As many as 120 veterans of the Indian Armed Forces, have written an open letter to the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, requesting action against those who are spreading the fake news of a non-existent ‘Muslim regiment’ of the Indian Army refusing to fight in the 1965 war against Pakistan.
The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
In the open letter, the officials stated, “These ‘Muslim Regiment’ posts are blatantly false because the Indian Army did not have a Muslim Regiment in 1965 or since,” adding that some senior-ranking veterans have unequivocally pointed this out.
“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.”
The letter noted that the falsehood campaign originally began in May of 2013, when an account on Twitter, calling itself ‘World Hindus United’ wrote a post alleging the same.
“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 letter says, pointing out 18 accounts among hundreds who retweeted and repeated this false claim.
The signatories added that it helps the enemy by striking at the morale of India’s soldiers to degrade their operational capability.
“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 letter says.
Appealing to the President to ensure that the secular and apolitical nature of the armed forces be preserved, the signatories have called for the following measures to be taken by the government:
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 and 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 jeopardise national security.