In a repetition of 2012, a shoe was hurled today at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi during his road show as part of his month-long ‘Kisan Yatra’ in Sitapur in Uttar Pradesh. Gandhi was in his open-top vehicle when Hariom Sharma, a resident of Shastri Nagar locality, flung the shoe at him.
Hurling shoes at politicians as a means of lodging one’s disagreement has become commonplace in India since 2009. Take a look at the list of people in the country who have been at the receiving end:
1. M.K. Narayanan: On November4, 2015, at a seminar in Chennai on "The Future of Sri Lankan Tamil Refugees in India", a 35-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil hurled his footwear at India's former National Security Advisor right after his speech. The man held Narayanan responsible for the massacre of thousands of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
2. Jitan Ram Manjhi: On January 5, 2015, a shoe was thrown at the then Bihar Chief Minister in Patna during his weekly public interaction by a youth later identified as Amritosh Kumar. Eyewitnesses claimed they saw Kumar shouting about how the state government was dividing people on caste lines.
3. Rahul Gandhi: On January 23, 2012, Congress General Secretary and Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi came under shoe attack during an election rally in Dehradun.
4. Arvind Kejriwal: On October 18, 2011, the AAP leader was at the receiving end of footwear hurled at him by Jitender Pathak in Lucknow. Pathak said he assaulted Kejriwal as ‘he was trying to hijack the anti-graft campaign and misleading the country in their fight against corruption.’
5. Janardhan Dwivedi: The Congress spokesperson was attacked at a press conference on June 6, 2011 in New Delhi. The shoe-hurler Sunil Kumar was apparently miffed at Baba Ramdev’s eviction from Ramlila ground.
6. Suresh Kalmadi: On Aprill 26, 2011 Kapil Thakur from Madhya Pradesh flung a shoe at the former chairman of the 2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Suresh Kalmadi while the latter was being led into court for trial into corruption cases against him..
7. Omar Abdullah: A police officer hurled his shoe at J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on August 15, 2010. The officer, later identified as ASI Abdul Ahad Jan, later went on to wave a black flag, and shouted pro-freedom slogans against Indian rule in Jammu and Kashmir.
8. Manmohan Singh: The then Prime Minister came under a shoe attack in Ahmedabad during an election rally on April 26, 2009. The shoe missed Singh and fell a few metres away.
9. P. Chidambaram: Jarnail Singh, a journalist hurled his shoe at the Home Minister on April 7, 2009. Singh attacked Chidambaram for repeatedly dodging his questions on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
10. L.K. Advani: In one of the earliest incidents of shoe attacks, senior BJP leader and Prime Ministerial candidate of NDA was attacked by fellow party member Pawas Agarwal.