14/12/2016 2:48 PM IST | Updated 14/12/2016 3:22 PM IST

BJP Workers Protested Against Kerala Filmmaker By Singing National Anthem, And He Has No Idea Why


Christine Pemberton

THRISSUR/THIRUVANANTHAPURAM -- Ace Malayalam film director Kamal faced a protest of a different kind when angry BJP workers on Wednesday sang the national anthem near his home in Thrissur.

Chairman of the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy (KSCA), Kamal said he was yet to come to terms with the reason why the Bharatiya Janata Party did it.

KSCA is a key organiser of the ongoing International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK).

Ever since the interim verdict of the Supreme Court that made the national anthem mandatory before a film is screened in theatres, it has become a discussion point in the IFFK that opened last week.

Till now, 11 persons refused to stand up when the national anthem was played and were arrested by the police though they were later let off on bail.

"State Culture Minister AK Balan has already made it very clear that the national anthem will be played before every screening during the IFFK.

"We have ensured that this is followed and hence I have no clue why the BJP did this. In fact, it's they who through this act have belittled the national anthem," said Kamal.

The Thrissur BJP unit was upset with Kamal as it surfaced that the petitioner, representing a local film society, who filed a petition against the singing of the anthem, hailed from the same village as Kamal.

Police had stopped the BJP protesters about 100 metres from Kamal's home. The protesters, however, sang the anthem before dispersing.