Panic spread among moviegoers in Chennai’s Kasi theatre in Ashok Nagar on Sunday morning as nearly 20 people harassed and beat up 1 man and 2 women for not standing up while the national anthem was being played before the screening of the movie ‘Chennai 28-II’. It was reported that a group of almost 20 people first got into an argument with the trio during the intermission which then escalated into a beatdown. Earlier this month the Supreme Court had made it mandatory for the movie theatres to play the national anthem before the beginning of the film. Every abled person was also directed by the SC to stand up and show adequate respect to the national anthem.
According to ToI, a certain Vijaykumar grabbed the freelance movie reviewer Vij by the collar and asked as to why the three of them had not been standing up when the national anthem was being played. Although, the report also suggests that 9 people had remained seated while the national anthem was being played inside the hall. The argument between Vijaykumar and Vij then took an ugly turn when 20 people took to their own to beat up Vij and the two other women, Sabaritha and Shreela. Shreela, who is a law student told ToI that they were harassed and manhandled while being assaulted and receiving life threats. She added that the trio had no intention of showing disrespect to the anthem.
Vijaykumar, who happens to be a civil service aspirant said that the three of them were taking selfies when the anthem was being played, which could not be accepted by ‘many of them’. It has to noted that even though the Supreme Court has ordered to play the national them before every movie and show respect to it, it has not directed anywhere to take the law into one’s own hands. Assault, in fact still remains to be a criminal offence.