National Anthem at Theaters – Our View

Each time we settle into our seats at the theatres, our national anthem plays. But what jostles for space in my mind along with pride, is the thought, Why? The practice, of playing national anthem at the theaters, started about 10 years ago in Maharashtra. The practice soon caught on and theatres in other states too started following it. The developed countries used to practice it too but it stopped after some time. Apparently, Thailand too follows it. 

There are different versions of the national Anthem which is played apart from the plain instrumental version. There is the `army version‘, `marathi actors/actresses‘ version, `singers/musicians‘ etc. Apart from stray incidents of people of not standing up as a mark of respect or foreigners not having a clue of the goings on, people generally stand in attention.

But one cant help but wonder what’s the objective of such a practice. On national holidays, one would totally understand it. But every single time ? Really? Is it an extension of the very school practice of reciting the pledge or singing the national song everyday? Or is it a case of demanding patriotism.

Newsflow offlate has been so depressing. What with navy officers getting killed, jawans getting beheaded, CRPF jawans getting ambushed and killed (15 of our CRPF jawans / policemen were killed by Maoist terrorists yesterday in Bastar, Chattisgarh). It fills one with rage. It only goes to show the utter indifference if not downright incompetence of whoever is charged with home land security. 

Countries elsewhere value human life vowing to avenge the death of even a single of their citizen. Still others hunt down a terrorist, full 10 years later and bring him to justice. Thus, only a fitting reply to the perpertrators of the ghastly acts of violence and not mere symbolism will restore some pride among ordinary Indians like us, who have had to endure a ridiculously timid and meek leadership.




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