Alright Folks, Deccan Chronicle Thinks Only ‘Bhakts’ Would Be Interested In Joining Indian Army

Alright Folks, Deccan Chronicle Thinks Only ‘Bhakts’ Would Be Interested In Joining Indian ArmyDeccan Chronicle headline (Pic Via Twitter)

Yes, the newspaper said it, in the headline no less.

The report was about a recent proposal (some reports say consideration of a proposal) by the Indian Army to allow civilians to be part of the force for three years.

The headline by the Deccan Chronicle said, ‘Alright bhakts, here’s your chance to join the Army’.

Alright Folks, Deccan Chronicle Thinks Only ‘Bhakts’ Would Be Interested In Joining Indian Army

The report itself was pretty straight. The first two paragraphs said,

“The Indian Army has proposed to allow common citizens to join its ranks as officers and soldiers for a three-year short service billed as 'Tour of Duty'.

“It believes that the proposal would be of immense financial benefit to the Army due to reduction in pay and gratuity payouts. If the proposal is approved, it will be voluntary in nature and there will be no dilution in the selection criteria.”

However, someone in the newspaper thought it’s a good opportunity to make a jibe at the ‘bhakts’.

‘Bhakt, in today’s political discourse, is anybody who has surrendered, unconditionally, to a political idol. Its most common use is for supporters of Narendra Modi.

Those at the receiving end of the ‘bhakt’ jibe need not have declared their total surrender publicly; their mere support, even if issue-based, to Modi or the Bharatiya Janata Party is enough for their detractors to stick the ‘bhakt’ label on them. Needless to say, its use in the political discourse is thus derogatory.

The headline received much flak on social media.

On Twitter, a user Akshay Narang wrote, “Shame on you @DeccanChronicle for this dastardly headline. Please give up the pretense of neutrality. Wear whatever toxic ideology you have on your sleeves.”

Another user Rakesh, wrote, “You are pathetic Deccan chronicle. It’s people and organisations like you who are the real intolerant guys and communal. Any one who opposes you is deemed a bhakt and your lot is the only intellectual pit in the world. Shame on you. And why drag the Indian army in this.”

A user Rashmi Tambe wrote, So everyone who joins the Indian army is a Bhakt? such a distasteful article disrespecting the army and mocking a great patriotic initiative!

A user, Dhruv, wrote, “Thank You for openly admitting that only Bhakts join the respected Indian Army. And rest of the leftists and liberals are busy sympathizing terrorists & Pulitzer winners...”

There were hundreds of such critical comments, post which the newspaper changed the headline later in the day. The headline now says, “Army proposes three-year tour of duty for citizens.’

The newspaper has given no explanation for the change.

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