Why Singapore is furious about this photo of a T-shirt on Facebook

An Indian man who has posted a photo of a black T-shirt with a torn Singaporean flag showing the Indian flag raised indignation on social media.

The man, identified as Avijit Das Patnaik, placed the image one day before India's Independence Day in a Facebook group called "Singapore Indians and Expats", which has about 11,000 members.

Patnaik, a permanent resident in Singapore, signed his post "Phir bhi dil hai," the title of a Hindi film meaning "My heart is still Indian," according to The Independent SG.

Patnaik & # 39; s message. Image via Facebook / Singapore Indians and Expats

It was not long before his post hit the Singaporeans, who reacted furiously to his employer's Facebook page.

Authorities have since started an investigation into the case, which appears to be an offense under the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Act.

The legislation prohibits the use or application of "The flag or an image thereof as or as part of a costume or clothing, except in circumstances which may be approved by the Minister, being circumstances in which there is no lack of respect for the flag."

Avijit Das Patnaik. Image via Facebook / Mike Koh

The incident forced Patnaik to remove his LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. His employer, DBS Bank, continued his own research and referred him to counseling.

"At the celebration of Independence Day in India, which takes place on August 15, the employee wanted to show that he, even if he is in Singapore, is still an Indian." When he realized that the image was offensive, he made it immediately down, " the company wrote in response to a comment.

"DBS takes this very seriously and has advised the employee who feels sorry for the misery."

Speak with The Straits TimesPatnaik apologized, arguing that he was not responsible for designing the image and that he only encountered it elsewhere on social media.

"I love Singapore very much and I am always full of praise for this country, so it was never my intention to cause so much suffering.

"I just felt that the image that represented deep inside, the heart also beats for our motherland."

According to Index Mundi, the Indians from 2018 formed more than 9% of the population of Singapore. Singapore's Little India Quarter often ranks among the top three most popular tourist destinations in the city state after Chinatown and Orchard Road.

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