Actor Richa Chadha today put out a public apology after deleting a controversial Twitter post after a huge backlash over a comment that appeared to deride a top army commander's statement on taking Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) back with a reference to the 2020 Galwan clash with Chinese troops.
"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," Richa Chadha said in her apology tweet.
The actor had earlier controversially posted on Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi's statement that the army is "always ready" for any order from the government on taking back parts of Kashmir illegally occupied by Pakistan and "would give them a befitting reply".
Sharing the commander's statement, Richa Chadha wrote on Twitter, "Galwan says hi."
The post went viral with many calling it "shameful and disgraceful".
In her apology post, Richa Chadha said her grandfather, a "Lieutenant Colonel", took a bullet in the leg in the Indo-China war. "My Mamaji was 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."
The BJP denounced the actor's "Galwan says hi" tweet in a video statement.
"India and Indians respect the Army and the armed forces. When our chief of the army says something we respect that. It is unfortunate that someone from posting something on social media decides to mock the army
Is it correct? Do we even understand the valour that was displayed in Galwan by the soldiers who gave up their life fighting for their motherland? It's unfortunate and condemnable to come out with this kind of post," said BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli.
Another BJP leader, Manjinder Singh Sirsa, tweeted: "Disgraceful Tweet. Should be withdrawn at the earliest. Insulting our armed forces is not justified."
Several others on Twitter slammed the actor.
"'Galwan says hi' writes Richa Chadha in response to a statement by a commanding officer on POK. Disrespecting those who gave their lives for India. Mocking the Indian army. She proves once again there is no limit to how low this industry can sink. A boycott is all they are worth," said one user.
"Mocking the sacrifice of our soldiers at Galwan valley. Shameful & disgraceful," said another.
Twenty Indian soldiers died for the country in the Galwan clashes that broke out in June 2020. Over 40 Chinese soldiers were killed or injured in that incident, which set off a series of confrontations between the two nations.
Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi made his statement while reacting to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's remarks stressing the government's resolve to take back Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
"As far as the Indian Army is concerned, it will carry out any order given by the Government of India. Whenever such orders are given, we will always be ready for it. The military is always ready to make sure that ceasefire understanding is never broken as it is in the interest of both nations, but if broken at any time, we will give them a befitting reply," said Lt General Dwivedi.