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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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Take call on playing National Anthem in Cinema Halls, SC tells Centre

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Supreme Court
Supreme Court of India. Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 23: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to take a call on regulating the playing national anthem in cinema halls. The SC is going to review its 2016 verdict of standing in cinema halls and public places during National Anthem.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said it was needless to say that the Centre will have full discretion in the matter.

The court said that while taking a decision, the government will not be influenced by the apex court’s 2016 order wherein playing of the national anthem in cinema halls was made mandatory. (IANS)

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