NASHIK: There is a strong message from the wife of a martyred Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot for social media warriors and those calling for full-scale war from the comforts of their home. Vijeta, the wife of IAF Squadron Leader Ninad Mandavgane killed in a Mi 17 helicopter crash in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam on February 27 along with five other soldiers, has urged social media ‘warriors’ to not whip up sentiments over the current India-Pakistan tensions and if possible go to the border and fight for the country if they have courage.
A video of Vijeta has gone viral in which she is appealing to war mongerers on social media. The brave IAF pilot’s wife said, “Ninad was not only a soldier, but he was also a great man too. If people trying to seek revenge really want to do something for the country, then they should join the armed forces or send someone from their family to do so. By fighting on social media nothing will be achieved. If you have so much courage, then go and fight on the border. Sending messages on whatsapp and Facebook will achieve nothing.”
Appealing to the ‘social media warriors’, Vijeta asked those calling for revenge and trying to spew venom to do something constructive for the country and help the soldiers guarding India’s borders. She also appealed for peace between the two nuclear-powered neighbours – India and Pakistan.
“The consequences of war are dangerous. We don’t want war, not a single person should die, it all should stop,” she said in the viral video.
Talking about her husband, Vijeta said Ninad wasn’t only a good officer but a great citizen as well.
On the mood of the nation, Vijeta said a lot was happening on social media and on TV. She said people were raising slogans and adding to the tensions.
“Armymen and soldiers on the border aren’t reading your ‘zindabad and murdabad’ messages,” Vijeta said.
IAF pilot Ninad was cremated with full military honours at Nashik’s Amardham Crematorium. He was given 21-gun salute amid chants of ‘Shahid Ninad Amar Rahe’ which filled the air.
He is survived by his wife and two-year-old daughter Nia. The 33-year-old Ninad was commissioned in the IAF helicopter wing in December 2009.