Beyond Metros, India

Elderly woman doesn’t stand up for national anthem, gets verbally abused in Chennai

A woman and her elderly mother were verbally abused by a man who accused the woman for not standing up for the National Anthem at Palazzo Cinemas in Vadapalani, one of the venues of the Chennai International Film Festival. The woman Sreela M, a social worker, was part of a group booked on a similar complaint in December. Sreela said she and her mother Subhasree were threatened, while Bijaan, a delegate from Kerala, was harassed and dragged by the mob inside the theatre.

According to reports from Indian Express, they were sitting as the National Anthem was being played in the background when a man sitting behind them started to question them for the act.

 “Someone sitting behind questioned them first and a dozen others joined in. When they started defending themselves, one of them was manhandled. Those who tried to stop the mob were roughed up too. One of the persons who led the mob went out to call the police, while others said they won’t allow the screening till police come and take them into custody,”

the eyewitness said.


An inspector reached the theatre thirty minutes post the brawl and took the two women and the man into custody. According to the Police, the three have been booked under Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, and let off on bail.

The oragnisers wanted the assaulters to be arrested too but the police opposed.

“But police did not listen. One of the women taken in custody was aged around 60,”

said an organiser.



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