The Indian origin employee of Singapore’s DBS Bank, who posted an image of the country’s torn flag on Facebook to show his patriotism for India, has lost his job.
In a statement, the DBS bank said, “Recently, one of our employees Avijit Das Patnaik was counselled in connection with a post showing a T-shirt, with a picture of a Singapore flag being torn, revealing an Indian flag underneath. 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. Since the incident, a disciplinary committee has been convened and as of 24 August, he is no longer with the bank.”
On the eve of India’s Independence Day, Avijit Das Patnaik, had posted a photo of a torn flag of Singapore on a T-shirt to express his patriotism for India. The offensive Facebook post by Patnaik had turned into a full-blown controversy since 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 of SGD 10,000.
Patnaik, who has reportedly been living in Singapore for over 10 years, wrote with the photo, “Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (After all heart remains Indian.)” This is a popular line from a hit Bollywood film by Shah Rukh Khan.
The image had evoked angry reactions from social media users, who said that showing the graphic Singapore flag being ripped by a pair of hands to shreds was deeply offensive. One user wrote on a blog forum, “This is why PAP must be kicked out and CECA policy reversed!!! The image depicts the mindset of these Foreign Indians. They are slowly invading the country and making it theirs…from corporates to condos to country….” Another user wrote, “Isn’t it clear none of them belong here? Like trump says, they need to go back!”
Meanwhile, according to the Channel NewsAsia report, police have confirmed that a report has been made and investigations are underway.