Col DK Rai’s 2008 Photo Being Used to Spread Propaganda Again
Darjeeling has been a hotbed of violence for the past week, with protests for a separate state of Gorkhaland, following West Bengal government’s decision to make Bengali compulsory across schools in the state.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has gone all out against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s move by calling for an indefinite strike and suspension of all government facilities in the hills. Not only has life been disrupted in the hills, there is also palpable public anger with regard to the move.
A photo of an ‘old man’ allegedly being attacked during the ongoing protest is going viral on social media. The post draws attention to how Mamata is laticharging against the soldiers who had fought the Indo-China war in 1962.
Story Behind The Photo
The man in the photo is actually Col DK Rai, who commanded the 6/8 Gorkha Rifles. Only, Col Rai passed away on 29 March 2017.
He was, however, attacked by the police during the Gorkhaland protest in 2008. And contrary to social media fury against Mamata that followed the post, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, the veteran CPI(M) leader, was the chief minister of West Bengal when Col Rai was attacked.
The post on Facebook was liked over ten thousand times and was shared by more than 1,400 users.
How The Same Photo Was Misused Earlier
The same photo was also widely circulated during the 2016 One Rank One Pension (OROP) protest by the ex-servicemen in Jantar Mantar.
The photo was used with captions that indicated the Narendra Modi government’s alleged ignorance and violence against ex-servicemen.