- A photo BJP tweeted shows half of national flag covered by the party flag
- Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor raised the issue on Twitter
- India won't tolerate insult to the national flag, tweeted Youth Congress
A photograph of the tribute ceremony to former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh has triggered a controversy on social media. Kalyan Singh - the BJP veteran on whose watch the Babri Masjid was demolished - died on Saturday at the age of 89.
Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Lucknow to pay his respects. Kalyan Singh was a valuable personality and a capable leader who became a "symbol of faith" for the common people, he had said. But later in the day, there was apparently some rearrangement of the bier.
Its photo, tweeted by the BJP, shows Kalyan Singh's body lying in state, draped by the national flag. But half of it was seen to be covered up by the party flag of the BJP.
Senior Congress leader and party MP Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter to raise the issue. "As one who had to fight a court case for four years merely for placing my hand on my heart during the singing of the National Anthem (rather than standing stiffly to attention), I think the nation should be told how the ruling party feels about this insult:," he tweeted, while sharing an NDTV report.
"Is it ok to place party flag over Indian flag in New India?" questioned Srinivas BV, the chief of the Youth Congress.
Is it ok to place party flag— Srinivas BV (@srinivasiyc) August 22, 2021
over Indian flag in New India? pic.twitter.com/UTkfsTwUzz
"India will not tolerate the insult to the national flag," the Youth Congress tweeted in Hindi from its official handle.
"Party above the Nation.Flag above the Tricolor. BJP as usual : no regret, no repentance, no sorrow, no grief," tweeted Samajwadi Party spokesperson Ghanshyam Tiwari.
Section 2 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act says, "Insults to Indian National Flag and Constitution of India", says: "Whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view burns, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or otherwise shows disrespect to or brings into contempt (whether by words, either spoken or written, or by acts) the Indian National Flag or the Constitution of India or any part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both."
Earlier this year, an instance of disrespect to the flag had taken place at the iconic Red Fort during the farmers' rally. After the farmers entered the forecourt of the fort, climbed its ramparts, and hoisted a religious flag on a mast outside, the Centre said it would "not tolerate disrespect to the flag".