The Congress government in Rajasthan has decided to include the story of “Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman’s bravery” in the syllabus for state schools. Rajasthan Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasra made the announcement on Facebook.
Varthaman was captured when the MiG-21 jet he was flying was brought down by Pakistani aircraft inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on February 27. Pakistan released him on March 1. The aircraft was taken down during a dogfight between Indian and Pakistani planes, the first such aerial skirmish since 1971. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced they would release the pilot as a “goodwill gesture”.
Dotasra, however, did not specify which classes will have it as part of their syllabus. The minister had also proposed including a reference to the Pulwama terror attack in the school syllabus, Amar Ujala reported.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi was among the many public personalities to welcome Varthaman back after he was released. “Wing Cdr. Abhinandan, your dignity, poise and bravery made us all proud. Welcome back and much love,” Gandhi had tweeted.
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after February 14, when 40 security personnel were killed in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad.
India and Pakistan on February 27 claimed that they had shot down each others’ fighter jets, a day after the Indian Air Force had struck a Jaish terror camp in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. India said Pakistan had attempted to target military installations in Jammu and Kashmir. Varthaman’s MiG-21 Bison was shot down during the operation.