Prime Minister Narendra Modi, recently in the news for not having taken even a single day off since he took charge on 26 May, 2014, raised many eyebrows in Moscow on the first day of his two-day visit for the 16th India-Russia annual summit.
Modi, known for his crisp manner of speech and brisk functioning, accidentally walked past the guard of honour accorded to him while the Indian national anthem was being played after his arrival on Wednesday, reported PTI.
According to videos telecast and shared by several national news channels, it seems like Modi misinterpreted a gesture made by a Russian official, thinking he was being asked to walk ahead. But he was soon gently pulled back by another official to come back and stand still as the national anthem Jana Gana Mana was playing.
After he realised his faux pas, Modi immediately stood erect and in attention, because as per convention, a person is supposed to stand still when the national anthem is played.
The social media, of course, lost no time in reacting to this major gaffe by the PM.
The Congress was vehement in its condemnation of Modi's mistake:
It takes a foreigner to remind an Indian PM that he needs to respect his own country's National Anthem. #ShameDecember 24, 2015
Modi signs on National Flag and violates Flag Code. Now walks away when Indian National Anthem is being played in Russia. Unprecedented !— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) December 24, 2015
Then there were the hilarious sarcastic comments flooding the timelines:
Shouldn't the Russian military have paused the National Anthem when they saw that He was walking? How dare they insult Mr Modi!— Salil Tripathi (@saliltripathi) December 23, 2015
Sign the flag, pose near upside down flag ke baad, walk during national anthem. Lage raho, nationalism Modi style. https://t.co/RUOJFmijot— Wildcard Vidyut (@Vidyut) December 23, 2015
Waiting for Bhakts to say The national anthem was forced on India by Congress anyway. Why should Modi respect it?December 23, 2015
List of National icons which Modi has insulted
-National AnthemDecember 23, 2015
@waglenikhil A Muslim Family was thrown out of cinema hall for disrespecting National Anthem but Modi is above the Nation .— The Chosen One (@Marc__Me) December 24, 2015
But there were many others who thought that PM Modi's mistake was unintentional:
Don't think @narendramodi deliberately insulted national anthem. But then don't challenge intentions of others when they commit mistakes!— nikhil wagle (@waglenikhil) December 24, 2015
Jokes apart, Modi didn't intentionally start walking while the national anthem was played. He was signaled by the officer to start walking— Tinu Cherian Abraham (@tinucherian) December 23, 2015
somebody asks Modi to go ahead! he walks! meanwhile,the national anthem starts! he is asked to step back! wow! funny https://t.co/mHkkoRcm1u— Keh Ke Peheno (@coolfunnytshirt) December 23, 2015
According to an earlier report by HuffPost India, PM Modi and the Russian President Vladimir Putin are set to discuss defence, nuclear energy, and international terror during the visit.
(With inputs from PTI)
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