Days after Supreme Court asked the Centre to consider amending the National Flag Code for regulating the playing of the national anthem in cinema halls, Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam has waded into the debate, saying though he is against the anthem being played in theatres, if it is played, people should stand up to show respect.
Supreme Court judge Justice D.Y. Chandrachud on Monday lashed out at the logic behind the November 30, 2016 order mandating people to stand up when the national anthem is featured in cinema halls before every show, saying there is no need for an Indian to “wear his patriotism on his sleeve”.
Chandrachud referred to the Flag Code to observe that “there is no mandate that people should stand up when the national anthem is sung in a cinema hall. This is obviously because a cinema hall is a place for entertainment… people go to cinema halls for undiluted entertainment. Society needs entertainment.”
During a session at the Aaj Tak Manthan, Sonu expressed his opinion on the issue, which has been contentious since the SC’s 2016 order, saying that people’s reluctance to stand up for the national anthem in cinema halls comes from an arrogant space.
“National anthem is something that’s prestigious and sensitive. Why do you want to belittle it by playing it in theatres? If I respect my national anthem, why will I play it in a place where people have come to enjoy a movie and they find it painstaking to stand up for it? So, according to me, national anthem should not be played in cinema halls,” Sonu added.
“But I also think that if it is played, then I will stand up. It is not only my national anthem, but I will stand up for national anthem of other countries. Like if Pakistani’s national anthem is being played, I will stand up for it. That’s my way of showing respect for that country and its people. If the national anthem is being played, why can’t we stand? What’s this arrogance?” the singer opined.