As India Stands Divided Over an Interfaith Ad, the Army Shows the Way. Grave of a Pak Soldier Restored in J&K

Social Commentary

As India Stands Divided Over an Interfaith Ad, the Army Shows the Way. Grave of a Pak Soldier Restored in J&K

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

As sections of social media continue to outrage over the recent Tanishq ad’s portrayal of a loving interfaith marriage, the Indian Army has set an example of unity — one that the hateful trolls have yet to boycott. The Army said on Thursday that it had restored the grave of a decorated Pakistani soldier in J&K’s Nuagam sector, in a display of class that has been sorely lacking in social media discourse in the last few years.

The Srinagar-based Chinar Corps tweeted a photograph of the epitaph on the grave, which read, “In memory of Major Mohd Shabir Khan, Sitar-e-Jurrat Shahid 05 May 1972, 1630 H, killed in counter attack by 9 Sikh.”

The handle said that personnel had restored the grave in keeping with the tradition and ethos of the Indian Army. “#ChinarCorps resuscitated a damaged grave of Major Mohd Shabir Khan, Sitara-e-Jurrat, Pakistan Army, who was Killed in Action (KIA) at a forward location along LC in Naugam Sector on 05 May 1972,” the first of its tweets read.

In another tweet, the Army said, “A fallen soldier, irrespective of the country which he belongs to, deserves respect & honour in death. #IndianArmy stands with this belief. This is #IndianArmy for the world.”

After it was posted, a number of retired and serving Army personnel took to Twitter to praise the courteous move.

Unfortunately, it also led to a few trolls asking if Pakistani soldiers would have reciprocated in the same manner.

But the latter should be expected by now, considering a large section of people in our country seem to be opposed to anyone of Pakistani origin. A few years ago, many will recall that several Pakistani artistes were forced to go back home following a huge outcry over them being offered roles in the Bollywood industry.

More recently, the outrage over the Tanishq ad has proved that this country has a long way to go before it starts accepting people of other faiths and religions. On Thursday, the Indian Army seems to have proved with its tweets that it is above these petty battles. Hopefully, their grace sets an example for the rest of the country.