In February 2019, tensions between India and Pakistan heightened in the aftermath of the Pulwama Terror Attack that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF jawans. Pakistan-based terror organization Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack. Several days after the attack, the Indian Air Force carried out an airstrike at a terror camp run by Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Abhinandan Varthaman became the face of the military confrontation between India and Pakistan. The wing commander was part of an aerial engagement with Pakistan a day after the Balakot airstrike. Abhinandan downed an F-16 fighter jet of the Pakistan Air Force and was later caught by the Pakistan army after his Mig-21 crashed on their side. During his brief capture, all Indians waited with bated breath for Abhinandan to come back to the Indian soil. The nation collectively breathed a sigh of relief when the IAF wing commander finally returned safely after staying in custody for multiple days in Pakistan.
It was recently announced that India's hero aka IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be conferred Vir Chakra on Independence Day. (Vir Chakra is a reputed honour and India's third-highest wartime gallantry medal.)
We first saw pictures of Abhinandan in the news when he was captured, blindfolded and handcuffed by the Pakistani military. Later, a video was released wherein he could be seen sipping tea and saying that his captors were treating him well. When he was about to be released, the IAF superhero was made to record a video praising the Pakistani military for displaying good conduct. The clip had the wing commander saying that the Pakistani Army saved him from the mob.
After his safe return to India on March 1, Abhinandan Varthaman, the son of a former high-ranking IAF official, had undergone tests in New Delhi and after clearing the medical examination, he was subsequently posted out of Jammu and Kashmir as part of service policy as well as security reasons.
The Vir Chakra is awarded for acts of gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land or at sea or in the air. And certainly, there's no one more deserving than braveheart Abhinandan Varthaman to receive the award! It's a proud moment for the entire country.