“Nationalism of one kind or another was the cause of most of the genocide of the twentieth century. Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people’s minds and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead,” said Arundhati Roy on the controversy over the Modi regime’s diktat to stand up for the Indian national anthem or get arrested.
Here is a case reported by The Hindu of a delegate to a film festival in Bengaluru who asked how many times he has to stand up to prove his nationalism when he was badgered for not standing up every time the anthem is played. And it was played before every screening over several days!
A delegate from Kerala was evacuated from a cinema hall on Saturday night for refusing to stand up when the National Anthem was played at one of the shows of the ongoing 9th edition of the Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFES), The Hindu reported.
There was commotion for some time because of the heated argument between the delegate and organizers.
The delegate refused to stand up when the National Anthem was played during the screening of Train Driver’s Diary by Serbia’s Milos Radovic. The screening commenced an hour late when organisers succeeded in sending the delegate out of the hall, acceding to the objections raised by some in the audience.
According to eye witnesses, the delegate had said that he had stood up for the National Anthem before every show since the morning.
“I have stood up four times for the anthem so far and cannot stand again one more time. How many times in a day does an Indian have to prove his patriotism? Is patriotism a thing of exhibition?” he had argued.
The organizers, citing the recent Supreme Court verdict, told him to follow the law. When they failed to convince him he was asked to leave the venue. The identity of the delegate is not known.