Defence Secretary faces ire of veterans community

Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane was at the receiving end from the veterans community on Friday as visuals of him with hands in pocket and with sunglasses at National War Memorial (NWM) waiting for the Prime Minister’s arrival along with three Service Chiefs and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Republic Day went viral on social media.

“There is a man apart,” said former Army Chief Gen. Ved Mallik posting the video on Twitter on Friday morning. Later in the day he said, “The Defence Secretary rang up and clarified that RM, CDS, three Chiefs and he were waiting at War Memorial for PM. He has total respect for National Flag and all soldiers killed in actions. Matter stands closed.”

Through the day the video went viral on Twitter as well as on WhasApp groups with scores of veterans expressing displeasure over it.

“The General is right and justified in his observation. You obviously have no idea about the customs and traditions of the Armed Forces. Forget everything else educated people know fully well how to respect martyrs. It needs no formal teaching,” Lt. Gen. Syed Ata Hasnain (Retd) said responding to questions on Gen. Mallik’s original comment.

“Respect lies at the core of one’s heart and manifests in actions. It needs no training in my opinion sir,” observed Air Vice Marshal Amit Aneja (Retd) with several others echoing similar views.

There was no comment from the government or the Ministry on the issue. Mr. Aramane took over as the Defence Secretary on November 1, 2022.

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