Row over youth castigated for not standing up during national anthem in cinema hall
In a video that emerged on social media on Monday, a group of men and women call the youngsters ‘Pakistani terrorists’ for not standing up while the national anthem was being played in a cinema hall
The controversy that first arose a few years ago when the government made the singing of the national anthem mandatory for the audience in cinema halls across the country got reignited when a video surfaced on microblogging website Twitter showing some people severely castigating some youngsters for not abiding by the diktat.
“Are you Pakistani? There are soldiers fighting on the border and you have the audacity to sit here and watch a three-hour movie,” a bearded young man is seen shouting at a group of youngsters inside a cinema hall.
“Are you Pakistani terrorists? Our soldiers are fighting in Jammu and Kashmir and you can’t even stand for the national anthem,” screams another man.
The group, which included a woman, tells the sheepish-looking youngsters to ‘shut up and get out’, when they seem to be trying to calm them down.
The video was posted on the Twitter Time Line of a user going by the handle srikanthBJP_
Many users on the social media platform took umbrage to what amounts to moral policing.
A person whose bio describes him as a lawyer and activist tweeted: ‘Article 21 if I remember correctly reads as follows: No person shall be deprived of his right and personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. In all fairness, it protects everyone from everyone and is guaranteed and underwritten by the state.’
One user posted: ‘Can you tell me why national anthem should be played before the start of a movie? There should be some rules like our national flag when and where it should be played. We should maintain the sanctity of our National Anthem.’
Another user tweeted: ‘People go to movie theatres to watch movies not to stand for national anthem. This is utter stupidity! Nowhere in the Constitution it's written that not standing for national anthem is against India n it's not a fundamental duty also
There were some angry reactions too.
‘Pseudo nationalists can only gang up and pick on someone to bully. Would not dare pick on bigger guys. Cowards,’ a user tweeted.
Another user tweeted: ‘Just saw the video of group of paeudo nationalists and patriotics bullying some for not standing up for national anthem. What a waste of anger. They should have shown similar anger against the government fail policies. That would have been real Deshbhakti
The debate continued to storm across the site at the time this report was filed.
It may be recalled that the in January, 2018, Supreme Court had reversed its earlier order making it mandatory to play the national anthem in cinema halls, and a government committee is currently reviewing the whole issue in consultation with State governments.