Learn to respect the national anthems

Magic of India's Holi Celebration in London

In my 45-year-old journalism career, I have taken copious notes when covering events. So has any reporter. I have also stood for anyone’s national anthem in any part of the world. Where I come from that would be merely good manners….writes Bikram Vohra

Magic of India's Holi Celebration in London
Magic of India’s Holi Celebration in London

To attend a military passing out parade and to not stand during the anthem because as a journalist you are taking notes is a laugh and a hoot. You don’t stand because you make a deliberate decision not to bloody well stand. The fact that two journalists did the same thing in Jammu and Kashmir during the parade for the light infantry regiment is not a coincidence. This is the biggest day of their careers for these soldiers and the CO of the regiment is bursting with pride.

It is a solemn occasion. And we are discussing the merits and demerits of standing up for our anthem. Where is our self-esteem, how craven have we become than we can intellectualise bad manners and insult.Journalists are neutral, they do not get political.

I have no idea why this Colonel Joshi decided to apologise to the journalists on behalf of Colonel Burns who ordered these two guys out. Apologise to them for their misconduct? This makes no sense. They should be the ones apologising.

So, by that token, equally mystifying is the placatory attitude from the army brass reflected in the fact that Col Burns has been reported to his superiors. Brigade Commander, Corps Commander, Army Commander, the chief, are you seriously going to reprimand an officer and a gentleman who maintained tradition and did the right thing for the right reasons.

The army is losing its mojo if it has to roll with every political punch because it is the expedient thing to do. I cannot see any grounds for moving against Col Burns. On the contrary he should be given a commendation and Col Joshi should be asked to explain why he thought it fit to apologise to the scribes.

Sorry for what…not tolerating your slurs.

This is not a movie theatre. This is a military event of great import. Even foreigners stand for anthems. Every global sports event the stadium stands as one for any representative nation’s anthem. To do less would be discourtesy. To not do it to your own anthem is unacceptable.

Enough of this disrespect and tolerance for it. As if in some way honouring your nation was uncool. Where have all our values gone? Wake up, people, this new attitude will destroy us.

Go for it Colonel Burns, nobody can hold you responsible. Stand tall.

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