On the occasion of our nations 60th anniversary of Independence, we have witnessed the ultimate insult to our national anthem No, its not some buffoonery on a stage when the national anthem is played. Its not even some one refusing to stand up to it while its being played or sleeping through it while on stage. It comes disguised as a show of respect to the national anthem.
To commemorate 50 years of Independence, AR Rahman and Bharatbala productions produced a remarkable tribute to the nation and its anthem through their compilation Jana Gana Mana. Very well placed intentions and a job which deserved all the credit it got. Ten years later the album makes a comeback a la Saurav Ganguly style. Here the credit should go to the media, though one can claim that after all they just did their usual job of hyping everything up. But on this occasion, we can pardon them, for the cause for which they have allocated screen time and space is a honorable one.
But then, at the end of a remarkably moving and poignant video comes a caption One billion people, One voice. My first thoughts on it was that it was an eyesore. Only when it played out fully and displayed the Airtel logo did the patriot in me rise, seething with anger. The demon in commercialization had just got its biggest victim yet. The national anthem. For all that one might argue that they are mere sponsors and therefore deserve to be mentioned, cool enough. But then the mention should be in that capacity only. Maybe a note of thanks to them for making this possible. The whole thing makes it look like they OWN the anthem. And what is it with a take off on the national anthem as caller tunes (JAYA HE) ?? A person choosing that as a caller tune is supposed to be displaying patriotism?? If so, that will be the most farcical of such displays. Anyone with an ounce of respect for the national anthem will twitch at this idea. For God's sake,leave the nationl anthem alone and not make it just another object to derive profit from.
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