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Scene of action:
Broadway cinemas – Kolkata

Movie:
Happy New Year (yes the latest SRK movie)..as usual  housefull

Content:
The movie was supposed to be
Patriotic – 40%
Entertainment – 40%
Revenge – 10% thrown in

Reason:
Planned to type this topic even before the movie began and the thoughts just increased in volume,weight and width as the movie progressed.

Topic:
Chief complaints (in medical lingo)
DOES PLAYING OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM IN THEATRES BEFORE THE MOVIE STARTS SIGNIFY ANYTHING??

History of Presenting complaint:
We are at the theatre, all snuggled up cosily and waiting for the trailers and commercials to begin.
All seats fill up gradually,
I am watching families pouring in with kids in tow (  7-8-9 year olds…maybe all fascinated by SRK) a couple of teenagers, a few love birds, a little mature couples, single guys and girls, basically people scattered everywhere…

Ok, so i am still watching them and in between glued to my mobile phone and the screen lights up and a few commercials of VICCO are displayed followed by some insurance companies waxing eloquent on why their policies are best ( these days vicco ads are more rampant in theatres rather than on television)

So as the ads and the trailers of new releases continue to be displayed,  people all around watching excitedly and awaiting the new upcoming and entertaining  movies, so once all this is done,
Silence…!! We see the National flag a  symbol of tri colours with a caption of  ” Please stand for the National Anthem ” displayed on the screen.

In theatres of Gulbarga and Bangalore I used to watch the short video clip of Rahmans national anthem music video and  just loved it cause it used to be so full of life and imbibe a sense of respect in us.

Here in Kolkata just the national anthems instrumental music was being played..

The national anthem follows…
I see everyone getting up, including myself,  the anthem begins, since I am in the last rows, I just run my eyes through the crowd scattered in front of me and the scenes were as follows..
One girl ranting away on the phone…sitting!!! Oblivious to the anthem being played right in front of her on those huge speakers these theatres have and just two rows ahead of me The Little Girl!!
My eyes pause on her, all of about 6-7 years old she stood up with her little brother and she turned to see her father still seated, she urged Him to stand up!! He just shooed her and asked her to keep quiet and was still seated, she insisted that he stand up, waving her hands for him to get up!! He very rudely turned her ahead and told her to keep quiet in action by keeping his finger on his lips and was still very much seated!! Least bothered about the people all standing around him!!
That’s the minute I felt, what message is this father giving his little girl?? when he himself is not respecting the anthem what will he teach her?? Why do people hesitate to stand up and show some respect when their own countries anthem is being played??
( Not sounding overtly patriotical but it is a thought to ponder over)

All the time in school, we used to sing the national anthem at the morning assembly, enact the freedom struggles on independence and republic days, we have had history lessons depicting the quit India movements and the struggle for independence..all for this???
All the lives sacrificed, taken and given, the endless stories of courage and valor, of freedom struggle, the patriotism, the umpteen lives dedicated to the nation’s honour!! all for this??!! So that 67 years post independence, people don’t feel the need or the urge to stand up and show some respect for the national anthem, let alone standing still and maintaining silence. This particular father doesn’t even know what example he’s setting for his daughter..

Then a thought struck me…why do theatres play the national anthem in the first place?? A place like theatres of all, where people come to relax and have fun with their families.
Is it needed to play the anthem?? Maybe not all are in the serious mood when all that they want to do is watch a movie and have some fun, relax and unwind and then when they are asked to stand up and respect the anthem??!!
I guess this is how they react, like the father did!

Why do theatres play the anthem in the first place??
Is patriotism required just before a movie??
In a cricket/ football/ hockey game a national anthem played signifies patriotism, it gives strength to the players that the nation is supporting them and they are in the nation’s every individuals prayers…it makes them strong, that is valid but how valid is it playing it in theatres??
Ok even if they do play, will it harm us if we stand up for just 5 minutes till the anthem is over?? Is it too much to ask for?? Or are we soo tied up with worldly issues and fun that we fail to respect and teach small little things to our children??
That particular father had come  to watch a partly patriotic movie, a movie whose hit song was
” Hum Indiawaale” showing the importance of our country overseas…an emotional overflow of love for the country …so who is right???

Was that person right on his part by not giving a damn, about paying for entertainment and not wanting to be forced to stand up for anthems???

Are the theatres right on their part??
Should the national anthems be played in theatres knowing 20% of the crowd won’t care??
Isn’t it like inviting the disrespect for the anthem??? Iam too confused to think beyond it…it’s for you all to answer..

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