Fact checking The Quint’s fact check video of PM Modi’s speech

PM Modi’s speech at a rally on 3rd May in Karnataka’s Kalburgi created quite a storm among the Nehru worshippers. PM Modi had accused Nehru and former defence minister in Nehru’s cabinet Krishna Menon of repeatedly insulting and General Thimayya and Field Marshal K M Cariappa. Both General Thimayya and Field Marshal Cariappa are celebrated military heroes hailing from Karnataka.

Leftist propaganda website The Quint soon came up with a video claiming that PM Modi has got is facts wrong. In a video, titled, ‘Dear PM Modi, You got India’s military history wrong’ the quint claims that PM Modi was wrong in stating that General Thimayya was the Army Chief in 1948 and Krishna Menon was the defence minister. The fact is, PM Modi never made any such claims. PM Modi mentioned that the victory was won ‘under the leadership’ of Gen Thimayya. He also mentioned that the insult happened ‘after’ the victory.

Shambhav Sharma has made a counter video to fact-check The Quint’s video. He has highlighted how The Quint, by a clever play of words, has completely twisted the PM’s statement.

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Shambhav Sharma goes ahead to explain that how the insult that the PM has mentioned has happened over the years and which eventually led to General Thimayya resigning from his post.

General Thimayya was the General Officer Commanding of the Jammu and Kashmir force, which was later known as the 19th infantry division. He had led the attack on Zoji La where Indian troops successfully drove out the Pakistan army and the tribal forces who had attacked Kashmir. As discussed in an article in Swarajya, General Thimayya is also credited with the successful deployment of the tanks of the 7th light cavalry in a high altitude area that helped greatly during the war.

Sharma also discusses the instances of blatant insult and disregard that Nehru showed towards Thimayya. He quotes excerpts from books of journalist Durga Das and Shiv Kunal Verma and highlights how Nehru castigated Thimayya by stating that he hs resigned for issues that were ‘rather trivial and of no consequence’.

He mentions that Nehru not only disregarded Thimayya’s apprehensions about the government’s decisions on matters of national security, but he did nothing to help or assuage Thimayya despite being fully aware of the sour relationships between Thimayya and Krishna Menon over disagreements on matters of the military. Sharma has also highlighted the incident of Krishna Menon venting his anger on Thimayya for approaching the PM directly and even threatening him with ‘possible political repercussions’, after which Thimayya had resigned.

Sharma’s video goes ahead to discuss the mistreatment vetted out to Field Marshal Cariappa during Nehru’s rule. Though The Quint’s claims of Field Marshal Cariappa retiring in 1953 are true, Sharma adds, Cariappa had repeatedly warned the central leadership before 1953 about the possible intentions of the Chinese. Sharma presents the excerpts from Shiv Kunal Verma’s book, ‘1962, The War that wasn’t’, which mentions how Nehru had criticised Cariappa by saying, “It is not for the Army to decide who the nation’s enemies would be.”

The mistrust, disregard and disrespect for the Army is something that is present almost as a pattern in the Congress leadership. He mentions Rahul Gandhi casting doubts over the authenticity of the surgical strikes and supporting stone pelters indirectly.

Many Army veterans and military researchers agree on the claims that Nehru’s treatment of military commanders was always dismissive and disrespectful. Brigadier BD Mishra (Present Governor of Arunachal Pradesh), who had fought in the 1965 war has stated last year that his Brigade Commander Sayad Yakub Munshi was close to General Thimayya and he had told that Indira Gandhi came to General Thimayya to request him to withdraw his resignation and when General Thimayya agreed considering his duties towards the country, Indira took his letter to Nehru. Brigadier Mishra had added that Nehru had waved the very same letter in the parliament the next day mocking General Thimayya for being emotional and indecisive.

Sham Sharma’s video adds that The Quint’s fact-check video is low on facts itself as it has merely taken the Prime Minister’s statement out of context and attributed things to him that he never claimed while completely ignoring the actual issue.

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