Hosting iftar had been an age-old tradition of the army in Jammu and Kashmir, veterans said. (File photo)
Jammu: The Army’s tweet about holding of an ‘Iftaar’ party for the civilian population in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district was removed after trolling allegedly by extremist elements who felt offended by the pictures highlighting the secular character of the armed forces.
The now-deleted tweet on the Twitter handle of PRO Defence Jammu read “keeping alive the traditions of secularism, an Iftaar was organized by the Indian Army at Arnora in Doda district”.
It was accompanied by several photographs showing the Army and civilian breaking the Ramzan fast together, a senior officer interacting with locals and a uniformed person joining ‘Namaz’ (prayers).
However, the tweet, which was uploaded on April 21, was deleted within hours after the handle came under attack from the trolls who were apparently against the secular character of the Army, a practice followed by the force which holds ‘Sarva Dharma Sthal’ — a place of worship for all religions in all its formations across the country.
Though an Army spokesperson declined to comment on the issue, an Army officer on the condition of anonymity said the force had not only tweeted about the function but also issued an official release as Iftaar parties are a regular feature during the fasting month of Ramzan to build a strong bond with the public.
It was surprising and sad to see the reaction of certain people to the tweet which triggered unnecessary debate and was killing the basic message of upholding communal harmony, the officer said.
“Now this disease has spread even in the Indian Army? Sad,” a tweet in Hindi by a social media user referring to the Army hosting the Iftaar party triggered a debate in support and against the Army.
However, the removal of the tweet from the Army handle did not go down well with the veteran soldiers. “Indian Army has been at the forefront of interfaith harmony. We as officers take pride in the fact that we have NO religion, we just adopt the religion of the troops we command,” Maj Gen (retd) Yash Mor tweeted.
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