I came across a rather interesting bit of news, a few days back. Apparently the Supreme Court had modified its order on the National Anthem, deciding that it wasn’t mandatory in cinema halls, and I thought I might share my opinions on the matter. I’m just going to get this out of the way first, I support the decision taken (there’s a lot of ranting, just skip to the end if you don’t feel like reading). Now personally, I’ve always stood for the anthem. When I was younger, I stood because I was told to, and because everybody else stood as well. As I grew older though, my reasons changed. I continue to stand, because I rather like my country. Now I’ll be the first to admit, there’s a lot wrong in this country. The political system is a broken sham; every single politician is a dirty rat; there’s an elaborate surveillance network keeping a virtual eye on every single legal citizen, masquerading as the “aadhar” system; for some odd reason people keep telling me to go live in Pakistan because I enjoy eating beef; people keep confusing patriotism with blind nationalism; the entire law abiding populous has been disarmed and left at the mercy of a corrupt and inefficient police force; every now and again we’ll hear about “fresh violence on the border” when the government wants to cover something else up… The list goes on. But here’s the thing though, they’re all man made problems, most of which can be traced back to the government. I may hate the government, but I’m damned proud to be an Indian. And part of that pride comes from the fact that we’re a free country. We may not have much, but we certainly have the freedom of speech and expression. So stand if you want to, sit if you want to. I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll fight to the death for your right to say it.