The Supreme Court’s verdict making mandatory for the cinema viewers to stand up as mark of respect during the national anthem before the start of a film in every theatre, has not gone down well with radical Sikh outfit Dal Khalsa.
Party president H S Cheema and former president H S Dhami said in a joint statement that the apex court’s order was “tantamount to belittling the freedom to hold independent belief system”.
“This order is surely going to be used to impose a specific brand of nationalism on those who don’t subscribe to Hindutva ideology and also serve as a means to curb freedom of expression”, they said, asserting that their outfit would not abide by it.”A person goes to cinema for entertainment and not to display his patriotism”, they added. They wondered how citizens of other countries be forced to show their loyalty towards anthem of India.
Maintaining that the judiciary had gone beyond its mandate, Dal Khalsa leaders said it should have taken cognizance of the grave issues like demonetization which threatened the socio-economic fabric of the country. They feared that SC order could result in more vigilantism and assaults on vulnerable sections who would not want to adhere to such tokenism.