Thursday, August 5

Whoops! Indian reader catches major gaffe! (UPDATED 4:50 AM)

"Hi Pundita,

The [Reuters] photograph you have taken from the Maclean's article, Land of the Generals, is actually of soldiers from India's BSF and the Indian Army. Notice that the photo is taken from the Indian side of the Wagah border and the label on the arch in the background is Pakistan, implying that the land beyond the arch is Pakistan.

Also, the uniforms of the border guards in the foreground are khaki - which is the colour of the Border Security Force's uniforms. Pakistan's border guards - Pakistan Rangers - have a black uniform, as can be seen with the chap standing on the arch just above the 'P.'

Third: The headgear of the soldiers in khaki has the Ashok emblem on it - India's official emblem. The gents with red tabs on their collar are officers of the Indian Army whereas the ones with black tabs are officers of the BSF.

Please remove this pic. It is rather embarrassing to have the Indian armed forces confused for their Paki counterparts. 60 years without a single coup attempt have earned the men on the Indian side of the border the right not to be confused with the feudal lords of Rawalpindi. :-)


Shaunak --
Thank you very much! I have removed the photo and edited the accompanying text. I will write Maclean's to alert them, as well.

There might be one small error I've made in my previous email to you. The gent in the khaki uniform with the red tab on his collar is definitely the only Pakistan Army officer in the entire pic (The Indian Army's uniform is olive green).

The rest of the details I mentioned (The arch, BSF uniforms, Ashok emblems etc.) remain true, as can be verified via this pic taken from the Indian side of the border. Notice the same arch on the Pakistani side. Apologies for the earlier error.

See the link Shaunak provides for the full-sized photo, which is too large for this blog.

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