Vinson Palathingal, a native of Kerala, had gone to the US Capitol in Washington with the Indian tricolour, an action that has drawn much flak.

Vinson Palathingal aka Vincent Xavier who had gone to the US Capitol in Washington with the Indian tricolour
news Controversy Friday, January 08, 2021 - 11:16

Amidst the massive attack on the United States Capitol in Washington DC on Wednesday, a video of the Indian tricolour being waved among a sea of American flags went viral on social media. The flag was raised by an Indian man, Vinson Palathingal also known as Vincent Xavier, who was present among the crowd of Donald Trump supporters raising slogans outside the Capitol. Vinson took to Facebook on Thursday to share a post, which has now been deleted, to explain why he was at the spot. 

Vinson claimed that “extensive voter fraud” had taken place in the 2020 elections — a claim made by incumbent President Donald Trump that has been debunked time and again — and added that the United States should “never witness such fraud again” in its democratic elections. US officials have found no evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 elections, in which Democrat Joe Biden emerged victorious. 

According to Manorama News, Vinson is a native of Chambakkara near Vytila in Kochi. He was reportedly one of the Indian Americans recommended by the Trump administration to be appointed to the President’s Export Council. He was quoted by Manorama as saying that he had gone to the Capitol to protest against “election fraud” and “not for violence.”

“Trump rallies are always a lot of fun,” Vinson said in his Facebook post which has now been deleted. “And today was not an exception. About 50 or so lawless people who breached the US Capitol perimeter by climbing the walls, breaking the windows and attacking police inside this sacred temple to American Democracy is not a reason to throw the million-plus peaceful protestors under the bus," the post read. Media reports suggest the crowds at the Capitol numbered in the thousands. 

"I consider President Donald J Trump as a tool afforded to American patriots by him, to start the cleaning up of the fraud prone system in many states. If he had conceded, that is the end of the discussion. Then the Democrat fraudsters will ensure that US will slowly move to a one party system by stealing every election in the future. He didn't do that in spite of tremendous pressure. That's why I am thankful to President Donald J Trump," Vinson’s post read.

The video of the incident went viral and was highly criticised on social media, by Indian citizens and politicians alike. According to reports, the Malayali Association in the United States too is not happy with Vinson’s actions. BJP MP Varun Gandhi and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor were one of the few who slammed the act of waving the tricolour at the violent attack on the US Capitol. 

BJP MP Varun Gandhi tweeted, “Why is there an Indian flag there??? This is one fight we definitely don’t need to participate in…”

“Unfortunately, @varungandhi80, there are some Indians with the same mentality as that Trumpist mob, who enjoy using the flag as a weapon rather than a badge of pride, & denounce all who disagree with them as anti-nationals & traitors. That flag there is a warning to all of us,” Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted.

"What moron was waving the Indian flag here??? I am all for national pride but this is ridiculous,” a user said on Twitter. 

Responding to Shashi Tharoor, and Varun Gandhi, Vinson defended his action, claiming several others from other countries were also present at the spot. “American patriots - Vietnamese, Indian, Korean & Iranian origins, & from so many other nations & races, who believe massive voter fraud has happened joined rally yesterday in solidarity with Trump. Peaceful protestors who were exercising our rights!”

Four people were killed in the attack on the US Capitol on Wednesday, as thousands of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building and clashed with police. The attackers interrupted a constitutional process by Congress to affirm the victory of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the election. 

The mob of hundreds of Trump backers broke into the Capitol and roamed the halls looking for lawmakers, who were forced to halt their deliberations and evacuate to safety. The violent protesters were egged on by Trump himself, who has falsely contended that he lost the election due to voter fraud.

With PTI inputs

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