Controversy: Indian vice president not invited to Yoga Day celebration in Delhi

Aides say event was not skipped, BJP general secretary taunted him over his absence


Aditi Phadnis June 22, 2015
Hamid Ansari. PHOTO: FILE

NEW DELHI: An embarrassing controversy erupted around India’s International Yoga Day celebrations when the Indian vice president found he had not been invited to the event in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi led thousands of yoga practitioners at New Delhi’s central avenue, Raj Path.

Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, who is also the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, was not seen in the celebrations – a fact that was sarcastically pointed out on Twitter by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) General Secretary Ram Madhav.

Madhav had implied in his comment that Ansari, being a Muslim, had skipped the event. He had also claimed that the Rajya Sabha TV, which is nominally controlled by the vice president, had also blacked out the event.

However, the BJP general secretary later modified his stance and wrote that he had been misinformed and that the vice president did not attend because he had been unwell.

This string of comments on social media elicited an immediate response from the Ansari’s office, which said that the vice president was in good health but did not attend the event as nobody had invited him.

“The vice president does not go anywhere without an invitation,” said his office.

Apparently, the Ministry of Traditional Medicine forgot to invite the VP. Later, Ram Madhav apologised for his comments and deleted his tweets but the controversy has ended up embarrassing India.

Further, the Indian government also apologised for Madhav's comments. "We apologise for that," yoga minister Shripad Naik told reporters.

"It should have been avoided, it's a mistake," he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2015.

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COMMENTS (2)

Mazo | 5 years ago | Reply | Recommend @Tanisha: Please don't get your news from Pakistani rags like this. The Vice President was not invited and neither was the President because the Prime Minister was the chief guest and hence those above him could not be invited. Your ignorant and silly conclusions about PM Modi only reinforce your own biases and hatreds - not Modi's considering that many Muslims participated in the World Yoga Day - around the world and in India along with PM Modi.
Tanisha | 5 years ago | Reply | Recommend The vice President has not attended the ceremony probably he was not invited being a Muslim this is actually the correct syntax. This act by the Modi's party of not inviting the Vice president has once again proved that Modi keeps biasness and hatred towards Muslim communities and keeps on vomiting out his hatred whenever he gets a chance.
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