IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. (File Photo: ANI)
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, on Monday demanded that handlebar moustache of the brave Indian Air Force (AIF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman should be made 'national moustache'. Chowdhury also demanded that the IAF braveheart should be awarded for shooting down Pakistani F-16 fighter jet seconds before his plane was hit.
"Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman should be awarded and his moustache should be made 'national moustache'," Chowdhury said.
Congress Lok Sabha leader, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in Lok Sabha: Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman should be awarded and his moustache should be made 'national moustache'. (file pic of Abhinandan Varthaman) pic.twitter.com/0utFf61wwl— ANI (@ANI) June 24, 2019
Varthaman was recently in news after Jazz TV aired an advertisement which took a dig at him. The advertisement features a man with Varthaman’s trademark moustache who says: “I am sorry, I am not supposed to tell you that, sir,” when asked questions related to India’s playing XI and the team’s strategy if it wins the toss. IAF pilot Varthaman had the same response to questions that were posed to him by the Pakistan Army officials.
The lookalike is also seen sipping tea from a cup as the scene serves as a reminder of the grilling questioning of the Wing Commander.
Earlier, Varthaman's beard style became the talk of the town after his return from captivity in Pakistan. Youths wanted to sport the 'Abhinandan style' on their faces in a nod to the IAF pilot's emulable bravery and courage.
Varthaman was captured by the Pakistani Army on February 27 after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets during aerial combat. Before his jet was hit, he downed an F-16 fighter of Pakistan. Varthaman was released on the night of March 1 by Pakistan. After he was captured, Varthaman showed courage and grace in handling the most difficult circumstances for which he was praised by politicians, strategic affairs experts, ex-servicemen, celebrities and people in general.
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after Indian fighters bombed terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest training camp near Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26.
Pakistan retaliated by attempting to target Indian military installations the next day. However, the IAF thwarted their plans. The Indian strike on the JeM camp came 12 days after the terror outfit claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Kashmir, killing 40 soldiers.