The Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Friday appointed Col Aman Anand as its acting Official Spokesperson after the incumbent Spokesperson, Swarnashree Rao Rajshekhar, proceeded on leave. Col Anand is at present the spokesperson of Indian Army.
Rajshekhar's departure comes on a day when she posted a distasteful tweet to former Navy Chief Admiral Arun Prakash questioning the privileges that top military brass enjoys. Rajshekhar is from Indian Defence Accounts Services. The MoD Spokesperson post is traditionally held by Indian Information Services (IIS) officers.
On Friday, Rajshekhar responded to a retweet by former Navy Chief, Admiral Prakash, highlighting misuse of flags by civilian officers. This tweet had a visual of a car having the flag of Internal Financial Advisor (IFA) attached to Indian Army's Western Command. Since bureaucrats are not entitled to such privilege reserved only for top military brass, the visual went viral on social media.
Responding to Admiral Prakash's tweet, Rajshekhar wrote back to India's one of the most decorated officer: "What about the misuse of jawans in your residence during an officer's tenure sir? And how about children being picked up and dropped to school in Fauji gaadis? Not to forget Madam's shopping expedition, in government vehicle. And endless parties...who pays for that?"
The post ignited strong reactions from people on the social media including military veterans who felt that Rajshekhar's tweet reflected "a deep rooted and twisted anti-armed forces mindset that prevails in MoD" and bureaucracy.
The post also caught the eye of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who called for Rajshekhar's sacking. Facing flak from all sides, Rajshekhar later deleted her post and apologised.