a black man sat in the Tagore theatre balcony
and an old man with a flowing white beard sat next to him
while the Anthem was being played.the rest stood up.

these two remained seated.

the black man asked the bearded gentleman,
“who da fuck’re you, man?”

the saintly man said,
” I’m Tagore..and who art thou?”

the black man said,
” I’m Bob Marley and I stand up only for my rights.”

Written during IFFK 2016 when the Supreme Court ruling  implemented  National Anthem to be played in cinema halls and ordered everyone to stand up while the Anthem being played. 

Ra Sh is a poet from Kerala

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  1. Sally Dugman says:

    For many years, I haven’t been in a public place where an anthem has been shared, nor any sort of nationalistic song. I’ve also not ever been fired for any social justice, anti-war or environmental stand that I have taken.

    If an employer fires someone for any reason in the USA except for work performance, there is hell to pay in a court of law. One can sue the employer for big amounts of money. And, yes, it is legal to do so since we have first amendment rights here.

    I recommend that other countries put such laws in place:

    Anti-discrimination law – Wikipedia
    Anti-discrimination law refers to the law on the right of people to be treated equally. Some countries mandate that in employment, in consumer transactions, and in political participation people must be dealt with on an equal basis regardless of economic status, sex, age, race, ethnicity, nationality, disability, … Civil Rights Act of 1964 (United States); Title IX of Education Amendments of …

    Overview of Employment and Anti-Discrimination Laws – FindLaw › … › Employment Law › Employment Discrimination
    Given the wide variation in state employment and anti-discrimination laws, it is … ERISA is a federal law that contains detailed requirements for certain … at a job, regardless of their gender, race, religious beliefs, or other characteristics that are …

    You see, I grew up with this following orientation. So it would be all but impossible to get me to conform. Ha — someone should try it and watch about what they’d reap from me in the process.

    First Amendment – Religion and Expression. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    First Amendment – U.S. Constitution – FindLaw

    I recommend that you work to put these above laws in place in your country. Why not give it a try?

  2. ravi shanker says:

    Thank you for your comments, Sally. India’s Supreme Court is seized of the matter.