Senior and decorated veterans of the Indian Armed Forces have written to the the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, the President of India, expressing dismay at recent social media posts propagating false claims about a ‘Muslim Regiment’ of the Indian Army had refused to fight against the Pakistan Army during the 1965 India-Pakistan war, and that the 'Muslim Regiment' was thereafter disbanded.The veterans have requested immediate enquiry and punitive actions against the propagators of these posts and the platforms over which these posts are hosted.
मुस्लिम रेजिमेंट जिसने भारत पाक युद्ध के समय लडने से मना कर दिया था..
क्या आपको लगता है ये IAS और IPS बनकर देश सेवा कर सकते हैं ?
Muslim regiment which refused to fight during Indo-Pak war .. Do you think they can serve the country by becoming IAS and IPS?
सुप्रभात ॥ ॐ शिव ॥
— श्वामी बिजय पुरी महराज 1966 @Gmeil.com (@Shwaami1) September 20, 2020
The letter, addressed to the President of India, said, “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.
The tweets began a long time ago, in May, 2013, a Twitter user with the handle @120croreHindus posted: “In 1965 there was a regiment in Indian Army called Muslim regiment which refused to fight against Pakistan after which it was dismantled.” The letter said, “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 number of soldiers who were part of this “Muslim Regiment’ vary from post to post, with some posts claiming it had 20,000 soldiers, while others claim that the regiment had 30,000 soldiers. The letter said, “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.”
It pointed out that 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,” it added.
The veterans have urged the President to 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, and 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, which had 120 signatories, added, “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.”