Filmgoers verbally abused for not standing for anthem

Representational image.

A group of moviegoers faced verbal abuse and were sent out of the cinema hall in Malleswaram in North Bengaluru last week after they refused to rise for the national anthem being played before the film.

A video clip of the incident widely shared on Facebook and Twitter on Monday evoked a mixed reaction.

In the recording, a Kannada actor is seen berating the viewers who remained seated during the national anthem. A man is heard abusing a woman while others bring up patriotism and nationalism to the heated exchange.

The woman defends her decision, saying it is her choice to sit. Another male voice then asks the woman whether she is a Pakistani. "You are on Indian soil, so stand up," he thunders. The woman dismisses him saying he can go ahead a file a complaint if he wants.

The actor then questions the audacity of cine-goers who can't stand for 52 seconds but can watch a three-hour movie.

Terming them 'Pakistanis' and 'terrorists', another man rains expletives in Kannada. Patriotism and nationalism are also dragged into the debate as another question why they can't spend 52 seconds if they can spend Rs 150. The actor then says it is wrong to allow such people inside the hall and forces them to the exit.

The video uploaded on October 24 has been viewed by more than three lakh people.

There was no official complaint.

It may be recalled that the Supreme Court had passed an order that it is not mandatory to play national anthem in cinema halls.

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