On Monday morning, retired Army major Gaurav Arya got into a Twitter spat with two other former defence personnel, which turned quite ugly. Some people on Twitter even questioned Arya’s use of language, as he went on a Twitter rant against those he felt questioned his authority as a defence expert.
But who is Major Gurav Arya? He did serve in the Indian Army for a brief period before an injury cut short his career.
St Stephens alumnus
Arya graduated in 1992 with a honours degree in history. Although he does admit that most of his friends were in Hansraj College. In an article that he wrote in Swarajya, Arya recalls how while he was walking from Stephen’s to Hansraj, he had to pass through Hindu College where he met Arnab Goswami for the first time.
Joining the Armed forces
Arya joined the Indian Army as a short-services commissioned officer in 1993. As he joined as an SSC, his service to the Armed Forces began the day he started training. He was commissioned into the 17th Battalion, Kumaon Regiment on March 5, 1994.
Buried under snow and subsequent retirement
Arya was reportedly buried under snow in 1996 when he was stationed at the 36 Sector aka Sugar Sector along the Line of Actual Control. He retired from the Army as a Major in 1999 after an injury put him out of action.
Open letter after Burhan Wani’s death and television debut
In 2016, Arya wrote an open letter on Facebook criticising those who were revolting against the death of Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani. In a piece he wrote for Swarajya magazine, Arya said, “I wrote an article called “Open Letter to Burhan Wani” and posted it on Facebook before I went to sleep. Before I went to sleep, I had 530 friends on Facebook. When I woke up, there were 732 likes and friend requests. By noon, I was getting phone calls. By 4 p m, I got a call from Army Headquarters from a serving general in the Indian Army.” Arya was then called to speak on News Hour, the Arnab Goswami-hosted news segment on Times Now.
Entry to Republic
After Goswami left Times Now, Arya says he hadn’t heard from him in a while and the channel got in touch with him in 2017 to join as a defence expert. Arya has been hosting Patriot since then.
Accusations of spreading fake news
Arya has been called out on more than one occasion for sharing fake news stories. He has, however, stood by his tweets, claiming that the people questioning him were supporting Pakistan.