Bollywood actor Richa Chadha courted controversy on social media following her response to a tweet of a senior Army personnel. The tweet was on the 2020 Galwan clash, in which several Indian Army soldiers died.
On Wednesday, Richa had reacted to Northern Army Commander Lt General Upendra Dwivedi's statement that the Indian Army is ready to execute orders like taking back Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
How did the controversy begin?
It all began when a Twitter user shared the statement of Dwivedi stating, "We r fully prepared to take back PoK from Pakistan. We r waiting the orders from the govt. We will complete the operation quickly. Before that if Pakistan is violating ceasefire, the answer will be different, even they can not imagine. - Commanding-in-Chief Northern Command IA (sic).”
"We r fully prepared to take back PoK from Pakistan. We r waiting the orders from the govt. We will complete the operation quickly. Before that if Pakistan is violating ceasefire, the answer will be different, even they can not imagine."— Baba Banaras™ (@RealBababanaras) November 22, 2022
- Commanding-in-Chief Northern Command IA pic.twitter.com/0i80oLJBgN
Sharing a post on the statement, Richa took to her Twitter handle and wrote, "Galwan says hi."
Richa Chadda says Ola Uber 💥 pic.twitter.com/oQ5DFZcYbf— KuchBaatHai (@KyaaBaatHai) November 24, 2022
What followed Richa’s tweet?
The Bollywood actor’s tweet soon drew fire from several politicians, leaders and Army personnel, who called her out for ‘mocking the Indian Army’.
Reacting to the actress’ tweet, Supreme Court Lawyer Shashank Shekhar Jha wrote, “20 Indian brave-hearts sacrificed their life for India in Galwan, but here is an Urduwood actor mocking the Indian Army. Not only sad but shameful. A new low from Richa Chadha!”
20 Indian brave-hearts sacrificed their life for India in Galwan, but here is an Urduwood actor mocking Indian Army.— Shashank Shekhar Jha (@shashank_ssj) November 23, 2022
Not only sad but shameful.
A new low from @RichaChadha ! pic.twitter.com/XAwzdPFvEG
Lashing out at the actor, BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa called the tweet “disgraceful” in nature and demanded that it be deleted as soon as possible. Sirsa wrote, “Disgraceful tweet. Should be withdrawn at the earliest. Insulting our armed forces is not justified.”
Disgraceful Tweet. Should be withdrawn at the earliest. Insulting our armed forces is not justified. https://t.co/eetOjHrDor— Manjinder Singh Sirsa (@mssirsa) November 23, 2022
BJP leader and MLA from Maharasthra, Ram Kadam said, "To come in the news and get publicity, will she (Richa Chadha) disrespect the soldiers of our country? What has happened to her? Our soldiers are day and night guarding our country by leaving their families behind. They should be honoured with our heads bowed down,” adding, "Sitting in the air conditioner, how will this actress who has this mindset will understand their dedication? The whole nation wants her to apologize to the soldiers of our country,” reports ANI.
Further, several netizens took to the microblogging site to express their disgruntled view towards the actor’s tweets.
Following the anger among people, the Bollywood actor issued a public apology on Twitter.
"Even though it can never be my intention in the least, if the 3 words which are being dragged into a controversy have offended or hurt anyone, I apologise and also say that it would sadden me if, even unintentionally, my words have triggered this feeling in my brothers in the fauj (army) of which my own Nanaji has been an illustrious part (sic)," she wrote.
Chadha further said, "My Mamaji was a paratrooper. It's in my blood. A whole family is affected when a son is martyred or even injured while saving the nation which is made up of people like us and I personally know how it feels. It is an emotive issue for me (sic)."
Context of Lt General Upendra Dwivedi's statement
Army Commander Lt General Upendra Dwivedi’s statement was made in reference to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s previous address where he reiterated New Delhi's resolve to take back Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), saying all refugees would get their land and homes back.
In the address, he said, “"As far as the Indian Army is concerned, it will carry out any order given by the Government of India. Whenever such orders are given, we will always be ready for it."
"The military is always ready to make sure that ceasefire understanding is never broken as it is in the interest of both nations, but if broken at any time, we will give them a befitting reply," said Dwivedi, Northern Army Commander on the ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan.
What was the Galwan Valley clash in 2020?
Termed the biggest military confrontation in over five decades, the Galwan Valley clash saw the death of 20 Indian Army personnel, including a commanding officer (CO), in a fierce clash with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh
The clash had escalated the already volatile border standoff in the region, worsening the ties between India and China.
According to media reports quoting sources, the Chinese side had also suffered "proportionate casualties" although no official figures were published. However, it was speculated that nearly 43 Chinese soldiers were injured or killed during the clash.