Indian celebrities voice over the compulsion of standing up for the National Anthem

The furore on the compulsion of standing up for the National Anthem has shaken the people of the nation who believe that it ‘goes against the basic feeling of patriotism’. According to the reports in the leading Indian daily, Indian celebrities voiced their opinion against the issue amidst the new verdict on the National Anthem which states to recall the order, as it functions under the authority of Government and not the court’s.

Here’s what the celebrities said:

Mukesh Bhatt, filmmaker:

“India’s National Anthem is of tremendous value and commands a lot of respect and importance. It should not be misused. I can only request those in power to stop making a mockery of it by playing it at cinema halls and other places of entertainment. It’s saddening to see people talking on the phone and eating when the anthem plays. Our anthem is not a frivolous thing that can be played anywhere, anytime. And why force patriotism down people’s throats? I am an Indian and I don’t need to underline that fact all the time. It’s a part of who I am. By merely standing out of compulsion in a cinema hall, am I really professing my love for my nation? People have gone to a theater, seeking entertainment. Is that the time to remind them about their patriotic sentiments?”

Shobaa De, author-columnist:

“Justice DY Chandrachud has taken a bold and overdue initiative. The National Anthem has a place in every Indian’s heart. But in order to give it due respect, we must remember the context first. There is no place for it in movie halls. In fact, I find it demeans the national anthem by forcing people to stand up for it, while munching popcorn! Patriotism cannot be force fed in this manner. The sooner we address this issue, the better.”

Vipul Shah, filmmaker:

“I am glad the court has reversed the judgement. It’s time for people of this country to show their love for it by respecting the National Anthem. Standing up out of compulsion is against the basic feeling of patriotism. No one should be compelled, it must come from within, from the heart. I urge people to show their love for their motherland unconditionally.”

Nikkhil Advani, filmmaker:

“I’m all for standing up for the National Anthem. I think playing it before a film allows a generation obsessed with technology get in touch with a very important part of our national heritage. However, I don’t feel that anything should be imposed by a government in a democracy. The choice needs to be ours to make. So, put it to a referendum. If we all agree, we must do it otherwise it’s pure politics.”

Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, actress-singer:

“It’s a mature decision. Patriotism must come from within and not be forced. In the past, elders and physically challenged people were beaten up for being unable to stand while the anthem played. Such hooliganism will stop now.”

Deepak Asher, Founder President of Multiplex Association of India:

“We are awaiting a copy of the order from the Supreme Court. Once we read that, we will be able to formulate our policies ahead. As for people standing up in cinema halls, I just think we should follow the law of the land and do as directed.”

Manoj Desai, producer-distributor and exhibitor:

“At my cinemas, we have always played the anthem and will continue to do so. In fact, we made people stand if they were seated for some reason when the national anthem played. It’s a good thing that anthem is played in cinemas before a film starts as it reminds people about their patriotic values. Yes, there have been reports about disputes over standing up when the national anthem is played and that is not a good thing. I’m sure the Supreme Court has its reasons for stating its views on the issues, but we hope to play the anthem each time a film starts.”