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Advocate planning legal action against Dangal for ‘insulting’ national anthem

An NGO is irked by the way national anthem is played in the Aamir Khan film. 

Keyur Seta

Nitesh Tiwari’s Dangal is getting embroiled in one controversy after another. Just yesterday, Geeta Phogat’s real coach threatened legal action against the makers for allegedly insulting what he believes is his character in the film. Now, an advocate, through an NGO, is contemplating legal action against the makers of the Aamir Khan-starrer for allegedly insulting India’s national anthem. 

There is a scene in the film where the anthem is slowly played after Geeta wins the wrestling match. This has irked members of Jai Ho Foundation, an NGO, as the feel strict guidelines of the Supreme Court order weren’t followed while playing the anthem. 

Trustee and legal head of the NGO, Advocate Adil Khatri, has sent a letter to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) (a copy of which is with Cinestaan) and demanded action. 

Speaking exclusively to Cinestaan.com, he said, “The volume of the anthem is very low at the start and it gradually increases. This is against the guidelines of the SC order. When I saw the film, some people were sitting while others stood. There were few foreigners who didn’t get up. Others stood up only during the last few seconds after noticing others. There should be a disclaimer on the screen asking people to stand for the national anthem. Also, the ingress and outgress is not regulated by the cinema hall owners or police during playing of national anthem”

He added, “This is a clear violation of the SC order due to which I, as an Indian, am deeply hurt. I have sent a letter asking the CBFC to take action against those who passed the film without noticing these things. If they fail to do so, I will file a petition in court.” 

Those having seen the film would know that it was important for the national anthem to be played suddenly in order to take the audience by surprise and to add to its effect. When this was pointed out to him, he said, “According to the SC order, dramatisation isn’t allowed in the anthem. I also understand it was necessary. But the SC is above you, me, film’s director, producers and the CBFC. If this is their direction, we, as Indians, should follow it. It doesn’t take much to add a line now asking people to stand up.” 

Dangal is creating records at the box-office, which means a large number of the population has already seen the film. What about that? “We are not concerned about how much profit it has made. It hasn’t been long since the film released. In the future when the film is telecast anywhere, there should be instructions to stand up.”

We tried getting a response from the CBFC and the makers of Dangal, but they were unavailable for comment.