Forcing a Muslim couple to stand up for national anthem IS intolerance

A video seems to be going viral on the Internet in which a couple is being threatened by a crowd of angry cinemagoers. The “crime” of the couple is that it remains seated while everybody else stands in respect of the national anthem. If you are confused, in many theatres, national anthem is played before the commencement of the movie. The audiences stand in respect. Apparently in this case, the couple, again, I’m not sure whether the couple is actually Muslim or not but this is being said so let us assume that they were Muslims, doesn’t stand up in respect of the national anthem. This is the video:

This is disturbing. This is a clear sign of intolerance. I’m going to talk about this intolerance from 2 perspectives: the couple not being Muslim and the couple being Muslim.

Let’s say they were not Muslims. I’m not sure whether standing for the national anthem is mandated by the law or not or whether it is a crime to keep sitting while the national anthem is being played. Whatever is the case, who gives the right to people confronting the couple to physically threaten them for not standing up? This is typically bully behaviour and these people deserve unmitigated criticism. In fact, a police complaint should be lodged against these culprits. They had no business threatening someone like this. If it was a police case, they should have launched a complaint but they shouldn’t have threatened the couple with dire consequences, the way it is being shown in the video. Are we living in a country or a cult? Would these the so-called patriots have confronted a local politician or one of their bahubalis (henchmen) had he remained seated? Fat chance. It’s just that they knew that the couple couldn’t retaliate, suddenly they felt so empowered.

Let’s say they were Muslims. Agreed, many Muslims have this tendency to show their disregard for such gestures. They don’t want to sing the national anthem, they don’t want to sing the national song and they don’t want to stand in respect of the national anthem. Yes, many Muslims have this tendency. Too bad. Again, is this illegal? And even if it is illegal, can you threaten someone? At the most you can tell them that this is an undesirable behaviour, and after that you should let them be. Standing up for the national anthem doesn’t mean that you are a patriot. Even criminal politicians stand up for the national anthem but it doesn’t mean they love the country. You can’t make people love your country this way; you can only scare them into showing that they love the country. Do we want such conditions in our country? Definitely not.

If it was a Muslim couple, I can see it that it is a clear fallout of the ongoing campaign to create non-existent tension between communities. Everybody and his dog is claiming “extreme intolerance” and intolerance has actually begun to manifest among us. If not nipped in the bud, this can take an alarming turn. The so-called “secularists” need to mend their ways and stop harping about communal disharmony where none exists.

Disturbing is also the fact that people are promoting this video in full agreement with the crowd of hooligans trying to threaten the couple. People are going off track here. The fight is not against a particular community because the community has been like this for a long time and not liking the national anthem or not respecting the National Flag is not a new attitude that has developed overnight. This is a different issue. Right now, the fight (in the absence of a better word) is against the twisted form of secularism being promoted by a particular class of intellectuals and politicians. The fight is against the misinformation campaign going on to malign the image of the country internationally.

This is exactly the situation that we want to avoid in the country. We don’t want communities fighting with each other and this is exactly what the people constantly harping about intolerance want. They want communal tension. You want to defeat them? Don’t spread such videos and don’t encourage such acts of goondaism in the name of patriotism. This is not patriotism, this is cultism.

I don’t care much about being politically correct. Things are just right or wrong and yes, sometimes there are grey areas in this is why we write, don’t we?

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