If anyone has been bashed by millions like President Donald Trump, it’s Vinson Xavier Palathingal, an Indian- American who proudly carried the Indian flag at Trump’s Jan. 6 “Save America” rally. He thought he would be representing his ethnic diversity, as well as his love for America, but it was all in vain.
Palathingal, who represents the Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee (SCC), was with fellow Republicans at the rally held in Washington DC outside the National Capitol Hill, where the Electoral College votes were being counted during Congress’ joint session. However, it was disrupted by rioters who broke into the building, and the insurrection led to six deaths and several injuries.
The attack on the Capitol building – the symbol of the world’s oldest democracy – shocked the world and in between. Along with the protest, an Indian national flag went viral and became highly criticized.
Palathingal, in an interview, told indica News with confidence, “Yes, I was the man carrying India’s National flag, and I have seen people carrying flags of their country, including, Chinese, Japanese and other countries. So, I always wanted to carry an Indian flag. This time I had more people with me, so I decided to carry both the flag because it was a matter of spreading America’s diversity and America’s ethnic diversity.”
Palathingal is a resident of McLean, VA, in Fairfax County, where he has been living with his family for the past two decades and acts as an active member of the Indian-American community.
He hails from Kochi in Kerala State in India and is a serial entrepreneur. Additionally, he was the winner of the SBA Small Business Exporter of the Year award in 2013.
Palathingal has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from India and a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Nevada at Reno. He has run multiple small businesses in the U.S.
Palathingal is also an ardent Trump supporter who calls himself a Republican first. He said he was previously a Democrat, but there is collectivism and so he decided to join the Republican party.
“We are a nation under God where people came from all over the world and become one,” Palathingal said.
He added that his goal within his actions on Jan. 6 was to contradict the image of the Republican party as only white and racist.
“I wanted to change the perception being a Republican Party State Central Committee member in Virginia,” Palanthingal said.
While he sounded low regarding Trump’s loss and the deaths that occurred, Palathingal alleged and believes what Trump’s claims of an election fraud that led to his defeat.
In regards to what happened on Jan. 6, he said, “The whole rally turned nasty because we believe there were some miscreants, and I don’t want to call the other side, but I believe that there was some opposition infiltration into our groups.”
Palathingal believes that whoever was in the frontline of the protest were trained and the whole affair was a professional act.
“They [mob] were acting like military and those people opened the door and then some people from the protest got in,” Palathingal said.
He expressed doubt about why the police officers did not stop the mob from entering the Capitol building.
“I definitely believe there were some malpractice and some kind of corruption and why the police did not stop it,” Palathingal said.
The Capitol police officers are very well-known police and have handled acts of terrorism in the past. Though terrorists do not come with a warning, these people at the rally came with a warning. The reasoning behind why there was no protection needs to be investigated.
Palathingal was asked how he feels about getting an infamous image and negative reaction to carrying an Indian flag in the photo.
“I feel so bad, so bad about what has happened, and five people have died and are nothing more than life,” he said.
He reiterated that he has proof, but feels there were some miscreants, the only person who lost in the situation is Trump and those five people.
“Trump lost his image, his cause, his arguments, his allies, his friends, everything he lost,” he said.
Palathingal added that since the incident happened, he has been swamped with negative emails, and people have unfriended him and are fighting with him.
“But still, I am a proud Republican and I am a Trump supporter,” Palathingal said. “I think there was a lack of strategy and that was the problem with him, but at the same time, he is a great president. He has always put the country first compared to all other politicians and he is a friend to India, and that is very important for me.”