The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) committed a major faux pas on Sunday when it passed off a photograph of US army personnel as that of Indian Army soldiers in its hoardings commemorating Martyrs Day across the city. The photograph of three US soldiers seems to have been picked up from the internet, and misrepresented as Indian Army soldiers even though the soldiers are clearly seen wearing the US flag on their uniforms (see pic).
To make matters worse, the photograph from the internet has been tampered with and the US flag removed. However, flipping the photograph made all the three soldiers look like they were holding rifles in their left hand which seemed very unlikely and raised initial suspicions of the photograph being doctored which were later proven right.
Even other aspects of the photograph, like the pattern of helmets worn by the soldiers and the M-16 US Army standard issue rifle they are carrying, should have alarmed the MC officials dealing with the advertisements but evidently all this was ignored.
The hoardings were put up across Chandigarh to inform the general public about the commemoration event being held in the city on March 23 to mark the martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev where the war widows would also be honoured.
The Chandigarh MC Commissioner V P Singh professed ignorance about the development and said he will have to check it tomorrow. “It must have been outsourced and someone in our office may not have checked the draft,” he said.
The defence community in Chandigarh is understandibly aghast at the faux pas. Speaking to The Indian Express, Major Guneet Chaudhary (retd) said that the Chandigarh MC must take action against those responsible for dishonouring Indian Army martyrs. “This is not a small mistake. It goes to show how lightly the Chandigarh Administration takes the defence community and what little importance it gives it,” he said.