After theatres, now porn sites to play national anthem?

india freedom

INDIA  – BENGALURU: Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful, the North American humorist and author, Molly Ivins, once said. Employing this age-old ‘weapon’, Hashin Jithu, a techie, started an online petition for the national anthem to be played before and after streaming video on a porn website, soon after the Supreme Court judgment. The court made it mandatory for the national anthem to be played before any movie screening in theatres.

The petition started on Change.org, an online platform, states that Indian teens spend a lot of their time on the website in their “formative years”. Making them listen to the national anthem before such videos will instil a sense of pride and help in tying “reproductive urgency with patriotism,” it adds. The petition it seems has resonated with people and has already garnered nearly 900 signatures, been shared numerous times and picked up by various online publications.

Interacting with City Express, Hashin who is from Kerala and has worked in Bengaluru briefly poured his heart out. “Of course the court ruling didn’t make any sense to me. But I wanted to come up with a way to make people understand why it didn’t make sense. I wanted the court/government to rethink this ruling and get rid of it. But I guess it is almost impossible in the current political scenario,” he says.

Talking about recent cases of people being forced to stand up in theatres, Jithu cites an example. “Just consider this. If you love your house, you take care of it. Say, you clean it up regularly after coming from work. But suppose you come home after work and yell at the top of your voice that ‘I love my house’ a hundred times, it has nothing to do with your love towards your house. It means that you have problem with someone else in the house,” Jithu says.

While he respects the national anthem and even stood in theatres soon after the ruling, Jithu says that nobody should be forced to do anything of that sort. “It is a personal choice. Forcing people into respecting something is tyranny. The problem is that the people involved here aren’t really bothered about theory of patriotism and how it should be cultivated for the greater good. It seems to me that many people want to earn brownie points by showing their respect for the nation.”

While the petition and Jithu have become very popular, the fame comes with a price. He says that he has got a lot of threats including death threats. He was naturally not keen to reveal his whereabouts. “There were people making empty threats to prosecute me. But I was prepared to meet them in the court.” Talking about the petition, Sumukhi Suresh, a stand-up comedian, said that considering that so much porn is watched by politicians, as pointed out in various news reports, standing up for each video would distract them from the debates.

There’ve been other strange Petitions

Beards in Office
A man’s beard has received quite the attention in recent years. Events like ‘No Shave November’ or ‘Movember’ have given sort of a legitimacy for men to sport the look even in their workplaces. Taking inspiration from the ‘mightiest beard of the country’, PM Narendra Modi, a petition has been started to ‘Make Beards Respectable at Work’.

Vishal Singh, President of the Bangalore Beard Club, said: “In certain professions like hospitality, not growing a beard is more about hygiene. I do not know any offices that do not exclusively disallow beards. I think one should try it out first in office. Who knows your boss might like it,” he says.

Tunak Tunak

Another petition has asked for Punjabi pop singer, Daler Mehndi’s popular 90’s hit ‘Tunak Tunak’ to be made into the national anthem on the same platform. On the internet there are a number of humorous versions of the song and it has also become a very popular meme. The petition has already garnered 90 supporters. Newton Singh Luthra, a software developer, however, feels, “Petitions such as these are senseless and serve no end.”

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