What Separates the Stories of Abhinandan Varthaman and Kargil’s K Nachiketa?

Social Commentary

What Separates the Stories of Abhinandan Varthaman and Kargil’s K Nachiketa?

Illustration: Arati Gujar

W

ing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will probably go down in history as the most tweeted about defence personnel in the country. Since reports surfaced yesterday that an aerial skirmish between the Indian Air Force and Pakistani Air Force led to an Indian pilot being captured by Pakistani forces, the safe return of our serviceman became the discussion of the day. This came as a welcome change from the warmongering that had preceded it. Those who were tweeting #BadlaKab after the Pulwama attack turned into ambassadors of peace with #SayNoToWar.

After a day of high tension, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan today announced that Varthaman will be released tomorrow as a “gesture of peace”. If that is how this all pans out, then the IAF pilot would have spent three days in Pakistani custody. Since the time he was captured we have been flooded with pictures and videos of the wing commander, most of which have been released by verified accounts in Pakistan on social media. His safe return might go a long way in bringing about a positive change in how armed forces of both the countries view each other.

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