New Delhi, Jan 27: At a time India was bragging about the Obamas' India visit, and the growing bromance of Modi and Obama, a controversy was also slowly taking shape.
On Republic day, major row came to fore after a picture showing Vice-President Hamid Ansari not paying proper respect to National Flag hit the social media. Being termed ‘Jihadi', ‘Anti-Indian' and ‘anti-nationalist', Ansari was slammed for not following the norms and rule of the country.
The uproar started after a picture featured President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar saluting the national flag while chief guest Barack Obama, President of the USA, and Ansari were standing idle.
While one tweet questioned whether Ansari was suffering from a hand paralysis, another called him a Turkish immigrant who was behaving like a tourist. Some other tweets even went to the extent of questioning the religion of the vice-president saying patriotism has no place in Islam.
However, there were also tweets in defence of vice-president, saying it is not mandatory to salute the national flag and he did show respect by standing up when the national anthem was being played.
Targetted for being Muslim?
Those who swear by Ansari's patriotism say that he is being targetted just because of his minority tag. In a sarcastic taunt, they further say that no matter how many times a Muslim swears his allegiance to the nation, Muslims are considered enemy of the country. They(Muslims) have to prove their loyalty over and over again.
But the real question is whether it was Vice President Hamid Ansari at fault or Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar? Who actually broke the protocol ?
Let's see what is the incumbent rule.
According to Section VI of the Flag Code of India, "During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag, or when the flag is passing in a parade or in a review, all persons present should face the flag and stand at attention. Those present in uniform should render the appropriate salute. When the Flag is in a moving column, persons present will stand at attention or salute as the Flag passes them. "
Above fact was further subscribed by Gurdeep Sappal, Joint Secretary and OSD to the Vice President.
"As per the protocol, when the national anthem is played, the Principal Dignitary and persons in uniform take the salute. Those in civil dress stand in attention.
"During the Republic Day Parade, the President of India, as Supreme Commander, takes the salute. As per protocol, the Vice President is required to stand in attention," Sappal said in a statement.
Sappal further added, "When the Vice President is the Principal Dignitary, he salutes during the national anthem, wearing a headgear, as done at NCC camp this year".
It seems Modi's supporters unnecessary raked up the controversy and targeted Ansari.