Here we are again, talking about forced devotion and pride, in terms of our national anthem being played in different institutions across the country, and just how ugly and out of hand it can truly get. In October 2016, writer and activist Salil Chaturvedi was thrashed at a Goa theatre for not standing up when the national anthem was played before the films screening–Mr. Chaturvedi suffers from a spinal injury that keeps him wheelchair-bound. The incident caused waves in the media, but it wasn’t the only one in which people were accosted, even assaulted, for not rising for the national anthem that was made mandatory by the Supreme Court to play across theatres in India. Men, women, and even the elderly have been beaten, verbally and physically attacked on numerous occasions. The government even claimed
that differently-abled citizens “can be trained” to respect the anthem — the situation only seems to be getting worse.
While this in-your-face-patriotism has met with growing opposition over the last two years, it cannot be denied that nationalism itself has gained a stronger foothold too, ensuring that this pattern has grown from annoying hindrances to something truly contorted. The government was previously in the news for forcing those with disabilities to stand
and respect the national anthem, they made it compulsory for people to stand for the national anthem at movie theatres, and now, they’re now pushing to make it compulsory in all schools.
by The Huffington Post,
the government’s top law officer, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi stated, “Patriotism must be inculcated in kids. It cannot be done in adults. So, singing national anthem in schools must be made compulsory.” Several schools do play the national anthem as part of their daily assembly, but children have never been forced to sing along. In addition, they want the national anthem to be part of the school curriculum, and thereby plant the seeds of nationalism in them, right from childhood.
We’ve already seen just how terrifying these school curriculums and textbooks have been, we’d taken it upon ourselves in a previous article
to unearth some ridiculous mistakes and absurd information being imparted to young impressionable minds, and it truly was appalling. So, we can only be sceptical of how and what this study of our national anthem would be like.
At a time when people are riled up enough in terms of overt nationalistic pride and religious fervour, both which has led to the assault, and even death
of an innocent in one case, is this really what we need? As the fires of dissent and critique continue of the ultra-nationalist wave that’s growing across the country, patriotism seems to have slowly grown to become a mandatory badge that every citizen is directed to brandish at all times. We understand that it is important, but is it really necessary to force it down all our throats, incessantly?