December 13, 2016 | By Parmjeet Singh
Chandigarh: Apprehensions raised by intellectuals about Indian Supreme Court’s directive on Jan Gan Man anthem are proving true. The state apparatus and the Hindutva outfits have started targeting those who fail to stand up during Jan Gan Man anthem being played before starting of movies in cinema halls or screenings in film festivals.
As per media reports, 12 persons were arrested in two separate incidents at the film festival, said Anil Kumar, inspector of police in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. They were released on bail.
Earlier, in the day, another incident of harassment was reported for not standing at National Anthem. It was reported that nearly 20 people beat up 1 male and 2 females at Chennai’s Kasi theatre in Ashok Nagar for not standing up while the national anthem was being played before the screening of the movie ‘Chennai 28-II’.
Although, the report also suggests that 9 people had remained seated while the national anthem was being played inside the hall. The argument between Vijay Kumar and Vij then took an ugly turn when 20 people took to their own to beat up Vij and the two other women, Sabaritha and Shreela. Shreela, who is a law student reportedly told Times of India (ToI) that they were harassed and manhandled while being assaulted and receiving life threats. She maintained that the trio had no intention of showing disrespect to the anthem.
Volunteers at the International Film Festival of Kerala, being held in Thiruvananthapuram, reprotedly complained to police that the 12 refused to stand during Jan Gan Man anthem.
Vineesh Kumar, one of the 12, told the Indian Express newspaper that there was a scramble for seats at the open air theater where the movie was being shown.
“If we did not sit on the chairs, I thought we would lose the seats,” he said. Kumar said he had stood during the anthem before movies shown earlier in the day.
On Sunday, eight people were beaten by right-wing activists for not standing while the national anthem was being played at a cinema in the southern city of Chennai, according to police.
Police later registered cases against the eight for allegedly showing disrespect to the Jan Gan Man anthem.