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National Anthem before Movie Screening in Cinema Halls? Here is what Common People and Film Stars have to Say!

Representational image. Pixabay

November 30, 2016: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered that the National Anthem has to be played in cinema halls across the country before the start of a movie, as it will “instil a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism” in citizens.

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As soon as the news broke out, people started giving out different opinions on the matter. While some dealt it with sarcasm considering it to be an ‘imposed’ patriotism on them; others have welcomed the change.

[bctt tweet=””Last year, I visited Bangladesh, and they too follow the same.”” username=””]

While in conversation with NewsGram, Animikh Chakrabarty, a postgraduate student of Film Studies at the Jadavpur University said, “It is an unnecessary and forced dose of patriotism, suddenly makes us think about fascist countries that play the national anthem and preaches national propaganda through TV and film. A film viewer enters a theater to be committed towards the film, as a viewer, not to be force fed with some other patriotic commitment.”

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Soumyadeep Mandal, a Kalyani University student of Mass communication said, “In the field of entertainment, imposing National Anthem doesn’t make sense. It will be rather disrespectful.”

On the other hand, Rakin, a TV actor who is well-known for his role as “Dev in a Bengali TV serial “Raashi” considers it to be a “good move”. He says, “Last year, I visited Bangladesh, and they too follow the same. When I saw them all standing up in honour of their national anthem in the cinema hall, I felt it’s really a good practice. In fact, what was playing in my mind was, why don’t we have anything like that? I think, it’s a great initiative.”

According to a HT report, actress Taapsee Pannu considered it to be a great initiative and said ,“I’ve always loved watching National Anthem play on screen. In Delhi, I never saw it, but since I’ve been in Mumbai for last few years, I’ve started missing it when I go back to Delhi. I don’t know if it will influence anyone or change the thinking because it’s a very subjective thing and everyone views everything in different perspective. But I’m really happy and proud.”

Actor Kunal Kohli said, “Standing up for the anthem should be a natural reflex action and no court should be telling anyone to stand and respect the National Anthem.”

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Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar said to HT, “I think it’s a welcome decision. Earlier in the 70s, they used to play but I don’t know why they stopped. Today’s judgment is a landmark in our history and it’s a proud moment for every Indian. Our country is full movie goers and everyone should be proud of this judgment.”

– prepared by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi

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Malaysian Rapper’s Dog Video Sparks Claim of Insulting Islam

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

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.”

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)