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Enforcing Nationalism: ‘Jan Gan Man’ Arrests Invokes Criticism From Film Fraternity

December 14, 2016 | By

Chandigarh: The police action against those who allegedly failed to stand up during the Jan Gan Man anthem during a film festival in Kerala has invoked strong criticism from film fraternity. Notably, 12 people were arrested on Monday (Dec. 12) for not standing while the ‘Jan Gan Man‘ anthem was being played during the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK).

As per the media reports while the day’s shows began at various theatres in the city on Tuesday, delegates shouted slogans and displayed placards against the Indian Supreme Court directive commanding everyone to stand up when the “Jan Gan Man” anthem is played before every film. The protesters also formed human chains in front of the movie halls.

While talking to the Indian Express (IE) festival director and chairman of Kerala Chalachithra Academy Kamal reportedly said that it was unfortunate that the police took delegates into custody.

“Viewers should stand up in respect when the jan gan man anthem is being played. But in a festival like this, one has to stand up for all shows in the day, which would be annoying”, IE quotes Kerala Chalachithra.

Delegates protest against arrests over Jan Gan Man during film festival in Kerala

Shanthi Rajasekhar, a 30-year-old delegate, said, “Respect will not come by force. When you arrest people, the defiance will become stronger.”

“Before this directive, people used to stand up for the anthem, but now the issue had opened a venue for protest. Now many are standing up only for the sake of doing so,” IE quotes S. Gurudas (46).

Meanwhile, as per reports another person named Sunil was nabbed by policemen in plainclothes from Ajantha theatre on the charges of “showing disrespect to the jan gan man anthem”. Sunil, however in his defence he , claimed that he did not stand up because of a physical disability.

The Jan Gan Man anthem had become unpleasant for a section of society was a dangerous trend in Kerala, said state BJP president Kummanam Rajasekharan. He said that those who are against SCI directive should seek remedy through legal methods.

Notably, editors of various Indian newspapers and columnists have shown their concerns over SCI directive which seeks to enforce nationalism on those seeking entertainment in Cinema Halls.

Also Read opinion article by senior Journalist Jaspal Singh Sidhu about Supreme Court of India’s directive on Jan Gan Man anthem:

OP-ED: SC Verdict on Jan Gan Man Mandates Hindutva Nationalism (author: Jaspal Singh Sidhu)

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