By Aziz A. Mubaraki,
A big controversy, perhaps intentionally propagated by imbeciles who fancy Vice President Hamid Ansari be sacked for “non salutation” to the National flag during the passing of Republic Day Parade this Monday.
But the more instant question here is what does the protocol says? And on inquest I found, according to Section VI of the Flag Code of India, which deals with the protocols for saluting the flag it says “During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag, or when the flag is passing in a parade or in a review, all persons present should face the Flag and stand at attention. Those present in uniform should render the appropriate salute. The President of India serves as the de jure Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, may be considered to be in uniform and hence is allowed the salute.
And as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President Hamid Ansari, US President Barack Obama and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar were not in uniform and were therefore not required to salute the flag.
Hence it can be said that PM Modi and DM Parrikar actually made a mistake by saluting the flag, it can be either out of inexperience or enthusiasm. While Hamid Ansari did the right thing….!!!
Apart from that it is worth mentions that Mr. Mohammed Hamid Ansari is no layman as some of his colleagues (read politicians) are, he secured the 4th rank in UPSC and joined the Indian Foreign Service as a diplomat in 1961. He served the country as an IFS officer in various countries. He has represented the country as an ambassador to United Arab Emirates , Afghanistan, Iran & Saudia Arabia and as Chief of Protocol, Government of India from 1980-1985. So it can be said, the controversy is not about the salutation, respect or disrespect to the “National Flag”, as its made out to be, and is more deep rooted and murkier than what it looks like. Factually the country’s internal politics has turned real rotten these days, and the Muslims are presumed to be anti BJP hence anti-national, thus are facing toughest time ever in the history of this country. There are people who intentionally stoke the flames of hate against other communities. And it’s something truly despicable. Some do it because they simply detest and abhor anyone who doesn’t accept their political supremacy. But for a few others, Muslim bashing is their career and only source for attaining publicity & power. They make a living writing books and giving lectures about how Muslims destroyed this country 600 years ago and how they conspire to do it now, pathetic!
Whereas the fact is, Muslims have voted like any other electorate considering the pros and cons of the candidates irrespective of their political affiliations. And a huge chunk of Muslims flocking around BJP’s office in Kolkata these days, only endorses my contention.
But it hardly matter how many times a Muslim swears his adherence to the Indian nation and proves his “DESH BHAKTI”, no matter how successful one becomes in the country, there will always be doubt over his patriotism, regrettably same is the case with Vice-President of India. The underlying truth for a Muslim; one must prove his love for the country on a daily basis (weekly, monthly or annual endorsement of the same is not allowed) as Muslim is expected to wear his patriotism on his sleeves, isn’t it Sic….!!!!
And coming back to the primary issue, here are some of the facts from the life of Hamid Ansari for his detractors kind perusal.
1937 – Was born in Kolkata, India
1959 – M.A. (Political Science) from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
1959-61 – Worked as a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science, AMU.
1961 – Joined the Indian Foreign Service, by securing 4th rank.
1976-80 – Worked as an Ambassador in United Arab Emirates (UAE).
1980-85 – Worked as the Chief of Protocol Officer, Government of India.
1984 – Was awarded the Padma Shri
1985-1989 – Worked as the High Commissioner to Australia.
1989-1990 – Worked as an Ambassador to Afghanistan.
1990-1992 – Worked as an Ambassador to Iran.
1993-1995 – Was a Permanent Representative to the UN, New York.
1995-1999 – Served as an Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
1999-2000 – Served as a visiting professor, Centre for West Asian and African Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
2000-2002 – Served as the Vice-Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
2002-2006 – Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi
2003-2005 – Served as the visiting professor, Academy for Third World Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
2004-2006 – Was made Co-Chairman, India-U.K, Round Table Conference
2004-2006 – Member, National Security Advisory Board
2004-2005 – Was made Chairman, Advisory Committee for Oil Diplomacy, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
2006 – Chairman, Working Group on “Confidence building measures across segments of society in the State”, established by the second Round Table Conference with the Prime Minister, Jammu and Kashmir issue, held at Srinagar.
2007-Present – Becomes the Vice-President of India and ex officio Chairman, Rajya Sabha
Aziz A. Mubaraki is a Member of Advisory Committee Airport Authority of India (NSC) Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India.