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Atmosphere in Cinema Halls not ideal for playing National Anthem, says Salil Chaturvedi

Chaturvedi was attacked by another movie-goer couple for not standing when the national anthem was being played

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Pakistani Cinema Halls removed suspension on screening Indian Films
Outside cinema hall (representational Image), Wikimedia
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Panaji, October 21, 2016: The atmosphere in cinema halls, where sometimes patrons are under the influence of alcohol, is not ideal for playing the national anthem, says Salil Chaturvedi, a paraplegic, who was assaulted in a Goa movie hall recently for not standing at attention when the national anthem was being played.

Chaturvedi, who was at Inox multiplex in Panaji, along with his wife and a friend to watch Rajnikanth’s ‘Kabali’ in July, was attacked by another movie-goer couple for not standing when the national anthem was being played.

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The incident was highlighted publicly by a friend earlier this week, following which Chaturvedi’s plight has received nationwide media attention.

“A person sings the national anthem with pride. There should be a proper atmosphere to sing it. In the evening, when we go to a cinema hall to celebrate, why should this alone be an opportunity to show how much we love our country. Some people drink too when they attend evening shows, so it is not right to sing a national anthem in such circumstances. Everything has its own place,” says Chaturvedi, whose father was an officer in the armed forces.

Chaturvedi said that he developed his handicap after a road accident, which irreversibly hurt his spine.

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Recounting the incident to reporters here, he said that he was hit on the back of his head when the national anthem started playing in the movie hall.

“Just before the movie started, they played the national anthem in the theatre. Obviously I could not get up. I was seated in my seat and not my wheel chair because I was carried to my seat. And this couple behind me, they were singing national anthem quite proudly and quite well. Suddenly I was hit on the back of my head by the man,” Chaturvedi said.

It was only when the couple was convinced of his physical disabilities, that they relented.

Such assaults, Chaturvedi said, would develop an aversion in the disabled population when it comes to sharing public spaces.

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“First of all, those who are disabled, they already have trouble stepping out because, it is difficult to find disabled-friendly places in Goa. They will be scared to step out in such places, for fear of being attacked. Their freedom will be curbed,” he said.

“Everything has its own place. Is it possible that one goes to a restaurant before you are served, you will have to sing a national anthem? Or before withdrawing money from an ATM to show how much you love the country,” he wondered.(IANS)

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Malaysian Rapper’s Dog Video Sparks Claim of Insulting Islam

"I am not afraid because I believe Malaysia has justice,"

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Wee Meng Chee, left, a Malaysian rapper popularly known as Namewee, is escorted by plainclothes policemen on his arrival at the magistrate court in Penang, Malaysia. VOA

Malaysian police said a popular ethnic Chinese rapper has been detained over complaints that his latest music video featuring dancers wearing dog masks and performing “obscene” moves insulted Islam and could hurt racial harmony.

It was the second time in two years that Wee Meng Chee, popularly known as Namewee, has been investigated over his music videos.

Police said in a statement that Wee was detained Thursday after they received four public complaints that his video marking the Chinese year of the dog had “insulted Islam and could negatively impact racial unity and harmony.”

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In the video entitled “Like a Dog,” Wee sits on a chair in a public square in the government administrative capital of Putrajaya with dancers wearing dog masks around him. Several of them mimic the “doggy-style” sex move. A green domed building in the background led some people to speculate it was filmed in front of a mosque, leading to criticism, but Wee later said it was the prime minister’s office.

The song includes the sounds of dog barks from various countries. In an apparent reference to government corruption, Wee sings that dogs in Malaysia go “mari mari, wang wang,” which in the Malay language means “come come, money money.”

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Dogs are considered unclean by Muslims, who account for 60 percent of Malaysia’s 32 million people. Pixabay

 

Several ministers have called for Wee to be arrested. He has defended the video as a form of entertainment and said he has no intention of disrespecting any race or religion.

Earlier Thursday, Wee posted a picture on Facebook of himself at the federal police headquarters as he was wanted by police for questioning.

“I am not afraid because I believe Malaysia has justice,” he said.

ALSO READ: Tripura rapper likes songs on issues such as discrimination and racism

Previous controversies

In 2016, he was detained after enraged Malay Islamic activists lodged complaints that a video titled “Oh My God,” which was filmed in front of various places of worship and used the word “Allah,” which means God in the Malay language, was rude and disrespectful to Islam. He was not charged.

In one of his earliest videos, he mocked the national anthem and was criticized for racial slurs. He also produced a movie that was banned by the government in 2014 for portraying national agencies in a negative way.

Race and religion are sensitive issues in Malaysia, where the ethnic Malay majority has generally lived peacefully with large Chinese and Indian minorities since racial riots in 1969 left at least 200 people dead. (VOA)