Bollywood actress Preity Zinta tweeted a few days ago that she “threw” a boy out of a cinema hall for failing to stand up for the national anthem before watching a movie. Her jingoistic act comes a month after another youth was arrested in Kerala for similar action. Produced below is Sunanda Ranjan’s opinion on the issue.
– by Sunanda Ranjan, Daily Mail
It’s not an idea borne out of cynicism, nor is it meant to question one’s love of the nation. But truth be told, it’s a bit extreme (jingoistic?) to throw a person out of a cinema hall because they didn’t stand up for the national anthem.
Firstly, what’s even the point of playing the national anthem before a movie? I mean, okay, we need to be patriotic and all, but at the cinema?
It makes me wonder, ever heard of someone being kicked out during a movie for wolfwhistling too lecherously during wet-sari scenes and the like? I didn’t think so either.
Miss Zinta, good on you that you are a proud patriot, but this pride doesn’t accord you the right to judge others’ patriotism and punish them for not meeting your standards.
Why should it matter to you and the others who kicked out the poor fellow, that he didn’t stand to attention when the anthem started playing? Stand up, but let those who don’t be.
They didn’t kill someone. Nobody said these gestures are the sole yardstick of nation-love, anyway. It was also a bit extreme, I think, to book a man for sedition because he hooted as the anthem played.
This is not to excuse his behaviour – silence is one thing, but there can’t be any excuse for insulting a national symbol, that too one associated with a democratic country no less – but sedition is taking it a bit too far.
The man in question could have been arrested, booked for disruption or the old favourite ‘hurting sentiments’, but what he did was not exactly ‘seditious’.
About the first incident, people express their patriotism in different ways. For some, it is as simple as not littering their city and being an upright citizen in other respects as well. But such is our world that their patriotism will be considered inferior to that of people who break into chants of ‘Jai Bharat’ at the drop of a hat.
Who will judge which one of these groups is more patriotic? In fact, why should anyone judge at all, much less punish someone based on their biased judgement?
That said, you cannot hold it against someone if they don’t feel patriotic at all. Isn’t this freedom the best thing about this country?