The national anthem is played daily in schools. It was also mandatory to play the anthem before every movie in post independence India. The practice was discontinued in most states, due to some people not standing up for the anthem. The practice of playing the national anthem was brought back by the Maharashtra government somewhere in the 90’s. Maharashtra was one of the few states which made playing the national anthem mandatory before every movie screening. A few years back a family belonging to a minority community was heckled out of the theatre for by the audience for not standing up for the national anthem. A wheelchair bound man was abused for the same reason. The SC judge DY Chandrachud recently passed an order stating that one need not stand up when the national anthem is being played. ” Should we wear our patriotism on our sleeves” the honorable SC thundered. Whatsapp forwards & tweets rightly pointed out the irony of the situation when they pointed how the SC judges are okay with us not standing for the national anthem, but expect us to stand up every time they enter the court room!
Till the 1970’s several young men were drafted into the army in the US. Anyone who refused to be go overseas to fight America’s wars against other countries were prosecuted & put behind bars. Several youngsters died fighting Korean & Vietnam wars. Muhammad Ali is the biggest example of people suffering for refusing to fight on behalf of Uncle Sam.Citizens of Britain had no choice but to join the army & battle the Nazis during World War II. The youth in America did not have a choice either. It is mandatory in several sparsely populated European countries till date, to join the army post turning 18 & serve the army for a specific time period. The youths of these European nations have no choice, but to join the army.
Babu Genu was just 22 yeard old, when he laid down his life for the sake of our freedom. Bhagat Singh was just 23 years old when he was executed by the British. For close to 200 years we did not have the liberty of singing our national anthem & pledged allegiance to a foreign queen. Thousands of freedom fighters fought the British & several laid down their lives so that the future generations of Indians would have the freedom of having & singing the national anthem.
Will you respect a man who sees a woman getting raped & instead of helping her out, decides to look the other way? What if he were to ask you “Why should I help her? Isn’t it a free country? Is there a law which states that I have to help her?” The citizens of India are a privileged lot who can say what they feel, criticize the PM, the judiciary, the media without any legal consequences (unless you abuse the judge in his court!) whatsoever. We never can be forced to fight wars for our country. We never have to lay down our lives so that future generations don’t have to bow down their heads to a foreign ruler. The least we can do is to stand the f*&^k up when the national anthem is being played. If you cannot stand for the national anthem, I doubt whether there is anything you will ever stand for! While the topic of playing the national anthem before every movie screening is debatable, whether to stand up when the anthem is being played is not!