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‘Disrespecting’ National Anthem Shouldn’t be Encouraged: BJP

The incident in Kerala occurred during the International Film Festival in Thiruvananthapuram. 

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India
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Amdist protests over taking 12 persons into custody for not standing up for the national anthem during the ongoing International Film Festival of Kerala, BJP said, on Tuesday, the trend of showing disrespect to national anthem should not be encouraged at any cost.

A section of people were trying to create an impression that nationalism is obsolete and raising objection against it is progressive, party state president Kummanam Rajasekhanran said.

Police took 12 persons into custody in two separate cases last night from cinemas, screening films as part of the week- long festival.

Cases under IPC section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) had been registered against the 12 persons who were taken into custody, police said. Those arrested were later released on bail, they said.

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A group of persons on Tuesday staged a protest in front of a theatre in Thiruvananthapuram against police taking into custody 12 persons for “disrespecting” the National Anthem at cinemas screening movies of the International Film Festival of Kerala.

A placard held by protesters at Tagore Theatre, the main venue of the ongoing festival, read:

The national anthem is not a digital song. National flag is not an audio visual. Cinema is primarily an entertainment. Cinema hall is a place to sell entertainment.

Another placard said:

Please don’t degrade my national anthem.
“We love Bharat. Nationalism cannot be imposed,” the protesters said.

Group Allegedly Assaulted for Not Standing Up in Chennai Theatre

This comes only a day after a scuffle broke out in a theatre in Chennai over the national anthem.

A group of seven people was allegedly assaulted by another group at Chennai's Kasi Theatre, after they refused to stand up.

Speaking to The News Minute, Leenus – one of the seven people assaulted in Chennai – said that the incident occurred at the time of the 11:30 am show in the theatre situated in Chennai's Eekkaaduthangal. The group of seven – including three girls – had gone to watch the film Chennai 28.

The seven youths, all students of various colleges in the city, are reportedly members of an organisation called CPI (ML) RESIST, according to Kannan, another member of the organisation.

We strongly believe that a cinema hall is not the place to play National Anthem and mandatorily ask everyone to stand up for it. We had already decided that we wouldn’t do so.
Leenus
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Leenus said that some others in the theatre also took the side of the group abusing them.

The manager of the theatre then intervened and tried to pacify them.

He asked us to go out of the theatre with him, but we refused. We maintained that we will only go out once the film ends. By the time we got out of the theatre, many people who had abused us had already left. But three others came up to us and got into a scuffle again. They hit us in front of the police who were on patrol. They threatened to hit and kill us, if we ever do so again.
Leenus

The News Minute was not able to independently verify the details of the scuffle in the theatre.

(With inputs from PTI and The News Minute)

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