“A bus full of Muslims from West Bengal ( Didi’s Raj ) reached Punjab ( Capt. Amarinder’s Raj) with a Pakistan flag hoisted on the bus. Just listen what the Punjab police did when they saw the Pakistan flag”. A video has gone viral on social media in the last few days with the aforementioned message. In this video, an elderly person is being abused. According to those who are abusing him, it is because he has hoisted a Pakistani flag on a bus.

Twitter account @ExSecular was among those who shared this video. This user is followed on Twitter by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The video is 1 minute, 35 seconds long. A green coloured flag can be seen hoisted on a bus. The elderly person seen in the video is greeted with filthy abuse and asked to take down the flag, which he then does. “Buddhe teri akal mari ja rahi hai hindustan mein reh ke kya kar raha hai yeh? Batao kyun lagaya Pakistan ka jhanda?” (You old man, are you out of your mind? Living in India and what are you doing? Why did you hoist the flag of Pakistan?- translated), the men can be heard telling the old man. The elderly man is then asked to step on the flag and chant ‘Pakistan murdabad’. The bus seen in the video has the vehicle registration number of West Bengal.

This video has been shared in large numbers by Facebook users. They have uploaded it on their individual profiles which suggests that the video has been circulating on WhatsApp and has subsequently found its way to Facebook. It has also been shared on Facebook groups and by many users on Twitter.

Not the flag of Pakistan

If one looks closely at the flag that was hoisted on the bus, and compares it with the flag of Pakistan, it is clear that the two are different. The flag hoisted on the bus for which the elderly man was abused, is NOT the flag of Pakistan. We have juxtaposed the two flags below for comparison.

As can be seen in the picture above, the national flag of Pakistan has a white patch on the left side. The flag shown in this video is a generic flag that is used as a religious symbol by the Muslim community in the subcontinent. Also, there is no text on the Pakistani flag, whereas the flag on the left has text embedded on it.

Where is the video from?

A video was uploaded on YouTube on March 20, 2018 in which this same bus has been shown being chased by some men in a car. The men in the car had shot this video, which was subsequently uploaded. This video is then followed by the video that is now viral on social media. The video of the chase has been posted below. It is from Haryana and not from Punjab as claimed. Lallantop had published an article on March 21, 2018 about the truth of this video.

Earlier as well, such instances have been reported wherein Pakistani flags were allegedly raised. For example, on the eve of Karnataka election when it was alleged that the Pakistani flag was waved at a rally by the Congress party, or the allegation that the flag of Pakistan was raised at a rally in the aftermath of the Bhima-Koregaon incident in January. In each of these instances, it was found that the flags raised were not Pakistani flags.

In recent times, it has been observed that nationalism is being used as a key political tool to polarise citizens. The confusion due to the similarities between the Pakistani flag and the banner used by Muslims in the subcontinent has been used to the hilt by anti-social elements, and has been instrumental in creating a climate of intimidation, such as this incident of an elderly man being abused, bullied and threatened, the video of which has been online for over two months.

About the Author

Arjun Sidharth is a writer with Alt News. He has previously worked in the television news industry, where he managed news bulletins and breaking news scenarios, apart from scripting numerous prime time television stories. He has also been actively involved with various freelance projects. Sidharth has studied economics, political science, international relations and journalism. He has a keen interest in books, movies, music, sports, politics, foreign policy, history and economics. His hobbies include reading, watching movies and indoor gaming.