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‘Mystery’ brochure on 1971 War crops Indira Gandhi, Jagjivan Ram from images, courts controversy

Both images show the then service chiefs, but the former PM and defence minister is removed from them.

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New Delhi: A brochure, apparently released ‘officially’ in October last year and commemorating 50 years of the 1971 India-Pakistan War, is gathering controversy.

The controversy is primarily about some of the photographs it contains — cropped in such a manner as to remove former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and then Defence Minister Jagjivan Ram from them.

The brochure also features a famous picture from the late 1960s, showing Pakistani Sabre fighter jets dropping a bomb containing the incendiary chemical Napalm, as part of their air power demonstration.

Popular military history website called out on Twitter Monday the makers of the brochure for cropping out the political leaders.

The first photograph in question shows the then three service chiefs — Gen Sam Manekshaw, Admiral S.M. Nanda and Air Chief Marshal P.C. Lal.

However, the original image shows ACM Lal shaking hands with Gandhi, as the other two look on smilingly.  

The second cropped image is that of the three chiefs sitting in a meeting room, laughing in a light-hearted manner. The original photograph included Jagjivan Ram, along with the trio.

Also read: 50 yrs of 1971 war: How forces, intel, politicians jointly made it India’s finest military hour

‘Appears to have been officially released’

While it was not immediately clear who had released the brochure, Bharat Rakshak put out a tweet, giving a link to a picture from an IAF conference held in Bengaluru in October, saying it “appears this brochure was released officially”.


Reached out by ThePrint, the Defence Ministry officials said they did not publish any such document and hence was not responsible for any discrepancy or cropped images.

Meanwhile, the IAF sources told ThePrint that a brochure on the 1971 war was released in a seminar organised by it in October last year. However, it was immediately not known whether this was the same brochure.

The 20-page long brochure contains several photographs from the war, marked with the insignia of the armed forces as well as a QR code at the bottom of the final page.

The code links to a post about the Golden Jubilee of the 1971 war on a website called Delhi Unplugged, which has since been deleted. 

(Edited by Saikat Niyogi) 

Also read: Govt and military owe India an authentic history of the 1971 Bangladesh War. Rest is mythology



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