Supreme Court orders playing of national anthem in cinema halls

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered playing of national anthem inside cinema halls across the country with the national flag being displayed on screens before the start of a movie.
In his interim order, Justice Dipak Misra also stated that all people present inside the theatre must rise to pay respect to the anthem.

National Anthem

Agreeing with the order, the Centre said that it will issue directive to Chief Secretaries in all states while publishing the same circulars on electronic and in print media.
“People must feel this is my country and this is my motherland,” a bench of justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy said while stressing that it is the duty of every citizen of the country to show respect to the national anthem and the flag.

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“At the root of protocol for national anthem, is respect for national identity, integrity and constitutional patriotism,” the bench said while directing the Centre that the order should be given effect in a week’s time and be circulated to all States and Union Territories through chief secretaries.

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It also said no person should take commercial benefits by playing the anthem and that it should not be dramatised.

The apex court said the anthem should not be printed or displayed on undesirable objects, and also barred it from being played on variety shows and its abridged version anywhere.

Directing that its order be shown in electronic and print media and be followed in letter and spirit, the court said, “Time has come when people should feel they live in a nation” and “even in Shastras, nationalism was accepted.”

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The court’s directions came on a PIL filed by Shyam Narayan Chouksey seeking directions that the national anthem should be played in cinema halls across the country before a film begins and proper norms and protocol be fixed regarding its playing and singing at official functions and the programmes where constitutional dignitaries are present.

The apex court had last month issued notice to the Centre asking it to specify what would constitute disrespect to the national anthem.

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