Forget nationalism, forget patriotism. Unless you're suffering from paralysis, an individual is expected to stand up whenever the national anthem is played as a mark of respect or at least out of common decency.
But apparently, it looks like former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah doesn't believe in these things. At least, that's the message he sent to the nation on Thursday, when he was caught on camera talking on his mobile phone while the National Anthem was being played during Mamata Banerjees swearing-in ceremony.
State chief secretary Basudeb Banerjee requested all to stand up for the National Anthem at Red Road in Kolkata where the ceremony was being held.
Abdullah, also the National Conference president, was seen talking over his mobile phone when everyone was standing in attention. Standing next to him was RJD leader Lalu Prasad.
Watch the video below:
What could've possibly been so important, that the phone call took precedence over the national anthem?
When confronted by the media, Abdullah refused to comment.
I have nothing to tell media: Former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah on disrepect the national anthem issue pic.twitter.com/ycIpc4kPR0— ANI (@ANI_news) May 27, 2016
Reacting to the incident, BJP MP from Rajya Sabha, Subramanian Swamy termed his actions as a "breach of propriety" and also demanded an apology, reports ANI.
Senior Congress leader Ambika Soni said "I really dont know what happened. But, whenever the national anthem is being played, we all should stand at attention."
And as expected, Abdullah was ripped apart on Twitter for his insensitive action.
Farooq Abdullah was on the phone during our Anthem?Sigh.What could be his reason?Maybe Uday Chopra was breaking up with him on WhatsApp?— Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) May 27, 2016
Stop bothering Farooq Abdullah. A person who enabled the slaughter of thousands of Pandits will sing the National Anthem? For what?— IndiaSpeaks (@IndiaSpeaksPR) May 27, 2016
Disturbed to see Farooq Abdullah speaking on mobile during national anthem in Kolkata. There are some common decencies that must be observed— Swapan Dasgupta (@swapan55) May 27, 2016
Why're we surprised at Farooq Abdullah taking a call during the national anthem? When did Abdullahs treat India as their country anyway?— Sonam Mahajan (@AsYouNotWish) May 27, 2016