Stand for anthem, you Pakistani: How man in wheelchair was abused

Thirty-six-year-old Arman Ali, a disability rights activist, was seated in one of the front rows of the movie theatre when the incident happened

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: Oct 02, 2017, 10:50 AM IST
Stand for anthem, you Pakistani: How man in wheelchair was abused
Image Source: Facebook

GUWAHATI: A wheelchair-bound man was allegedly called a 'Pakistani' for not standing up while the national anthem was being played before a movie screening.

Thirty-six-year-old Arman Ali, a disability rights activist and executive director at Shishu Sarothi – an NGO, was seated in one of the front rows of the movie theatre on Friday. The moment the National Anthem started playing, he sat upright “as a mark of respect.”

Towards the end, two men in their 50s, started calling him out from behind “Saamne ek Pakistani baitha hai” ("There is a pakistani sitting in the front").

In his Facebook post, Ali writes:

Today, I took my nieces and nephew for a movie. As usual they played the #NationalAnthem before the movie and my niece and nephew stood up. However, since I am a wheelchair user, I did my best by sitting upright. At the end of the Anthem, I heard a comment from behind “SAAMNE EK PAKISTANI BAITHA HAI” ("There is a pakistani sitting in the front"). When I looked behind, I saw that there were 2 Gents in their 50's with a smug look on their face - perhaps with the mindset that they had done their National Duty by passing a comment on my not standing up to the National Anthem.

My nieces asked me "Have people have come from Pakistan to watch this movie?" to which I said "Yes, it’s a super hit movie".

Movie halls seems to have become the new battlefield of the Nation where people prove their patriotism and nationalism.”