Trolls on social media are having a field day mocking Indian air force group captain Abhinandan Varthaman, who’s been given the Vir Chakra, India’s highest military gallantry honour.
As the Modi administration honoured the pilot, netizens proceeded to enrage Indian social media users once more with several memes portraying the MIG-21 pilot.
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President Kovind presents Vir Chakra to Wing Commander (now Group Captain) Varthaman Abhinandan. He showed conspicuous courage, demonstrated gallantry in the face of the enemy while disregarding personal safety and displayed exceptional sense of duty. pic.twitter.com/zrmQJgfbEr
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) November 22, 2021
Indian media sources, which are currently serving as proxies for the governing party, lauded Abhinandan as the lone pilot who gunned down a ‘Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft’ during the 2019 combat.
Fantastic 😂 Actually I feel for Abhinandan. Just because of @narendramodi and Indian media denial of the defeat and embarrassment they had bk then, poor Abhinandan is reminded of the episode every second month. https://t.co/tXTDHihrT7 pic.twitter.com/204G0RTIxL
— Dr Arslan Khalid (@arslankhalid_m) November 22, 2021
In actuality, the Indian allegation was refuted by US authorities, who stated that they had verified the number of Pakistan Air Force F-16s in service and could state that none were lost to the Indian Air Force on that day.
After his MiG 21 Bison aircraft was gunned down by a Pakistan Air Force fighter two years ago, the former Indian pilot was also detained by Pakistan. Locals in Azad Kashmir apprehended the Indian pilot after he ejected from his aircraft. He was eventually returned to India as a goodwill gesture at the Wagah border.
Meanwhile, social media users expressed sympathy for the IAF’s veteran pilot, who is reminded of his disgrace every month, while others ridiculed him with traditional tea jokes.
Take a look at some of the reactions:
How a state uses various tools to fabricate its own narratives, propagate disinformation and invent its own victories. It knows that the international community won’t buy it but the audience here is domestic. Chest thumping jingoism against Pakistan sells in elections. https://t.co/YsciocObmH
— Husham Ahmed (@hushamahmed) November 22, 2021
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You gets awarded for doing something you didn't do, because they want to fool own nation with lies. Happens only in India. https://t.co/9cbkr1hTAg
— Yasir 🥷 (@haayemerijan) November 22, 2021
Abhinandan may have forgotten the taste of Pakistani tea.
Why is this award drama being staged now?#F16 #F16fighters pic.twitter.com/kAfQ6R19uX
— DNOW Media (@DnowMedia) November 22, 2021