistry
Col Vivek Bopiah
Col Ajay Kumar Dewan
Col Manduvanda Lava Cheeyanna
Col Sunil Datt
Col Manmohan Singh
Col Esmond Jules Sanchis
Col Sharath Bhat
Col Raghu Akella, VSM
Col Rajive Kohli
Col Vivek Bhatt
Col Swaran Singh Pathania
Col CK Roy
Col VR Menon
Capt (IN) Subbarao Prabhala,VSM
Capt (IN) AK Kalia
Capt (IN) Paul Abraham
Gp Capt BC Christopher
Gp Capt Philips Jacob, VM
Lt Col Vijay N Kharkar
Lt Col Johnson Thomas
Lt Col Shubeg Singh Gill
Lt Col VC Alexander
Lt Col Riyaz Khan
Lt Col A K Suri
Lt Col Niraj Pant
Lt Col Aditya Parida
Lt Col Arun Rao, SM
Lt Col Hasan Muzaffar, SM
Lt Col TL Sharma
Lt Col Avinash Karnik
Lt Col JE Premkumar
Cdr A Vibhuti
Cdr S Viswanathan
Cdr A Abraham
Cdr MV Cherukoth
Cdr Ravindra P Varma
Cdr MM Pareek
Cdr CR Babu
Cdr Arvind Poothia
Cdr Karunesh Kaushik
Cdr Dipak D Naik
Cdr John Philipose
Cdr Tom Joseph
Wg Cdr A S Joshi (Retd)
Wg Cdr Rakesh Sant
Wg Cdr Vinod Nebb, VrC**
Wg Cdr Mohammad Sufiyan Khan
Wg Cdr Bertrand Joseph Vaz
Maj Priyadarshi Chowdhury, SC
Maj Jasbeer Singh, SM
Maj Vijay Sharma
Maj MG Devasahayam
Maj AA Khan
Lt Cdr Harbans Singh Dhillon
Lt Cdr Rajender Singh Bajwa
Capt JJ Alfred Rajasekaran
Flt Lt Rajiv Tyagi
Lt (IN) Sandhya Suri
Hony Lt (IN) DN Singh, MSM
Hony Lt (IN) Tilak Raj Sharma
Sergeant Sunil Rao
Sergeant Mandetira N Subramani
Sergeant Joginder Singh
Sergeant Irshad Shaikh