NEW DELHI: In a major gaffe, Indian Army advertisements have rewritten the history of the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war and virtually handed over victory to the neighbouring country.
A full-page advertisement published in major Hindi national dailies on Thursday came out with major blunders in its text. For instance, the text mentioned the role of the 15th Infantry division during an attack near west of Ichhogil canal, saying that Indian Army responded to the Pakistan attack with fear (darkar muqabala kiya). The English version of the advertisement, published in leading national dailies were no better.
“Pakistan’s 1st Armoured division pushed an offensive towards Khem Karan and by 10 September nearly 100 tanks lay destroyed in what is now known as the Battle of Asal Uttar.” It takes away the credit of the Indian Army as there is no mention of the Indian Army’s role in the famous battle.
The Battle of Asal Uttar (fitting response) was one of the largest tank battles fought during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965. Fought between September 8 and 10, the historic battle was known for the bravery of a 4 Grenadiers soldier Abdul Hamid, who was honoured with the Param Vir Chakra, the country’s highest military award.
According to officials, the advertisements, which were actually aimed to publicise glories and victories of the Indian Army, have virtually given credit to Pakistan.
The ads were part of PM Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s most ambitious plan to celebrate the golden jubilee of the 1965 Indo-Pak war, a historic battle which India has never celebrated.
When contacted, the office of the Additional Director General, Public Information of the Army headquarters, which is responsible for releasing such advertisements, said, “It was an error on the part of the media houses and we are taking corrective measures.” But other officials of the Defence Ministry are shocked. “They cannot put blame on media houses for such blunders. It is their job to look into what should be printed as ads,” an officer said.