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Has Proving one’s Patriotism become National Responsibility? Protest against Arrest of 12 persons for disrespecting National Anthem

They showed disrespect to the national anthem in movie theaters of International film festival on Monday night by refusing to stand up during the national anthem

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Cinema Halls in India,VOA
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Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 13, 2016: Proving one’s patriotism has become an important national responsibility. This responsibility was dragged on to cinema halls recently by Supreme Court’s decision on making national anthem compulsory in movie theatres. This has led to series of arrests recently as few people chose not to abide by the rules.

Questioning the credibility of this new rule, a group of people on Tuesday staged a protest in front of a theatre here, challenging the arrest of 12 people by police, for being ‘disrespectful’ to the National Anthem at cinemas screening movies of the International Film Festival of Kerala.

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A placard held by a protester at Tagore Theater, the main venue of the ongoing festival, said “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”, reported PTI.

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While other one mentioned “Please don’t degrade my national anthem,”.

“We love Bharat. Nationalism cannot be imposed,” the protesters said.

Twelve persons were arrested in two different cases. They showed disrespect to the national anthem in movie theatres of International film festival on Monday night by refusing to stand up during the national anthem, police said, adding, cases under IPC section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) had been registered. Those arrested were later released on bail, they said.

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The Farmer’s Protest In Delhi Makes The Indian Police Take Severe Steps

The government has allowed police to “brutally beat up” the farmers, said the opposition Congress party.

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Farmer protests
Police use water cannons to disperse farmers during a protest demanding better price for their produce on the outskirts of New Delhi, India. VOA

Indian police on Tuesday fired tear gas and water cannons to halt and scatter a march by thousands of protesting farmers heading for the capital New Delhi to demand better prices for their produce.

Reeling from a crash in commodity prices, more than 50,000 farmers from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, a top producer of wheat and cane, blocked part of the main highway to the capital.

They also sought loan waivers, cheaper power and tougher action to get sugar mills to pay dues owed for their cane, as discontent in rural areas turns to anger against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who faces tough general elections next year.

“Despite our repeated requests, the government has failed to help farmers in any meaningful ways,” a farm leader, Dharmendra Malik, told Reuters by telephone from the protest site.

farmers
Police try to stop farmers during a protest demanding a better price for their produce on the outskirts of New Delhi, India. VOA

“Left with no choice, we’ve decided to march to Delhi to highlight our plight.”

Cash-strapped sugar companies owe cane growers about 135 billion rupees ($1.9 billion) in the current season. Saddled with huge piles of sugar and hit by a fall in prices, mills have said they are unable to pay farmers on time.

“The state government has initiated a number of steps to help farmers, including a clutch of measures to expedite cane payments to growers,” Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told video news agency ANI, a Reuters affiliate.

Mills are struggling to export sugar because of lower global prices, Adityanath said.

Television broadcast images of angry farmers clashing with police and driving their tractors into security barriers, in a protest that disrupted rush-hour traffic.

Farmers
Rural areas turns to anger against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. VOA

Some farmers were injured when police fired tear gas and water cannon to keep protesters from breaking through barricades to reach New Delhi, the site of events to mark the birth anniversary of India’s apostle of non violence, Mahatma Gandhi.

“It’s ironical that the farmers were brutally beaten on the day of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary,” opposition leader Rahul Gandhi said.

Farmers had started trickling into the city late on Monday, prompting authorities to bar gatherings of more than four people.

The government has allowed police to “brutally beat up” the farmers, said the opposition Congress party, which ruled India for most of its 70 years since independence from Britain, before losing power to Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.

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“Can India’s farmers not come and tell their own government that they are in deep pain?” asked Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala.

Modi’s rural woes have been worsened by a failure to deliver on a promise of tens of millions of jobs for young people that helped him win the largest mandate in three decades in 2014. (VOA)