Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Indian Army Uses pakistan Army's Picture To Showcase Itself On Twitter [UPDATE: 2013.08.08]

Carelessness, most reprehensible.

It isn't uncommon to witness Indian civilian authorities committing periodic blunders, passing off foreign military personals or hardware as Indian, or inappropriate/unrelated use of images2. Even the country's sole Defence R&D behemoth has been caught unawares showing off foreign military hardware, that aren't even used by any Indian agency, as something it has developed.

Joining this growing list of ignorance/indifference personifying entities is none other than the Indian Army itself. Take a look at the header picture it uses on its official Twitter account.


It isn't clearly visible? This, below, is a larger sized version of the image, the same action photographed from a slightly different angle.


The image it actually uses, without the textual overlay


It shows the pakistan Army soldiers firing its Chinese-made 130 mm Type 59-I artillery, a system that the Indian Army, obviously, does not even use. The camouflage pattern of the soldier's uniforms & the attire too is completely different from that worn by the Indian Army.

Anyone even nominally competent in browsing the Internet could verify the antecedents of a picture, as widely circulated as this, in a matter of seconds.


Yet, in each case, one has seen widely circulated images being incorrectly attributed India. One could understand, though not condone, why civilians in India have the propensity to commit such error - the Indian Armed Forces rank quite low in the pecking order in the scheme of things in India, both officially or otherwise. Even the most basic of factual information, such as "show-stopper" weapon systems in service with the respective branches, escape attention of most. Upon seeing picture of the F-16 used as my desktop wallpaper, for example, I've been asked if "India has made it?" or "does India fly it?"1 - one could go on for long, narrating such anecdotes. However, how could one explain this glaring mistake on part of the Indian Army itself? One assumes the account is being maintained by a civilian working in the country's Ministry of Defence. It still does not excuse those on behalf of whom it is being operated. It boggles the mind how anyone could get something as basic as this wrong. Despicable.

1 = Adequate knowledge & awareness, though, is replaced by an undefined, ephemeral concept of "respect for our men in green", spurts of which are witnessed during times of natural calamities, when civilian authorities calls upon them to carry out rescue operations. Yet despite claims of respecting "our men in green", the country has re-elected the Government to power, to protest whose apathy towards the Armed Forces, more than 5000 soldiers returned their gallantry awards. Neither has any Indian Government, direct representative of the Indian citizen, built a National War Memorial to honour martyred Indian soldiers, following independence, nor has construction of one been part of the election manifesto of any sizable political outfit. The one used presently as a War Memorial was built by British Imperialist, as a mark of respect for the sacrifices made by Indian soldiers in defeating the Axis Powers in World War I.

To further illustrate how totally clueless folks can be, this, below is a screenshot taken just prior to posting - the one above was taken in the morning. As evident, the account added more than 530 new followers over the afternoon, yet not one tweet directed towards the Indian Army Twitter account to point out their mistake.


2 = IIRC, the header image, in one of the issues, of the 'Times Of India' newspaper was a picture of the Chinese FC-1 aircraft, designated JF-17 "Thunder" in pakistan, announcing the commencement of the Aero India Airshow


UPDATE [2013.08.08]: Subsequent to making this post, I have since been blocked from following the Indian Army's Twitter handle, even though I had acknowledged it correcting its error.



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