Minister justifies police action

Minister for Cultural Affairs A.K. Balan has justified Monday’s police action in which six persons, including a woman, were arrested for not standing when the national anthem was played before the screening of a film at the ongoing International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) in Thiruvananthapuram.

He said here on Tuesday that the government was just implementing the Supreme Court order over the issue. Talking to mediapersons, Mr. Balan said he personally preferred that singing of the national anthem must be made mandatory at all major gatherings in the country.

“We have instructed all concerned to give advance direction to film viewers to stand up while the national anthem is played. Those who refuse to stand up must keep in mind the Supreme Court directive. As far as the State government is concerned, there would not be any use of force to teach people the rudimentary of patriotism. Patriotic feelings must evolve from the depth of mind. It must not be created artificially,’’ he said.

“If we fail to absorb the nationalistic spirit, who else will understand its value? It would be an unpardonable crime if we refuse to respect the national anthems of other countries during foreign trips. That alone is sufficient ground to force us to stand up while playing of the national anthem,’’ he said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 1:21:00 AM |

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