Fact Check: Viral video of a man wiping furniture with the Indian national flag makes a Misleading claim
A video of a man wiping a table using the Indian national flag is in circulation with the claim that the person in the video is the deputy registrar of Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh.
A video of a man wiping a table using the Indian national flag is in circulation with the claim that the person in the video is the deputy registrar of Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh. In the video, he not only wipes the furniture but is also seen wiping his mobile phone with the flag before dumping it in the dustbin under his desk.
The video has been shared with the claim: “YCP మద్దతుతో ఒళ్ళు పొగరుతో అనంతపూర్ డెప్యూటీ రిజిష్ట్రార్.. వీడి పొగరు దిగేదాకా షేర్లు కొట్టండి.. YCP మద్దతుతో మదమెక్కిన ప్రభుత్వ ఉద్యోగి.. భారతీయుడై ఉండీ చదువుకున్నోడైఉండీ జాతీయజండాని ఎలా అగౌరవముతో అవమానిస్తున్నాడో చూడండి..”
When translated, it reads “With the support of YCP leaders, Anantapur Deputy Registrar ... share this till his arrogance goes down… Being an Indian, see how he is insulting the Indian flag”
The video has a caption too reading “రౌడీ రాజ్యంలో జాతీయ జెండాకు.... ప్రభుత్వ అధికారులు ఇచ్చే గౌరవం ఇలాగే ఉంటుంది.” When translated, it claims “in a rowdy kingdom, the respect to national flag by government officials will be like this.”
The claim is misleading. The person seen in the video is not from Andhra Pradesh. He is a government officer from Odisha.
When we searched the extracted key frames from the video, we found a few results confirming that the person seen in the video is Prashant Kumar Swain, a panchayat extension officer (PEO) at Simili gram panchayat.
According to the reports, he apologized for disrespecting the national flag. Though it is unclear who recorded the video, the clip went viral like wildfire and drew severe criticism.
Following the outrage, Swain apologized in front of the media and said, it was a mistake and will not happen again. “It was a mistake, however unintentional. I was preoccupied with many things at the office. It is condemnable and I am extremely sorry for that. It was my first mistake and I will ensure it is not repeated in the future,” Swain said.
According to the Times of India, the police registered a case against Prashant Kumar Swain under section 2 of Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act 1971 following a complaint lodged by Minati Sahu, a Panchayat Samiti member.
Insulting the national flag invites imprisonment for up to 3 years.
Police sources said the incident occurred at the Simili gram panchayat office under the Konark police area in October 2022. “A meeting was scheduled to be held in the panchayat office. Just before the start of the meeting, the PEO found dust on the chairs and tables. He brought the national flag from the panchayat office and started wiping the furniture with it. A ward member had shot the video,” a police official said.
Hence, the man seen wiping tables and chairs with the Indian national flag is not an official of Andhra Pradesh. He is a PEO working in Odisha. The claim is misleading.