The first time I went for a movie in a Mumbai theatre I was surprised to see the announcement to stand up for the national anthem.
I remember wondering whether the movie that was being played was a patriotic one, which I hadn’t come for actually. All this, because I found it quite a pleasant surprise to see a national anthem being played before a movie.
You see, I had just come from Delhi, where I had never seen the national anthem being played out before the screening of a film.
Now, the moment the announcement came on, everyone around me got up and so did I. Most of the audience was simply standing, looking at the screen, while I did sing the full anthem with pride. It was a beautiful feeling for me, standing up to respect the flag, saluting the spirit of our country that continues to be mine with all its positives and flaws.
Once the anthem ended, we all sat down and continued with the movie.
Image Credit: currentriggers
This is about a decade ago.
Of late, the entire idea of whether or not the national anthem needs to be played before a movie screening at a theatre and how some people refuse to stand up and how some end up getting aggressive as a result made me think.
This is just my opinion, but how difficult is it to actually stand up for a national anthem that takes about 52 seconds of your time, and all it requires is for you to stop eating for a while and just stand up? That’s all it requires.
Many people may not feel it important enough to rise up when your flag comes on the screen and the anthem is played. ‘It’s too much trouble’ they say, or ‘why should we’, they ask.
To me, it’s all about that feeling of solidarity that we get when we all stand up together, not as you, me, my family, my friend, or some other stranger, but all as part of this big imperfect gathering that is the big Indian family, all of us together who make India what it is.
I still don’t get the point of all the brouhaha.