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Modi "signs" national flag, social media attacks him for "violating code"; officials take it away to check code

By Our Representative
Social media, especially Twitter and Facebook, is ripe with sharply-worded comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the allegation that he has “insulted” the national flag by signing on it. According to reports from New York, the signed flag was to be handed over by celebrity chef Vikas Khanna to President Barack Obama, whom plans to meet Modi after the latter’s visit to Silicon Valley. Khanna is said to be a four-time Michelin-starred chef. He reportedly cooked a feast on Thursday evening, which included sandalwood saffron sherbet, paneer ravioli, saffron sheermal and mango-ginger soup. Many of the dishes were from his coffee table book on festival cuisine in India, which, too, he was to present Obama.
Hitting hard on Modi, @TruthofGujarat, which has over 13,000 followers, tweeted that “after wiping his sweat using the tricolor during Yoga Day, Modi now violates flag code by signing on the tricolor.”
The twitter account, @TruthofGujarat, if managed by Pratik Sinha, son of iconic High Court lawyer Mukul Sinha, who was officially allowed to counter-question representations before the Nanavaty-Shah commission, which probed Gujarat riots. Sinha passed away last year after suffering from cancer.
Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt (@sanjivbhatt), a whistleblower who is known to be one of the sharpest critics of Modi, tweeted “Finally, Modi becomes the first PM to sign an Indian flag in contravention of the Flag Code of India.”
Rajiv Tyagi posted on the Facebook, “Modi is the first Prime Minister to sign an Indian flag in contravention of the Flag Code of India”, even as giving a shot of a Times of India tweet which said “@narendramodi autographed the national flag for President @POTUS to be handed over to him. #ModinUSA.”
Tyagi is an ex-serviceman with Indian Air Force. He, as also all those who have gone on viral on Facebook and Twitter, criticizing Modi, have reproduced the code which says that “lettering of any kind shall not be put on the Flag”.
A celebrity, Ramesh Shrivats (@rameshshrivats), who calls himself an “armchair thinker” and whose followers include Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan, tweeted, “PM Modi signs an Indian flag to be gifted to President Obama. Outrage. Opposition screams, "RESIGN, RESIGN." So, Modi signs again.”
Sanjay Hedge (@sanjayuvacha), who calls himself “lawyer and history buff”, tweeted, “Signing flag for Obama, wearing 10lakh signature suit for Obama, what black magic has Obama done for Modi to repeatedly do the unsuitable.”
The controversy broke out soom after ANI (@ANI_news) tweeted, “PM Modi autographed the Indian flag for President Obama to be handed over to him by renowned Chef Vikas Khanna” and released a photograph (pic.twitter.com/2ES9TZ6zXK).
Several journalists, covering Modi in the US, have suggested that it is a non-story, but online, there has been a lot of criticism. Aashish Mehta (@aashishSmehta) said, “Hon PM signs flag to be presented to US Pres by Chef Vikas Khanna & defies Flag code #PMSorryBolo@AamAadmiParty.”
However, top NDTV journalist Barkha Dutt (@barkhadutt), currently in the US, said, “Ridiculous Twitter controversy over PM signing flag for @TheVikasKhanna to gift to Obama. Officials have now taken flag away to check code.”

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