Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has turned out to be an inspiring figure for millions of Indian youths ever since he returned from Pakistan where he had been briefly detained following an aerial engagement.
Abhinandan shot down an F-16 fighter jet of Pakistan Air Force before ejecting from his crashed MiG-21 and being detained by the Pakistan Army. He was handed over to India two days later, in a "gesture of peace", in Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's words.
However, the brave officer is still the talk of the town in Pakistan, albeit for wrong reasons.
Of late, an insensitive advertisement apparently published by an educational start-up based in Multan has taken the social media by storm as it virtually insults Abhinandan.
The advertisement of TeachAt Network carries a photo of the officer along with a text: "Professional bann, Abhinandan na bann" which translates to “Be a professional, not like Abhinandan”.
A Twitter account, @teachatnetwork, claiming to be that of the start-up, later put up a post saying that the ad was just a method to attract their local market. However, the authenticity of the Twitter account could not be verified.
The air forces of India and Pakistan engaged in an aerial skirmish a day after a fleet of IAF fighter jets crossed the border to pound a major training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad at Balakot. The operation came 12 days after the terror outfit orchestrated an attack at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, killing 40 CRPF jawans.