Where does the line between patriotic and anti-national lie now after the Supreme Court has made it optional for national anthem to play in cinema halls? Shiv Sena has shot the latest question at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters.
In light of the "onrush of patriotic values in the last one to three years," Shiv Sena in its mouthpiece Saamana asked what role does the Rashtriya Svamsewak Sangh (RSS) and other national organisations play in giving a "guarantee value" of the ever-changing value of patriotism.
"No other country in the world has such a pitiable condition in relation to their national anthem," the Saamana editorial remarked at length.
The definition and idea of patriotism is continuously changing, Shiv Sena observed saying, "On one hand, loud nationalistic cries are heard against triple talaq, and at the same time, the government has shown laxity in concern of the national anthem."
In support of its argument, the editorial also took on those who link beef-eating with anti-nationalism, "Cows' protectors are patriots while those who eat its skin, that is, beef are anti-national, it was emphatically said during this time. But yesterday, the Chief Minister of BJP-ruled Goa boldly said that beef was not banned in the state. That is why, cows like our national anthem are also in a pitiable condition."
Alleging that the seminaries of Uttar Pradesh are to compulsorily hang a picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi now while the national anthem has been freed of nationalistic bonds, Shiv Sena added, "What views do BJP supporters hold on it?"
In 2013, the Supreme Court passed the order to play national anthem in cinema halls and for the people to stand for it and the order was welcomed by the Centre, the editorial informed, and added, "Now the same court is saying that those who do not sing the national anthem cannot be called anti-national. That it is not compulsory to sing national anthem in order to show one's patriotism."
Shiv Sena also alleged that the top court has been voicing the choices of Centre, given that the court modified its earlier verdict after the central government submitted a proposal for the same.
On Tuesday, the top court modified its earlier order and pronounced that the National Anthem is not mandatory in the cinema halls anymore.