After being appointed as the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat has been in the news for a few days. Taking this as an occasion, a letter carrying General Rawat’s photograph and his signature is in circulation on social media since January 1, 2020.
The letter starts by wishing a happy New Year to all the rank and file of India’s Army and their families. It goes on to list their achievements in the previous year, before controversially claiming that the Indian Army did a better job of protecting the country’s frontiers in comparison to the Air Force and the Navy. The letter concludes by saying that General Rawat would like to run the Navy and the Air Force “on Army lines” so that they can “also give good results”.
The letter carried the seal of the Chief of Army Staff and General Bipin Rawat’s signature.
Firstly, the letter seems to have a lot of spelling mistakes. Though the logo of Chief of Army staff is right, the format of the message is wrong.
Here is a sample letter found online, showing the format of letters written by someone of General Rawat’s stature.
Secondly, the letter makes an apparent attempt to tarnish the image of the newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff, by stating, “The general is bent to run the Navy and the Air force on Army lines”.
Many twitteratis shared the same letter mentioning that it is a fake. They added that it as a failed attempt by Pakistanis.
— Kashmir Focus (@KashmirFocus) December 31, 2019
Another user states, “A laughable attempt by @OfficialDGISPR to circulate a fake letter, supposedly written by Gen Bipin Rawat, is exposed…not by Indians, but by Pakistanis themselves. Please read the third paragraph again & again…and again. Pakistan, why this Kolaveri Di against English grammar? (sic)”
A laughable attempt by @OfficialDGISPR to circulate a fake letter, supposedly written by Gen Bipin Rawat, is exposed…not by Indians, but by Pakistanis themselves. Please read the third paragraph again & again…and again.
Pakistan, why this Kolaveri Di against English grammar? pic.twitter.com/3TfMiQnlUU
— Major Gaurav Arya (Retd) (@majorgauravarya) December 30, 2019
Additional Directorate General of Public Information of the Indian Army took to Twitter and cautioned the users. They said, “Guard against fake news and disinformation. Please guard against vicious #disinformation being spread by some on social media.”
Guard against FAKE NEWS & DISINFORMATION
— ADG PI – INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) December 31, 2019
Government of India’s Press Information Bureau also posted the letter on its fact check twitter handle, identifying it as a fake.
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) January 1, 2020