Moral policing strikes again: Man thrown out of theater for disrespecting National anthem

, 5:30 PM IST

It’s not too long when a family from Kandivali was heckled out of a suburban cinema hall for refusing to stand up for the national anthem that was being played before the screening.

Now in a similar incident Filmmaker Neeraj Pandey forced to leave cinema hall for not standing during the national anthem, when he reached a multiplex theater in Goregaon to watch Wazir.

As the national anthem began, Panday did not stand up. “A couple of people behind me asked why I was still sitting. Soon, a few others joined in and started shouting; they said I was disrespecting the national anthem and asked me to leave,” said Pandey.

Even after many started shouting and asking Pandey to stand up, he still didn’t get up, considering it to be a matter of choice. The matter worsened within a fraction of seconds when another group sprang to his defense, saying there was no reason why he should leave the hall when he had paid for the tickets, and soon the two groups started fighting.

However seeing the situation going out of control, the theater management gave him tickets for the same movie for the following day and asked him to leave the hall. As he left, he heard people shouting: “Bharat mata ki jai”.

Pandey watched the film on Wednesday, but took caution. “I waited outside the hall during the national anthem to avoid any controversy. I walked in only afterward. This is what I will do in future.”

When asked about his act, Pandey said he did not stand up since he did not feel to do so. “I have the liberty to do so,” he contended. “There have been a few occasions earlier that I did not stand up for the anthem but didn’t face any problem.” He said forcing others to stand up for the national anthem is acting under a false sense of patriotism.