Now, no one will shy away from singing his own national anthem, but surely there is a time and a place for everything? What this drive amounts to is forcing people (since there is no choice but to stand up once a anthem is played, without that action signifying a dis-respect to the anthem, although Vikram Chauhan would dispute that) into displaying their love for their nation, when they have come to enjoy a movie. More importantly why do we as a nation feel the urge that our citizens have to repeatedly publicly proclaim and display the respect to the nation? Why can't our minders let us decide when we want to pay our respects to the nation and in what form? Its as if the powers that be have decided that the masses are a idiotic lot who don't have the heart & brains to decide this and therefore come up with this silly diktat.
At a broader level, nationalism and its jingoistic display is something that is becoming a feature of India and Indians. While at one end we have a whole bunch of people who have a massive inferiority complex about all things Indian, on the other side we have a equally idiotic bunch who see India as the be all and end all in everything on this planet ("ah, planes? we discovered it thousands of years ago! Nuclear bombs? Cmon, India discovered the Brahmstra as early as in the age of Mahabharata!). In the past decade or so, the much lauded 9% growth rate and the emergence of India in the mind space of the world at large, has given much ammunition to a display of nationalistic sentiment which is more often than not crass, rather than a genuine display of affection and respect for India and its culture. In reality, it stems from an inferiority complex about India and is an attempt to conquer this feeling of inadequacy with a desire to distinguish oneself through the concrete achievements of other fellow Indians on the world stage or even the much more abstract- 9% growth rate.
There is a thin line between being patriotic and being nationalistic. Charles De Gaulle defined this rather well when he said " Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first. "
So when people pay respects to the nation and its culture of their own accord, it can be safely described as positive love. But when some one in the political leadership forces people to display such a respect, invading and not taking into consideration the context of time and space in which these people are, surely this is nothing but nationalism?
Einstein once famously castigated nationalism as an infantile disease and a measles of mankind.Going by recent evidence, it seems that the authorities, have decided that they want more of this disease shoved down our throats.