Does singing National anthem in theatre will inculcate Nationalism?

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Recently a couple of days before I read that Supreme Court has mandated that it is mandatory to play the National anthem in cinema halls at the beginning of the movie and all those present in the cinema hall should stand up as a sign of respect. About 40 years ago, such kind of things were being exercised when at the end of the movie National Anthem was played. This judgement is welcomed by all the political parties and in fact I also welcome it.

There are two things which need to be understand. First thing is that why 40 years before it was started and then discontinued. During that time the Chinese aggression it was made compulsory for all cinema halls to play National Anthem and the National Flag would be displayed which was done for a purpose. During that time the emotions were aroused and the government wanted to inculcate the patriotic feelings.

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As I think if our modern generation is unaware about national symbols and anthem then, issue lies somewhere else. This problem can’t be solved by insisting in cinema theaters to sing National Anthem. I am again saying that “If the nation doesn’t exist, we don’t exist.” But the thing is that One can’t say if we don’t sing National Anthem in the cinema theaters we will become less patriotic or less nationalistic.

I am saying so because there are no empirical evidences which explain so. Whenever our country faced problems people rise as one man and defends the nation as we have seen in these many years. This shows that people are patriotic, no one can doubt upon it. Our constitution says the citizens should respect National Anthem. There is no law which compels the citizens to sing National Anthem. If you compel then what will be happen that it will create certain feelings and adverse reaction which is not good.

Then question is that what should be done to create respect for the nation and its symbols. I think right from childhood we should inculcate in the minds of our children respect to the great National symbols. In fact, this is the fundamental duty of all citizens. The Children in the country should be taught lessons of nationalism and patriotism right from the beginning.

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This is the domain of the executive and the legislature and not of the Supreme Court. Judiciary should also escape itself from Judicial overreach because it iinherent feelings within the citizen of the country. What supreme court sentenced that “People must feel this is my country and this is my motherland. At the root of protocol for national anthem, is respect for national identity, integrity and constitutional patriotism.”

The first thing which needs to understand that there is no any device which can measure the Nationalism and Patriotism. Can someone please measure just how much nationalism and patriotism there is in India? Like the currency notes absent from our pockets these days, can someone please give us data on how much Nationalism and Patriotism Kool Aid we need? How much do we already have?   Now there is one more question is that poor people don’t have money to purchase cinema ticket.

So, what plan should be made to sell Nationalism and Patriotism kool-aid? Why just ask for images of flag on screen, we might as well have real flag there. Like no smoking warning why don’t we add to some text on screen throughout the movie “Repeat after me, India is great”. No doubt India is great but we have to make greater by uprising Nationalism not pseudo Nationalism. Only making feel to people of great image of India is not enough. 

We have to make our country greater through equality before law, justice for all and secularism. Collective development of each and every society of our country will automatically make people to feel proud of our country instead of selling kool-aid through cinema hall. I am saying it like injection of pseudo Nationalism or kool-aid system because some of the incident proves so. I am expressing an example which had reflected pseudo Nationalism.

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In the month of October this year, Salil Chaturvedi was allegedly assaulted at a multiplex in Panaji, Goa when he didn’t stand up while the national anthem was being played. The guardians of Patriotism and Nationalism who beat him didn’t know he suffered from a spinal injury that prevented him from rising on his feet. However, it is also true that Mr. Chaturvedi is an award-winning disability rights activist. But guardians of Nationalism and patriotism have different parameters to scale it.

Another important thing which need to be understood that When is a country’s national anthem played? It is played in international sporting events when teams represent countries. It is played in diplomatic events, when diplomats and officials represent the country. It is played on national days, when the country is celebrating the nation, such as independence or republic day. The national anthem should be played when respect is to be paid to the nation.

Just why are we required to pay respect to the nation before watching a movie? It’s as logical as asking to play the national anthem before eating at a restaurant, or every morning before entering the office, or at every toll booth on the highways. Just why? With due respect, I think it will be better to leave these things to government instead of wasting crucial time in such things where millions of cases have been pending for many years.

Even Supreme court judgement contradict to each other. One of the judgement of Supreme Court states that National anthem cannot be sung under the roof. Supreme court says in Bijoe Emanuel Vs. State of Kerala case and some rules regarding Singing of National Anthem were stated. In that rules and regulation, one of them is that National anthem could not be sung under roof. National anthem should always be sung in open area under the sky.

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New judgement of Supreme court says that National anthem must be played in cinema hall which consist of roof. There are paradoxes regarding National anthem which needs to be rectify. Secondly It says that always be in attention position during the National Anthem which is very difficult expect from all because disabled person also goes to cinema. If it is disrupted due to any circumstanced leads to disrespect to National anthem.

We can analyse it’s consequences from one more perspective where we talked about globalisation. Foreigners come to India to different purposes. So, it will not be good idea to force those people to sing Indian national anthem in cinema theater. But some cases of violence have come from Mumbai where South African women chose not to stand up for national anthem. She had to face verbal violence against it.

She is not an Indian citizen and have made no geopolitical commitments to India. Secondly, she can object to nationalism as a concept in which the population is a homogenized and collective characterized by the country in which she is born and most importantly, she could uncomfortable with the idea that it was forced. It is also true that their dissent does not mean they disrespect India or its national symbols.

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