Social media went into a tizzy on Monday after a viral video of a family being asked to leave a Mumbai multiplex for allegedly refusing to stand up during the national anthem.
Sources said the management at central Mumbai’s PVR Kurla stopped the screening of a movie at a late Saturday evening show after audience members complained about one family who were allegedly not standing up for the anthem. Several people got into a bitter verbal altercation with the family, who were immediately asked to leave, following which the screening was resumed.
A viral video titled ‘Muslim family thrown out of the cinema hall’ showed people threatening the family and the hall erupting in applause when they were asked to go – sparking strong reactions on Twitter and YouTube.
“The manager said they asked the family to leave after people protested. However, there was nothing to do with the religion of the family if they are Hindu or Muslim. There is no case registered,” said a police officer from Ghatkopar police station. No case has been registered yet.
“PVR Cinemas is fully committed to the policy of equal respect for everyone. According to order of Maharashtra Government, it is mandatory for all cinemas to play the National Anthem before every film. Being a law abiding company, like all other cinemas in Maharashtra, PVR Cinemas follows the practise prior to every show, said the PVR spokesperson.
“On November 29, 2015 there was an altercation between guests at one of our cinemas in Mumbai. Our staff intervened keeping in mind the safety of guests and a peaceful environment for all our guests,” the spokesperson added.
Watch | Family thrown out of theatre for ‘disrespecting anthem’
Standing up for the national anthem that is played in several multiplex chains across the country has emerged as a delicate issue in recent years.
The subject made headlines last year after Bollywood actress Priety Zinta tweeted she had thrown out an audience member who hadn’t stood up for the national anthem, drawing stinging criticism from Twitterati.
In October, actors Kushal Tandon and Ameesha Patel got into a slanging match on Twitter over the same issue.