Review playing of national anthem in cinema halls, SC tells Centre

Standing while playing National Anthem in cinema hall not a measure of patriotism: Supreme court

The judge was part of a three-judge bench comprising of himself, CJI Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar.

The Supreme Court today indicated that it may revise its order of December 1 past year making the playing of national anthem in cinema halls mandatory before screening of the movie.

The bench on Monday told the Centre not to be influenced by the 2016 order on the playing of national anthem in the theatres while taking a fresh call. If people go to cinema halls wearing skirt, would they be branded as showing disrespect to national anthem? He said it was necessary to have a unifying force that can be brought about by playing the national anthem.

The Supreme Court (SC) today raised objections to the playing of National Anthem at cinema halls and asked the government to consider changing the policy on the same.

It had also said proper norms and protocol should be fixed regarding its playing and singing at official functions and programmes where those holding constitutional office are present. The Supreme Court had said it would "instill committed patriotism and nationalism" and had also said that "love and respect for the motherland is reflected when one shows respect to the national anthem as well as to the national flag".




On Monday, Justice DY Chandrachud questioned the rationale, saying there is no need for an Indian to "wear his patriotism on his sleeve".

"These are matters of entertainment. We do not have to sing the national anthem to be patriatotic", the court observed.

At this juncture, Chief Justice Dipak Misra, who headed the bench, which also included Justice A.M. Kanwilkar, hinted that the court itself would modify the order. Where do we draw a line? Senior counsel Chandra Uday Singh, appearing for a film society seeking recall of the November 30 order, asked then why not play the national anthem on railway platforms as well.

People go to cinema for undiluted entertainment. Venugopal submitted that playing the National Anthem in cinema halls and standing up as a mark of respect for it fosters a sense of unity in a country diverse in caste, religion and regions.

He wondered as to why the government put the blame and burden on the court for passing such an interim order.

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