New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for walking while the national anthem was being played during his visit to Russia, saying he hurt the dignity of the country.
“The recent incident in Russia when the prime minister walked while the national anthem was being played shows his deliberate, or inadvertent lack of respect for national icons. It is not merely a protocol gaffe,” Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a statement.
He said it is customary all over the world to stand still while a national anthem is played.
“The prime minister, especially while travelling abroad, is representing 1.2 billion people of our country. When he does not give due respect to our national anthem, he is hurting the dignity of our country,” he said.
The Congress leader said national flags and national anthems were not mere symbols but stand for the identity, integrity and the dignity of the nation.
“It is with utmost sadness that Indian National Congress is forced to condemn the behaviour of Modi, because of his evident lack of respect either for the national flag or national anthem,” Surjewala said.
According to media reports, Modi was pulled back by a Russian official after he kept walking while the Indian national anthem was being played during a guard of honour function.