Vice-President Hamid Ansari’s office put to rest a controversy that had sparked off on the social media as to why he was not seen saluting when the National Anthem was being played during Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath on Monday.
His office clarified that in keeping with the protocol, the Vice-President does not offer a salute when he is not the principal dignitary.
Gurdeep Singh Sappal, officer on special duty to the Vice-President. tweeted: “When National anthem is played, Principal Dignitary & persons in uniform take salute. Those in civil dress stand in attention.” He explained that at the Republic Day parade, the President of India, as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, takes the salute and by protocol, the Vice-President is required to stand in attention.
“When the Vice-President is the Principal Dignitary, he salutes during National Anthem, wearing a head gear,” Mr. Sappal said in his tweet. When the National Anthem is played, those in civil dress stand in attention and as per the Flag Code of India, all persons present should face the flag and stand in attention.
Soon after the parade, photographs of President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar saluting the Tricolour, and Mr. Ansari standing in attention were circulated on Twitter.