A wheelchair-bound disabled rights activist was abused and commented upon for not standing up for national anthem in Guwahati on Monday. Arman Ali, Director of an NGO for differently-abled, was in a multiplex when two men sitting behind him called him a ‘Pakistani’ for sitting while the national anthem was being played, news agency ANI reported. Ali said he was singing the national anthem while sitting.
The Supreme Court had in November last year ordered all cinema halls to play the national anthem before screening of a film. Reacting to the incident, Ali said he will write to the apex court about the plight of differently-abled people due to the decision of the court.
“I don’t think the Supreme Court would’ve thought of a situation like this. I’ll write to the Chief Justice about this incident.”
The November order by the Supreme does not carry an exemption clause for the disabled. Later, the Home Ministry issued guidelines for the disabled to show respect to the National Anthem. The directives suggested that wheelchair users and people with locomotor disability should not move and position themselves “maintaining the maximum possible attentiveness and alertness physically”.
For other disabilities, it added that “persons with mild intellectual disability can be trained to understand and respect the national anthem”, along with those suffering from auditory and visual impairments.