Amidst the massive attack on the United States Capitol in Washington DC on Wednesday, a video of the Indian tricolour being waved among several American flags is going viral on social media.
The flag was raised by an Indian man, Vinson Palathingal also known as Vincent Xavier, who was present among the crowd of Donald Trump supporters raising slogans outside the Capitol.
He is a Republican party member who originally hails from Kochi in Kerala and now resides in Fairfax, Virginia.
He had contested elections for the school board at Fairfax.
Vinson took to Facebook on Thursday to share a post, which has now been deleted, to explain why he was at the spot.
According to his official website, he was born in Kumbalam in Kerala’s Ernakulam district. Palathingal completed his schooling at St Thomas High School and Sacred Heart High School in Thevara.
After graduating, he worked as Project Engineer at Kerala Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organization in Kochi and another year as a Site Engineer at Ali-Al Sehebani Associates in Al-Hofuf, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Palathingal moved to the US after securing admission for a Master’s in Civil Engineering at the University of Reno.
He has also worked with the Maryland State Highway Administration, Metro Washington Council of Governments and FannieMae. In 1998, Vinson started Amaram Technology, providing IT support to businesses and government bodies.
Currently, Palathingal serves as Vice President of FOMAA, the largest Malayali-member organisation in the United States. In 2015, Vinson also started a political think tank, the Indo-American Center.
Palathingal is a committed Republican and Trump supporter. He describes himself as a pro-business conservative.
“As a student in India, he was instrumental in organising against communist-believers who dominated college campuses through violent and terror tactics. He also witnessed how the minority and religious appeasement and pandering policies of socialist parties in India were a disaster, for majorities and minorities alike,” his website says.
Palathingal claims that he was protesting peacefully against what he calls was a fraudulent election.
“I think the violence robbed from us any chances of a serious objection and a rational discussion in the Congress,” he wrote on his Facebook profile.
On being part of the protests, despite being an ethnic minority, Palathingal says that they were there as “American patriots”.
“American patriots – Vietnamese, Indian, Korean and Iranian origins, and from so many other nations and races – who believe massive voter fraud has happened joined the rally yesterday in solidarity with Trump. Peaceful protesters who were exercising our rights,” he wrote on Twitter.