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Indian women’s hockey captain Vandana Kataria walks out of movie hall after they don't play national anthem

03 Dec 2016, 13:22 IST
Vandana Kataria: Not one to take things sitting down

Though many have not perceived well the Supreme Court's directive of playing the National Anthem before the start of any movie, Indian women’s hockey captain Vandana Kataria looks very content with the ruling.

The Indian captain went for the recently released Shahrukh- Alia starrer “Dear Zindagi” with her family at one of the malls in Haridwar. However, when the hall didn’t play the national anthem, Vandana wasn’t one who would sit and tolerate it. She protested and went ahead and also enquired with the head of the Cineplex Sanjeev Kumar. Sanjeev claimed that they have not yet received any intimation from the Supreme Court.

The 24-year old was really annoyed when she saw that the hall authority didn’t obey the apex court directive. According to India Times, she retaliated to Sanjeev’s reply saying, “You don’t need to wait for a written directive from Supreme Court for you to respect the national anthem and national flag.”

Disheartened on witnessing such an incident, Vandana left the theatre without watching the movie. She also said, “If we cannot show respect to our national symbols, we don't deserve to be called Indians.”

Vandana, being a senior member of the national women’s hockey team, is used to standing and paying respect whenever the anthem plays prior to kickoff in the international fixtures. She has set a high standard for other players on respecting the national anthem of all countries.

The General Provision of the orders issued by the Government of India on January 5, 2015, states: “Whenever the National Anthem is sung or played, the audience shall stand to attention. However, when in the course of a newsreel or documentary the Anthem is played as a part of the film, it is not expected of the audience to stand as standing is bound to interrupt the exhibition of the film and would create disorder and confusion rather than add to the dignity of the Anthem.”

However, there is no legal mandate that obliges anyone to sing the National Anthem. It is also not disrespectful if a person stands up while it is being sung and does not join in the singing.

The court, however, did not deal with the scenario as to whether it would be disrespectful if a person chose not to stand during the National Anthem. The judgment ended with the message, “Our tradition teaches tolerance; our philosophy preaches tolerance; our Constitution practises tolerance; let us not dilute it.”

Also read: Vandana Kataria: 10 things to know about India's hockey star

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