Vice-president Hamid Ansari's office had to issue a statement on Monday after he was viciously attacked on social media for not saluting the Tricolor while the national anthem was being played during the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi on Monday.
Social media users accused Ansari of breaching protocol by not saluting the flag. However, a statement from the vice-president's office clarified that there was no breach. "As per the protocol, when the national anthem is played, the principal dignitary and persons in uniform take the salute. Those in civil dress stand in attention," it said.
"During the Republic Day Parade, the President of India, as Supreme Commander, takes the salute. As per protocol, the vice-president is required to stand in attention," the statement said.
"When the vice president is the principal dignitary, he salutes during the national anthem, wearing a headgear, as done at NCC camp this year," it added.
Gurdeep Singh Sappal, officer on special duty to the Vice President and CEO and editor-in-chief of Rajya Sabha TV, tweeted to clarify that protocol clearly states that the V-P isn't supposed to salute the flag when the president is present.
After the celebrations ended on Sunday, photos in which President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, defence minister Manohar Parrikkar saluted the flag while Ansari had his hands by his side went viral on Twitter.
While some criticised Ansari, many others reacted saying that raking it up was "unnecessary and shameful".