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150 Indian Veterans Write To President And Slam Politicization Of Armed Forces

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150 Indian veterans, including three former Army chiefs, four former Navy chief and a former Air Force chief, have written to Indian president Ram Nath Kovind slamming the politicization of the country’s armed forces.

In the letter, the ex-servicemen have urged the president to take appropriate action to maintain the secular and depoliticized nature of the country’s armed forces.

“We refer to the unusual and completely unacceptable practice of political leaders taking credit for military operations like cross-border strikes, and even going so far as to claim the Armed Forces to be ‘Modi ji ki Sena’,” the letter to the Indian president said.

The veterans also objected use of photos of Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on election campaign posters and urged the president to put an end to the practice.

“We respectfully urge you to take all necessary steps to urgently direct all political parties that they must forthwith desist from using the military, military uniforms or symbols,” the letter said.

The letter said that Indian politicians were acting in complete disregard of the declaration of the ‘model code of conduct’ and the veterans fear that these incidents might only increase in the coming few days.

Earlier this month, actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar came under fire on Twitter for using Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman’s photo during a roadside campaign despite the Election Commission’s directive to political parties not to use the images of armed forces personnel in poll campaigns.

People wear masks of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. (Photo: The Print India)

Photos of Matondkar, the Congress Party’s candidate from Mumbai North, with Varthaman’s image went viral on the micro-blogging site.

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Naya Daur