CHENNAI : After Supreme Court gave a verdict to screen National Anthem in theater before every movie a week ago it received mixed reactions by citizens and dignitaries. What we were fearing about did happened in Chennai on Sunday at a theatre screening the movie ‘Chennai 28-11’.
Panic started among the audience present in the theatre when a group of 20 people roughed up a young man and two women students who, among others, had not stood up when the national anthem was screening before the movie reports Times of India.
The violence broke out during the intermission of an 11.30am show at Kasi theatre in Chennai’s Ashok Nagar.
Around 20 people beat up the three following an argument. Witnesses said nine people had remained seated while the anthem was being played.
During the interval, one Vijayakumar grabbed Viji, afreelance movie reviewer, by the collar and demanded to know why he did not stand up for the anthem. In the argument that ensued, 20 people ganged up on Viji and two women, Sabaritha and Shreela, and beat them up. “We were harassed and manhandled. They issued life threats and assaulted us. We did not have any intention to show disrespect,” Shreela, a law student. Theatres here have started playing the national anthem before each screening.
This is not the first time moviegoers were assaulted on National Anthem issue, earlier in March a couple were roughed up and forcibly made to leave theatre when they didn’t stood for national anthem.
Also specially-abled award winning writer Salil Chaturvedi had a worst theatre experience when a self-styled nationalist beaten him for not standing during national anthem in Panaji, Goa
With PTI inputs