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Movie time

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Every Indian must respect the national anthem and the national flag. It goes without saying that any disrespect to either should not be tolerated. But is a movie theatre the right place to play the national anthem?

This is what many highly patriotic Indians used to wonder when they were compelled to stand up at the start of a movie in a cinema hall, every time the national anthem was compulsorily played.

The national anthem has its place at formal events. It rouses great reverence and pride in every Indian chest. But a cinema hall is not the place for it. Fortunately, both the government and the Supreme Court finally agree that the compulsory playing of the national anthem in theatres should stop.

It always struck as odd that immediately after the national anthem, one would sink into a cushioned seat with tub of popcorn and watch a Bollywood bump-and-grind potboiler. It definitely devalued the national anthem, which should be played in far more formal functions where the content is serious and not frivolous. Movie time isn’t a setting for nationalism.

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