New Delhi: Scenes of US President Donald Trump’s supporters storming Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. have been flooding social posts all day. But amid the deluge, Indians were more surprised to spot the tricolour among a sea of American flags outside the Capitol building.
BJP leader and Lok Sabha member Varun Gandhi tweeted a video that showed the Indian national flag being carried by someone at the protest, and noted that this is a fight Indians did not need to participate in.
Why is there an Indian flag there??? This is one fight we definitely don’t need to participate in… pic.twitter.com/1dP2KtgHvf
— Varun Gandhi (@varungandhi80) January 7, 2021
In the video, the flag can be seen in the lower left corner of the frame as Trump supporters cry out “We Want Trump”.
The supporters stormed the building as the House of Representatives and the Senate held a rare joint session to begin certifying the results of the presidential election held in November 2020 that gave Democrat Joe Biden a victory. Trump has refused to accept the result, alleging that the voter tabulation process is fraudulent, and called on supporters to “stop the steal”.
Wednesday’s violence is only the latest such instance of supporters rallying for Trump.
As visuals of the protesters clashing with police and walking through the Capitol Hill piled on, Indian leaders who spotted the video of the flag took to Twitter.
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi said whoever was waving the Indian flag should feel ashamed.
Whoever is waving this Indian flag should feel ashamed. Don’t use our tricolour to participate in such violent & criminal acts in another country. pic.twitter.com/CuBMkq9Siu
— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) January 7, 2021
Senior Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor replied to Varun Gandhi, commenting that the flag is a warning that there are some Indians with the same mentality as the “Trumpist mob, who enjoy using the flag as a weapon rather than a badge of pride”.
Unfortunately, @varungandhi80, there are some Indians with the same mentality as that Trumpist mob, who enjoy using the flag as a weapon rather than a badge of pride, & denounce all who disagree with them as anti-nationals & traitors. That flag there is a warning to all of us. https://t.co/uJIaDlLklt
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 7, 2021
Another Twitter user claimed there were some Indian-Americans among the mob at Capitol Hill. Journalist Arun Venugopal posted a screenshot of his conversation with one such Indian-American who claimed to be a witness to the storming of the building.
Lest you think this was an all-white mob, there are Indian-American supporters of the president who took part — like my source Hemant, a businessman from Iselin, New Jersey. He sounded ecstatic about today’s events. pic.twitter.com/kQETsVzBNo
— Arun Venugopal (@arunNYC) January 6, 2021
Calling it “shameful” that the Indian flag was part of the mob violence, a historian shared how during the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the Indian contingent was one of two teams that did not raise their arms in salute to Adolf Hitler while marching past him.
The Indian Olympian contingent was one of only two teams to not raise their arm (Nazi Salute) as they marched past Adolf Hitler during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Defiance.
Today the Indian Flag was there along with Confederate & White supremacists flags in #CapitolHill. Shameful.
— Advaid അദ്വൈത് (@Advaidism) January 7, 2021
Others on Twitter, including comedian Vir Das and actor-director Ram Subramanian, also condemned the presence of the Indian flag at the incident.
Dear random Indian dude waving Indian flag at the #CapitolRiots
Every large crowd IS NOT A CRICKET MATCH!
— Vir Das (@thevirdas) January 7, 2021
That’s an Indian flag supporting a protest aimed at dismantle American democracy. Any idea who these idiots are and why they feel the need to fly the Indian flag? pic.twitter.com/ZwZ7s2ZbR4
— Ram Subramanian (@VORdotcom) January 7, 2021
Is the guy at the bottom left with Indian flag shouting ‘ab ki bar, Trump Sarkar’? pic.twitter.com/L6HKrq3G4C
— Parminder Singh (@parrysingh) January 7, 2021
The pro-Trump mob was subdued after several hours, with the National Guard being eventually called out and more than a dozen protesters arrested. Four persons have died in the violence.
Several world leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, condemned the incident and urged for restoration of democracy and a peaceful transition of power.
Later in the day, President Trump assured of an “orderly” transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden.
Read ThePrint’s 50-Word Edit: Capitol violence a lesson to all democracies to understand downside of electing demagogues
When leaders with fascist tendencies decide to scratch each other’s backs, it is not without consequences. The Howdy-Modi and Namaste-Trump events are exactly for enabling such behaviour. A Varun Gandhi may be acting uppity and outraged today, but he should be reminded that his dear leader is the main reason why the tricolor is so shamed today by being present amidst an anti democratic insurrection. “Andh-Bhakts” have been mobilised for exactly this by the populist dramas enacted by Modi and BJP in the USA.
Indian flag at U.S Capitol riot is probably in connection to the high profile Indian preacher Sadhu Sundar Selveraj who is hugely popular among Trump supporting evangelicals here in the United States. Thanks.
Smart huh! How do we know these were not pakistanis? If I am true India supporter I will carry a Pakistan flag so go figure.
can we get a Cut The Clutter on this Issue
HA111HA111HA111 SUSPICIOUS !! V…E…R…Y SUSPICIOUS ,FRIENDS !! THERE MUST BE SOME ILL PLAN BEHIND IT !! MODI JI IS A CLOSE FRIEND OF TRUMP !! TRUMP ALSO HAS A SOFT CORNER !! EQUATION IS …..SUPPORT MUTUALLY WHEN IN DISTRESS !! RATHER, WHEN IN ACTION !! V…E…R…Y SUSPICIOUS !!!
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