Neetu:  Do you think playing the national anthem in theatres before the start of the movie is a good thing?? I was just wondering and curious what different people think about it so asking u guys…

Clara Linnet: Ohhhh….But why would anyone play national anthem in a theatre?? What is the intention behind doing this? I don’t think that its a good idea to do that.
People come to theaters in different moods, some to just spend time, some to watch their favourite actor / actress, some on a date, some may stand up just to show respect while the anthem is being played but don’t know if that will serve the purpose

Anish: 3 to 5 mins if you stand up to show ur patriotism, nothing is gonna cost you. After school days, how many people in our country stand up for it? I respect the theatres who plays it.
At least they remind public the little value about India!
I have stood up many times at rex theatre, abhinav theatre etc!! And also had Muslim friends with me standing up but many lazy bums sitting & commenting on us as well!

Clara :Yes.. Good…But what’s the intention behind doing it in a theatre? Why not do it at some other public gathering?

Anish: Public only na! Intention is to keep people united! When it started like 10 yrs ago- it was different! Now nobody respects it!

Clara: Yeah.. But I don’t think that’s the right place to do it, If the idea is to keep people united then I think there are better places to do it !!  I am not sure but how often do they play national anthem at colleges or even work places.

Neetu: I don’t know…Clara…I have always seen them play national anthem in theatres just before the movie starts and half the crowd is least interested, So is it fair on the theatres to play the anthem??or is fair in the people who come there to enjoy and relax and  not be patriotic…??
Just a thought…

Anish: I think the national anthem is an important emotional bond for all Indians and therefore support it being played before movies. When you sing the national anthem you are reminded of your identity as an Indian.
Many countries follow this tradition of playing the national anthem.
In the pre-independence era the British national anthem ‘God Save The Queen’ would be played in movie halls across India.
Those who say playing the national anthem in cinema halls is a shame do not know the emotional bond the song brings in people.
It brings people together like the famous song  ‘We Shall Overcome’ brought together Afro-Americans in the 1970s.

Clara: I’m not at all saying its a shame to do that, I do support the whole idea but I feel theatre is not the right place to do it.

Anish : Nobody follows it clara! After more than 60 yrs of independence still our ppl work for english people in the name of MNC jobs!
Lifestyle is changing! Most of them wanna settle down in US or some foreign country!
So at least owners when they get the public together – this is a chance to play the anthem and remind them the value!

Satish Ram: All that I agree with you Anish but patriotism should be kept within you and there are many other ways to express it, playing Anthem in theaters is not necessary, its our national anthem not a song to entertain us more over few people are forced to stand when played in theaters.

Anish: Nobody is forced ram! There is time for everything else, don’t tell me standing up for our own anthem is gonna spoil ones time and mood! Patriotism is within me- thats why I stand up! Leaving out theatres- how many times do stand up for our in a month??
They don’t play at work place! They don’t play anywhere! In fact many people have forgotten the lyrics also after school days!

Satish Ram: Of course buddy. …when English people give more opportunities why don’t you grab that…???

Anish : Watch any communal violence movie in any theatre in and around shivajinagar, frazer town!
You know what keeps them together! Even though just one dialogue can trigger off violence, still people go home together united! Its because our anthem played reminds them the value!

Satish Ram: It’s for your living and your dependencies

Anish: National Anthem does not need your respect!!! You need to respect National Anthem irrespective of place, weather, time, comfort etc etc!!!
You can read this inside Madras sappers in ulsoor!

Clara: Some people may stand up if its played in the beginning before the movie starts but I doubt Anish if the same number of people will stay if its played at the end, some people may just walk out because they think the whole purpose of coming to the theater is over.

Anish : See clara- thats where we disrespect it! You know even in schools playing it at last is wrong!
I worked as a coach at a school called vydehi school of excellence!
There, the principal ordered the national anthem should be played first then conduct the assembly and then disperse to the class!
The response was neat!
Disciplined  assembly after that!!!!
After 5 mins of singing it – people can enjoy the movie and go home happy talking about the movie!
Ram- when your own mother gave you so much, don’t u think you should give something for it? I’m not saying against people going out and earning! Go there, earn and come back – all left to their own choice! But for me- my place is like my family ! They gave everything- when its your time you give it back to them!
So you can have the opportunity here only and grow! If u can develop our own country then why do you go out? I got the answer for that too- MONEY!!! An irresistible need for humans.
I will jump up and stand up for our national anthem if I hear it even during sleep! Because i know the pain and value of my own brothers who have sacrificed their lives, family everything for us! I got at least 5 to 6 friends who are in the army guarding us in the border! Listen stories from them when they come on leave- will pop your eye balls out!
There is lot of meaning behind that song! If you can’t respect it, don’t disrespect it!
Jai hind!!

Neetu: Yeah I know….thats why I was tempted to bring up dis topic, I don’t find people standing up, some feel shy some feel odd and some are careless!! What is there to feel anything?? it’s your national anthem, you have grown  up singing it in School, so why hesitate to respect it but I wonder why people are shy??!! I mean ok you don’t have to show off you are patriotic and stuff but chumma stand na who’s asking you to sing along or is it  the fault of theatres to play it???when people are in a party  mood??

Anish: This particular father!! He is setting a wrong example! If kids can do it- why not him for the sake of kids at least!
Recently, I watched a movie with a couple of relatives from Kerala. In between the movie – our national anthem played, I stood up, all laughed at me! You know what happened very next moment, my 60+ mom stoop up and then my 5 yr old niece stoop up! Then one by one all stood up! Pin drop silence till the song was over! Song got over, then everybody enjoyed the remaining movie!!

Harini: I completely agree with Anish here
In today’s fast world we forget patriotism. Spending 2 minutes and thinking of our country before a movie (which is more a relaxation) will not ruin anything every time our national anthem is played I stand up and have taught my daughter also to do so and I make sure all people around me stand up, including my 75 yr old aunt, no exceptions.

Neetu: It’s both pros and cons but who will make people who don’t respect understand.

Harini: Ani, you are right, in movie halls I have seen some people laughing at us, but I have made sure they feel embarrassed for not respecting our national anthem and mocking at us

Sapna: In theatres me and my hubby and who ever is with us, we all stand and respect the national anthem whether it’s in the starting or in the end and ya it should be played in theatres, atleast that way we get an opportunity to listen there or else where would we listen?? As Ani told after school and college, we don’t get to listen, He is right, we only get to listen in theaters that too only is some selected few, So atleast that time we should stand but sadly people don’t, they take it as fun, well that’s their problem.
People stand for tickets for long hours, why can’t they stand for national anthem?? They stand and dance in pubs and all for such long hours, then why not stand for the anthem??
Not blaming anyone just a thought!!
And I will try my best to respect the anthem, in all the possible ways.
We had been to Mysore on Independence Day and over there, one army guy sawone boy wearing a batch with the India flag logo, upside down, He called him over, removed his batch and put it in the right way and told him about the importance of the flag, gave him some lesson about the flag. I just relished the entire scene and thought about how patriotic army people are, we all should be like them, hats off and salute them!!
Neetu: Good thinking guys.

A special note of thanks to Clara, Anish, Ram, Harini, Sapna.
For actually participating, taking time off to read, analyse, share their experiences and for giving their point of view. 🙂