Love Can’t Be Forced: Protest Against Sanghi Hubris at IFFK!


 I am hoping to protest at whichever venue of the International Film Festival of Kerala that I can manage to go to, wearing a printed badge saying ‘DEAR SUPREME COURT, NO LOVE CAN BE FORCED’. Yesterday, six people who did not stand up when the national anthem was played were arrested. Sanghi elements and overenthusiatic people who have picked up Modi’s style of projecting instant nationalism on the debris of Indian democracy have been heckling people who refused to comply with the SC’s order and filing complaints. Indeed, they took photos of people who didn’t stand up during the anthem. How come they have not insulted the national anthem according to their own standards since they too were expected to stand in attention?

 Now, I love that poem that became the Indian national anthem and the way it has been set to music- it celebrates Indian democracy and not bharatam, that imagined brahminical paradise which the RSS-BJP have been forcing upon us. The biggest divide in India is about which of these you are loyal to – and it is tragic that many young educated and employed young women, whose rights to employment and education are solely because of Indian democracy, chose to celebrate the utterly misogynist and casteist bharatam!
I am not saying that Indian democracy that emerges from our Constitution has been real. No, the painful reality is that it is not, and that is the only reason the RSS has been able to peddle bharatam – to serve the interests of crony capitalists and predatory NRIs. But even if it were realised, love for it cannot be forced. NO, NO LOVE CAN BE FORCED. LOVE CAN ELICIT LOVE RECIPROCALLY BUT OBEDIENCE DOES NOT MEAN LOVE.
The Supreme Court should stop behaving like an abused housewife. I am saying this because I know what it is to be an abused housewife. I remember the times when I was demeaned and insulted on a daily basis, and I often took it out on my children. The Modi government has been behaving like an abusive husband towards the Supreme Court. And the SC is taking it out on citizens. This should stop.
I am protesting not because I hate the nation or the national anthem: on the contrary, I love it,and when I remember that it is an ode to Indian democracy, it brings tears to my eyes. But I sincerely believe that no love can be forced. The SC’s order assumes that it can be – let them produce at least one instance in human history when the application of force produced love! No, they will fail that test. To me, this has implications as a mother, as a lover, as a friend, and not just as a citizen.
Please come to IFFK with badges that say LOVE CANNOT BE FORCED. Easy to make – write it with a bright marker on a piece of paper and pin it on your collar or sleeve.

7 thoughts on “Love Can’t Be Forced: Protest Against Sanghi Hubris at IFFK!”

  1. The devout are required to do prescribed things at different times of day and on each day of the year. There are rituals for pissing and puberty and child-birth and death. So-and-so Saptami must be observed thus. And so on. It seems that, under Hindutva, the life of the ordinary citizen is to be regulated in the same way. Devil knows what the Supreme Court has to do with the national anthem. Precisely which law is it enforcing? Is it not a court of law?


  2. This absurd FATAVAof SC is ridiculous in the least and an outright foolishness if thought properly. One need not wear one’s love fro the country in shirt sleeves. Our previous experience with national anthem in theatres was a complete failure. Why the court thinks it will be different this time! As it happened in Chennai , it will only giv goons a handle to create mayhem and polic will have an extra avenue to,collect bribes.


  3. It is true that under the Constitution of India a citizen has a duty to respect the national symbols .Standing attention at the time of playing of national anthem on certain occasions is certainly expected of those present.It is really not understandable that under which law or convention of our constitution the national anthem should be played in the cinema halls.How the Honorable Supreme Court has it made it mandatory to so does raise questions which need to be answered by the learned judges themselves.The hauling up of the non-conformists in this respect is highly objectionable and condemn able.A review in the matter is surely called for. .


  4. The Supreme Court has no right to control my emotions,or determine my intellectual relationship with the nation-state.This is coercion,and has to be challenged.


  5. Thank you very much indeed for sharing this. All the KSFDC theatres play it before the film every time (as you know it’s not just in the time of film festival) and I could never understand the meaning of doing it so; besides always go upset at those morons who stand up like a clown. It’s really humiliating, a whole nation is being humiliated.


  6. Just now saw news that BJP cadre is protesting outside Director Kamal’s house and raising slogans that he go to Pakistan.

    That apart, wanted to point out that the analogy of the judiciary to the abused wife is misplaced – it is not a conjugal relationship and the Judiciary is equally if not more capable of violence than the executive or the polity. The judiciary’s wrangle with the executive is only insofar as it wants to preserve its purity and dominance and does not want to be transparent and not in the interest of efficiency or democracy. In other words, I am saying we should be careful not to place the Judiciary on any pedestal – even one of victimhood.

    In this particular case, I do not know how the Supreme Court even admitted this case. It should have been thrown out at that stage itself on the grounds that it was a matter of the legislature. Once it took notice wrongly, it went on to make faulty assumptions, did not even refer to the progressive existing precedent in the Jehovah’s Witness case or the many rules and formats of the national anthem and laid out a non-legal dictat

    All that aside the judiciary as a whole seems to be determined to dictate love – a sort of formal khap panchayat…..


  7. “”In the aftermath of the Civil War, the propaganda of crusader mythology was seen as essential to maintaining order and consolidating the new dictatorship. General Franco’s victorious army was ordered to focus inwards, to abandon all preparations for foreign wars and to learn tactics of domestic crowd control.
    Under General Franco, history was “the continuation of the war by other means” — in propganda, school textbooks, church sermons and through monuments, public holidays and other state sponsored culture. School children were compelled to take a course of political education called “Formation of the National Spirit”, as well as religious education and PE. Political parties weren’t to be trusted and faith should be put instead in Spain’s “organic democracy”, a natural order expressed not in the decadent liberal institution of parliament but in the family, the workplace and the municipalty. They were also inducted in Franco’s paranoid militarism : violent repulsion of the foreign Judeo-Bolshevik-Masonic conspiracy was, so it was said, a matter of instinct, an innately Spanish characteristic.””


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