The spokesperson of the ministry of defence has been sent on leave after a tweet from his official handle was seen as an insult of the armed forces.
The defence ministry spokesperson’s handle tweeted on Friday evening, “Col. Aman Anand, took over as the acting Official Spokesperson of MOD as the Spokesperson proceeds on leave.”
Col. Aman Anand, took over as the acting Official Spokesperson of MOD as the Spokesperson proceeds on leave.
— Defence Spokesperson (@SpokespersonMoD) October 26, 2018
The spokesperson’s controversial tweet was in response to a remark made by gallantry award winning former navy chief, Admiral Arun Prakash.
Someone objected to the use of a flag on the bonnet of the Internal Financial Advisor appointed to the Western Command of the Army in Chandimandir in Haryana’s Panchkula district. The officer is a civilian and isn’t allowed to use flags on their vehicles as it is a right reserved for armed forces officers.
The former Navy Chief, Admiral Arun Prakash, a war hero and naval aviator tweeted, “Even if misuse of an Army Command’s insignia by a civilian is not a cognisable offence, the person needs to be reprimanded”. The defence ministry’s spokesperson replied from the official handle saying, “What about misuse of jawans in your residence during an officer’s tenure sir? And how about children being picked up and dropped to school in Fauji (military) gaadis (vehicles)? Not to forget Madam’s shopping expedition on government vehicles. And endless parties…who pays for that?”
many retired veterans reacted to this. Retired Air Vice Marshall Manmohan Bahadur wrote, “This is indeed shameful for @SpokespersonMoD to tweet this to a former Service Chief.”
Retired Lt General KJ Singh wrote, “Is it allowed to be done under Official handle. It is dangerous to have such people to project us & our relationship with others.”
Former Navy Chief Arun Prakash chose not to respond to the spokesperson’s rude reply to him and instead urged the ministry to “reflect” on the state of civil-military relations.
The defence ministry spokesperson apologised for the tweet after facing outrage and said it was “inadvertent”.