We have had this debate for a long time now about standing up for the national anthem. If you oppose it, you are tagged anti-national so, before someone takes the stance against this forced patriotism please make sure that you have bought a house in Pakistan. The supporters of this enforcement assume that everyone who criticises has a house in Pakistan where they can go.
“Nobody’s patriotism should be attacked because of the foolish decisions of a whimsical state.” – Arun Kant Shukla
When you visit a cinema hall for watching a movie, you go there to enjoy, relax and have fun – but you feel uncomfortable when there’s a bunch of people holding guns on your head forcing you to stand up for the national anthem.
There have been instances where the so-called nationalists have beaten up handicapped people for not standing for the national anthem. The idea of India that I subscribe to is one in which India is a free country where all its citizens are free from this kind of coercion.
The theater halls still continue even after Supreme Court order making standing up for anthem optional from mandatory. The multiplex has increased the duration of the time we spend in the cinema hall with 40 minutes for ads, national anthem, trailers and other crap they force us to put up with.
I have made it a point to arrive late after booking movie tickets online to miss the national anthem along with 25 minutes of ads being played by PVR and Inox. I am not going to let anyone force me to stand up for the national anthem during a film screening. The point is that I would normally stand up during a function because I do respect my country, but a movie hall is not a place for it. People go there to relax and enjoy the movie, it’s not acceptable to force them to prove their allegiance towards national anthem there.
The government should be listening and working with citizens to solve the many pressing issues faced by the nation rather than having a debate on playing the national anthem and policing who is standing up or not.
These kind of incidents are funny especially when they become the parameters for showing our ‘patriotism’. The same argument was used during demonetization on people standing in the ATM lines who were compared to soldiers standing in Siachen – the perfect display of nationalism.
I have a feeling that people will stop going to movie halls if this continues.