Three booked for not standing for national anthem at film fest
By Express News Service | Published: 12th January 2017 02:10 AM |
CHENNAI: Three people who did not stand for the national anthem during a show at the ongoing Chennai Film Festival were forced out of the theatre and booked under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act.
One among the three was M Shreela (27), a final year law student. Interestingly, she was among the eight booked for a similar instance at Kasi theatre on December 11 last.
On Wednesday, Shreela and her mother Subashree, were at Palazzo in Forum Mall at Vadapalani to watch the noon show of Bulgarian movie, Glory.
As both did not stand up when the anthem was played, the organisers questioned them. A few in the audience pointed out that one Bejon K Vinod (22) from Kerala, also did not stand up for the anthem.
Vinod said, “Immediately, the staff held me by my collar and asked to return the identity card (given for film fest visitors). However, I refused, insisting on watching the film. Then, I moved to sit next to Shreela and her mother to watch the movie. Ten minutes later, two cops arrived and took us to Vadapalani police station.”
A few who had come for the film accompanied them in support and told the police that it was an individual’s right to stand up or not for the national anthem, which went unheard.
“I came all the way from Kerala for the film festival. And today, is my third movie, I have not been standing for the previous films as well. Though on the second day an issue raised, there were more supporters who said it was my wish to stand for the national anthem. I should not be forced to stand for the anthem. Forcing has only provoked my anger towards the law imposed on us. I can either post a Facebook status venting my anger or I can just not follow it, which I prefer to do,” added Vinod.
“I think such things can’t be imposed,” Shreela told Express outside Vadapalani police station. A few minutes later, she, her mother and Vinod were booked under section 3 of the National Anthem Honour Act 1971 based on a complaint by the film fest organisers, but were later released on bail.
Shreela was similarly booked on December 11 when she and seven of her friends did not stand up for the anthem at Kasi Theatre.
When contacted E Thangaraj, Chennai film festival director said, it was the theatre management which filed a complaint and not the film fest staff.