Drunk man punches 59-year-old for not standing up during Dangal’s mid-film national anthem

Drunk man punches 59-year-old for not standing up during Dangal's mid-film national anthem
Representational Image. Courtesy: Indiatimes.com

A 59-year-old was at the receiving end of ‘misguided patriotism’, when a drunk man punched him for not standing up when the national anthem was being played during a screening of the film ‘Dangal’ last week.

The incident took place on Wednesday when the victim, Amalraj Peter Dasan, had gone to see the film at Topiwala Theatre in Goregaon West with his wife.

While the couple had stood up for the anthem when it had played before the start of the movie, an overzealous man found it disrespectful when Dasan and his wife did not stand up while the tune of the anthem was being played during the film.

The accused, Shirish Madhukar (52), was booked by Goregaon police under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 504 (insult with intention to provoke breach of peace) of the Indian Penal Code following the incident.

During questioning, Madhukar reportedly told the cops that he had consumed alcohol before arriving at the theatre and that a sense of patriotism had taken over him during the last act.

Dasan recalled the incident while speaking to Mumbai Mirror, “It was the scene where the protagonist’s daughter wins the gold medal and the national anthem’s tune is being played in the background. Suddenly, a man who was obviously very drunk, started screaming at everyone. He was shouting filthiest of abuses and asking people to stand up.”

“I didn’t realise he was demanding that people rise to the national anthem tune. Before I could react, he landed a punch on my cheek. My wife was horrified as I took a few seconds to recover from the blow. By this time, the movie hall’s security managed to pin him down and the cops took him away,“ he added.

Dasan, meanwhile, has told Goregaon police that he had forgiven the accused and did not want any action against him.

He also urged filmmakers to notify viewers about such scenes to ensure that no one else goes through the same experience.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, in a circular issued last year, had clarified that the audience is not supposed to rise for the anthem if it s a part of the film’s narrative as it would lead to disorder and confusion.

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