Now Showing: A Movie (Without The National Anthem)

Posted by Divyam Jain in Society
October 26, 2017

Dear political parties and the Supreme Court of India,

I hope you are all right. In the past year, there’s been a new wave of Indian nationalism in the media, in political discourse and all the way up to the Supreme Court. Last year’s order that made playing the national anthem compulsory before a film screening was widely discussed.

This order was really well received by those who claim themselves to be nationalists. While the ruling establishment welcomed it, many people also criticised it. There were also instances of people with disabilities being beaten up for not standing up for the anthem.

What was interesting to note was that as a new trend, many people went to the movies a few minutes late so that they could avoid the national anthem altogether. Moviegoers were not extremely stressed by the order but questioned the court. They asked whether the court had become a mouthpiece for the ruling establishment.

Anyone who questioned the order was called an ‘anti-national’, a leftist or a commie. Is discussing forced nationalism a violent act against the state? Since when, in a democracy, can we not question the institutions of the state?

A real patriot is a person who helps the underprivileged, someone who gives their seat to senior citizens in the metro, support farmers and people with a detrimental health condition. Real patriotism is not about forcing people to stand for the national anthem.

You may browbeat people into saying “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and other such slogans, but you can’t make someone patriotic like that. There will be a backlash. Is being forced to stand up for the national anthem the only way to be an Indian?

The Supreme Court recently reviewed its order and asked the central government to take a call before the next hearing on the issue of regulating the playing of the national anthem before a film. The next hearing is due on January 9, 2018.

I hope you would like my observations and consider what is best for the country as a whole and not for just an agenda based on a particular ideology.

Yours Sincerely,

A Young Indian