A video is doing the rounds on social media. It shows a Muslim family being asked to leave a movie theatre because they did not stand for the national anthem.

One gentle man has been caught on camera ardently threatening the family, which also included kids, with violence. There are some who are trying to placate the mob, but to no avail. In the end, the family walks out and the audience claps in approval.

The following video contains foul language and can be quite disturbing for some. Actually, any sane person should find it disturbing.

Muslim family asked to leave PVR theatre and show didn’t start till they left … Since they refused to stand for the National Anthem

Posted by Bharat Bhanushali on Sunday, 29 November 2015

But just in case you thought what the people in the movie hall did was right, you should know:

It is NOT a crime not to be seated when the Indian National Anthem is played . A government website clearly states :

  • Whenever the 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.

According to a court ruling , “It is the moral duty of a person to stand in the attention position when the National Anthem is played but if they do not do so, then, prima facae it is not a crime under the 1971 Act, and, under the 2002 National Flag Code, no mention of any crime is stated if a person is not standing at attention.”

You are only required to show respect. That is all that is asked of Indian citizens. But being the judgemental creatures that we are, taking the law into our hands is something everyone loves to do. No one cares about the collateral damage.

Reactions on Twitter to the incident ranged from pragmatic to dogmatic:

When did we lose our humanity? When did it become acceptable to be hot-headed jazbaati people?

We really need to question ourselves when it becomes acceptable to shame a family for not standing during the national anthem, but no one bats an eyelid when that same family is thrown out from the theatre to applause from others.

Though, we independently cannot verify the authenticity of the location, according to some reports, the incident took place during a show of the movie Tamasha at a PVR in Kurla in Mumbai. According to a DNA report , the incident took place at a PVR theatre in Bengaluru .