The outrage started after a picture showing President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar saluting the national flag while chief guest Barack Obama, the president of the USA, and Ansari standing idle.
Hamid Ansari holding the 2nd highest Constitutional office refuses to salute symbol of National Honor! pic.twitter.com/ggBE8K1Ckf— Shaelesh (@Shaelesh) January 26, 2015
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.
One tweet even slammed Congress chief Sonia Gandhi for backing Ansari for the vice-president's position.
However, there were also tweets that came to the vice-president's defence, saying it is not mandatory to salute the national flag and he did show respect by standing up during the playing of the national anthem.
Hamid Ansari led an Indian delegation to Riyadh to attend the funeral of Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the king who passed away on Friday. Ansari served as the ambassador to Saudi Arabia between 1995 and 1999.