The Supreme Court's interim verdict making national anthem compulsory before film screenings in cinema halls evoked mixed responses. As the police went hunting for those who did not stand up while the anthem played at International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), the matter got out of hand. 

 

Politicising the issue, the BJP came out in the open against filmmaker Kamal, who is also the chairman of the Kerala Chalachitra Academy, the organisers of the IFFK. Kamal had stated that the police had no right to take people into custody from the cinema halls where IFFK films are screened. The saffron party had taken out a protest march to Kamal's house in Thrissur and sang the national anthem. 
 

Also read: BJP to give 'home tuition' on national anthem to Kerala filmmaker Kamal

 

The Yuvamorcha, youth wing of the BJP, burnt the effigy of Kamal in front of IFFK venue. Joining the protests, BJP state general secretary A N Radhakrishnan said that those who do not respect the national anthem should go and live in Arab countries. Film festivals, organised using public money, are bound to obey the laws of the land and court verdicts. Accepting the benefits of constitutional bodies and making statements that promote anti-national activities cannot be tolerated, he added. 

 

Also read: Don't make us stand for anthem before each film: foreign filmmaker pleads

 

The Yuvamorcha also protested against the screening of Ka Bodyscapes, a film directed by Jayan K. Cheriyan, in the IFFK alleging that the movie insulted Hindu gods.