It’s been a while since I’ve been to the movies. Imagine my surprise when the flag was on display and the audience was instructed ( coz we cant really tag it to a request now can we! ) to raise when the anthem was being played. It was a nice sight to see all our folks stand still and pay their respect to the song.
While I complied to the ask, I spent the next hour and so wondering about the nature of the act. Not that Assassins creed was a lousy terrible movie that couldn’t hold my attention. It tried and I watched it as sincerely as I could force myself to sit through it. I had far better thoughts running in my head.
Coming to the purpose such a gesture serves, I think it was a fantastic show of resolve and sensibilities that all of us stood still. I guess that means we are patriotic. Sure , why not. I love my land. I see no reason why I’d not choose to respect it. It’s the context that made little sense to me.
I think respect is a commodity that comes best when it’s natural. This felt forced upon. Come to think about it, are we an insecure nation that we must remind ourselves at every given opportunity to vet our national inclination at each junction? Why in a movie hall? What’s so significant about playing the national song in a movie hall. A place which is the least of all formal places there can be, engaged in an activity which neither does tax the mind or has an intent to keep us intellectually engaged that requires our undivided attention!
It made sense pay my respect to the anthem when it was played in my school. It was a formal gathering of sorts, the everyday prayers and stuff. It was a time dedicated for a purpose. And the intent was along the lines of inculcating values into young impressionable minds. While all of us complied with the anthem, most of us still had the phones screaming out their flashy ringtones through the movie. Civic sense took a sharp beating immediately.
Are we at war? I guess one could argue along the lines of the surgical strikes and say that we are a nation which is in a state of war. But that aint true. We’ve survived decades in the same status quo. There has always been skirmishes across the fence. We’ve always retaliated. We’ve always had two nations , each taking pride at it’s ability to stand ground. It cant be the state of war.
We are at an age where nationalism is abundantly displayed over the net. We tag folks into categories at the speed of light. Nationalist, Feminist, bhakt, Sexist, right winged, communist, a series of ISTs that run rampant. I don’t even know how many ISTs that I can be categorized under. Maybe we could borrow potter’s sorting hat to ease into an amicable solution.
So this time around , what are we trying to achieve? I thought and then thought some more and gave up. It’s my duty as a citizen to pay respect to my nation’s song. It’s a mandate as being a human to exercise a little common sense. And so there I was. Trapped between staying duty bound and silently laughing at a few policy maker’s decision to give their insecurities an indulgence!
I guess there will always be things that I will never really understand! Ignorance is bliss and I’m Zen-like!