A 45-year-old poet, who is a disability activist and writer, was assaulted in a theater in Goa for not standing up during the National Anthem. Wheelchair-bound Salil Chaturvedi was shouted at and was hit by a couple who took offense to his not standing. According to reports, award-winning writer Salil Chaturvedi, who suffers from a spinal injury, was hit hard by the husband, while the woman accompanying her husband yelled, “Why can’t he get up?” . A nobleman suffering humiliation and harassment in the name of nationalism is a matter of shame. Is nationalism robbing us of our humanity?
According to the sources, Chaturvedi handling the situation calmly turned and told the couple, “Why don’t you just relax? Why do you have to get into people’s faces? You don’t know the story here. You will never know.” The couple reportedly continued their favoritism towards the country and continued their respect for the national anthem and the importance of standing up when it is played. But on grasping the scenario properly the couple reportedly backed out fearing Police action.
Who is Salil Chaturvedi?
Chaturvedi , son of Air Force veteran, is a poet and disability activist. He is also an actor. He played the character of ‘Jugadoo’ in the popular kids show on Doordarshan, ‘Gali Gali Sim Sim’. He represented India in the wheelchair tennis at the Australian open. Author Amitav Ghosh is known to be a big fan of his work. He took to twitter to express his anger for such incident.
The assault has left him scared for life. According to a source, he said that he will never go to a theater again. “I’m afraid someone will hit me even harder, and worsen my spinal injury. I just don’t understand why it seems impossible for so many people to express patriotism in a non-aggressive manner,” he said.
Adding to that he says, “I now believe that even if I could stand up during the national anthem, I would rather not, simply because I am being forced to do so. My father is an Air Force veteran. I represented the nation in wheelchair tennis at the Australian Open. Look at my life choices! Who are you to judge how much I love India?” he asked.