What is the Controversy Around Richa Chadha’s Galwan Tweet, Why Did Actress Apologise?

Actor Richa Chadha kicked up a storm with a recent tweet in which she apparently referred to the deadly clash in Galwan Valley in 2020. In the now-deleted tweet, the actor had written “Galwan says hi” in response to the Northern Army Commander Lt General Upendra Dwivedi’s statement that the Indian Army is “waiting for orders from the govt (sic)” in reclaiming Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). After a huge social media backlash and complaints against her, the actress issued an apology.

Here are more details on the controversy that Richa Chadha sparked off with her tweet.

‘Galwan says hi’

Northern Army Commander Lt General Upendra Dwivedi on Tuesday reacted to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s recent statement hinting at retrieving parts of Kashmir illegally occupied by Pakistan. “As far as the Indian Army is concerned, it will carry out any order given by the government of India. We are always ready for it,” Dwivedi was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.

Richa reacted to a Twitter post that put out Dwivedi’s statement, and wrote, “Galwan says hi”, in reference to the clash in Galwan Valley in 2020, in which 20 Indian Army soldiers attained martyrdom while China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) lost around 35-40 troops.

India and China are locked in a lingering border standoff in eastern Ladakh for over 29 months. The bilateral relationship came under severe strain following the clash in Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh in June 2020.

Richa’s comment was taken as a taunt towards the Indian Army, and led to a severe backlash on Twitter with many criticising her for “mocking the sacrifice” of Indian soldiers.

Complaints against Richa

Advocate Vineet Jindal filed a complaint to Commissioner of Police, Delhi against Richa’s controversial tweet. Jindal filed the complaint “on the recent derogatory statement upon the statement of Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command of the Indian Army ‘that they are prepared to take back Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’ by Bollywood actress Richa Chadha from her Twitter account on Wednesday, 23rd November 2022, in which she mocked the whole Indian Army and sacrifice done by them. Sharing a post on the statement by Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command of the Indian Army, Richa took to her Twitter handle and wrote, ‘Galwan says hi’.”

Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit also reacted, saying “Nobody has a right to mock our soldiers’ and added that he has filed a case against her with the Mumbai Police.

Richa apologises

The Fukrey actress, who never shies away from expressing her views on topical issues, later issued an apology and said she didn’t intend to hurt the sentiments of the Indian Army.

“Even though it can never be my intention in the least, if the 3 words which are being dragged into a controversy have offended or hurt anyone, I apologise and also say that it would sadden me if even unintentionally my words have triggered this feeling in my brothers in the Fauj (army) of which my own Nanaji has been an illustrious part,” Chadha said.

Detailing her family’s contribution towards the country’s armed forces, the actor said her maternal grandfather, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Indian Army, took a bullet in his leg during the India-China War of 1965, and her maternal uncle served as a paratrooper.

“It’s in my blood… A whole family is affected when a son is martyred or even injured while saving the nation which is made up of people like us and I personally know how it feels. It is an emotive issue for me,” she added.

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