An Indian-origin employee of Singapore’s DBS Bank, Avijit Das Patnaik, lost his job for posting an image of the country’s torn flag to reveal the Indian flag underneath.
Ajit posted an image on August 14(eve of India’s Independence Day) on a Facebook page of the Singapore Indians & Expats group. The Group consists of around 11,000 members.
The image was of a T-shirt with a Singapore flag on it being ripped apart by a pair of hands to reveal an Indian flag underneath with a caption saying, ‘Phir Bhi dil hai'(Still my heart is Indian).
The post soon went viral with many terming it ‘offensive’ and ‘insulting to Singapore’. The post has since been taken down.
On August 19, DBS said in a comment to complaints on its Facebook page that Patnaik had posted the image because he ‘wanted to show that even as he’s in Singapore, he remains Indian at heart.’
On Tuesday, DBS released a statement on its Facebook page informing that Patnaik is no longer an employee with the bank. ‘ DBS strongly disapproves of such actions by our employees. At the same time, it is fair and right that all employees are given the benefit of due process,’ the post read.
The Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Act states that no person shall treat the flag with disrespect. The penalty is a maximum fine 1,000 Singapore dollar. And according to the reports, police investigation is also underway.