A photo of the tribute ceremony to former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh is quickly becoming the eye of the storm on social media. Kalyan Singh – the BJP veteran under whose supervision the Babri Masjid was demolished – died yesterday at the age of 89.
Earlier today, 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” to the common people, he said. But later in the day there was apparently a reordering of the bier.
The photo, tweeted by the BJP, shows Kalyan Singh’s body in state, draped by the national flag. But half of it was covered by the BJP party flag.
“Is it okay to put the party flag over the Indian flag in New India?” asked Srivivas BV, the head of the Youth Congress.
Is it ok to put up the party flag?
about the Indian flag in New India? pic.twitter.com/UTkfsTwUzz
— Srinivas BV (@srinivasiyc) August 22, 2021
“India will not tolerate the insult to the national flag,” the Youth Congress tweeted in Hindi from its official address.
“Party over the Nation. Flag over the Tricolor. BJP as usual: No regrets, no remorse, no sorrow, no sorrow,” tweeted Samajwadi Party spokesman Ghanshyam Tiwari.
— Ghanshyam Tiwari (@ghanshyamtiwari) August 22, 2021
Section 2 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honor Act says “Insults to the Indian National Flag and Constitution of India”, says: “Whoever burns, mutilates, damages, defiles in a public place or any other place in front of the public deforms, destroys, tramples on or otherwise shows contempt for or contempts (whether by words, whether spoken or written, or by deed) the Indian national flag or the Constitution of India or any part thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment of a term that can be extended to three years, or with a fine, or with both.”
Earlier this year, during the farmers’ meeting, a case of disrespect for the flag had taken place at the iconic Red Fort. After the peasants entered the fort’s forecourt, climbed the ramparts and hoisted a religious flag from a mast outside, the Center said it “would tolerate no respect for the flag”.