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Mandatory earlier, no more obligatory

Young Bites. Dated: 1/11/2018 11:15:40 AM

To instil “committed patriotism and nationalism”, the Supreme Court had earlier ordered that “all the cinema halls in India shall play the national anthem before the feature film starts and all present in the hall are obliged to stand up to show respect to the national anthem” as a part of their “sacred obligation”. Supreme Court had earlier opined that the movie screen shall have the image of the national flag when the anthem is being played and that doors of the halls will remain shut during the anthem so that no disturbance is caused. A time has come, the citizens of the country must realize that they live in a nation and are duty bound to show respect to National Anthem, which is the symbol of the constitutional patriotism and inherent national quality. The court order, however, does not entail any penalty or punishment for not standing when the national anthem is played and hence, it remains to be seen how public authorities and those managing private cinema halls would ensure the direction is followed “in letter and spirit. It is because when the National Anthem is sung or played, it is imperative on the part of every one present to show due respect and honour. To think of a dramatized exhibition of the National Anthem is absolutely inconceivable…when the National Anthem is sung, the concept of protocol associated with it has its inherent roots in national identity, national integrity and constitutional patriotism. In making this order, the bench referred to Article 51(A) (a) of the Constitution, which states that “it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem. The Supreme Court has announced that the playing of the national anthem prior to a movie in cinemas is no longer mandatory. The Court said that an Inter-ministerial committee set up by Centre shall take final call on playing of national anthem in cinemas. Additionally, the court said that it accepts govt affidavit that says 12-member committee set up to suggest changes in Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act. The court also reiterated that the exemption for disabled from standing in cinema halls during national anthem shall remain in force until further notice. Discretion on the national anthem issue lies with the Central government, the court said, adding that if cinema halls play the national anthem, the audience must stand up. The differently abled though are exempt from this.


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