‘I’m not with any political party’, says petitioner Shyam Narayan Chouksey

Chouksey, 76, who retired as an engineer with the Central Warehousing Corporation in 2000 and took up social work now devotes time to litigating about the national anthem and flag, besides the odd environmental issue.

Written by Milind Ghatwai | Bhopal | Updated: December 1, 2016 11:40 am
supreme court, cinema halls, national anthem, SC ruling, Supreme court ruling, petitioner, shyam narayan chouksey, chouksey, not political, political affiliation, india news, indian express news Shyam Narayan Chouksey

Few had heard of Shyam Narayan Chouksey until Wednesday afternoon, before the Supreme Court ruled on the Bhopal-based social activist’s petition and held that the national anthem should be played before screening films in theatres. Chouksey, 76, who retired as an engineer with the Central Warehousing Corporation in 2000 and took up social work — he runs the NGO Rashtrahit Gandhiwadi Manch, but the name does not ring a bell for many even in Bhopal — now devotes time to litigating about the national anthem and flag, besides the odd environmental issue.

WATCH VIDEO: Supreme Court Makes Playing National Anthem At Theaters Mandatory

The “hurt” he felt over the issue of national anthem in cinema halls goes back 13 years. He had gone to watch the film Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. “When the national anthem was being played in the movie, I stood up. But I was the only person standing. Those behind me said that I was obstructing their view — instead of standing up they asked me to sit down. It hurt me,” Chouksey said.

Offended by the experience, as also the “commercial use of the national anthem” in the film, Chouksey filed a PIL in Madhya Pradesh High Court in Jabalpur. A division bench agreed with his contention and banned screening of the film across India. The order was later stayed.

Chouksey moved the apex court a couple of months ago armed with instances of “insult to the national anthem” and seeking appropriate order. Welcoming Wednesday’s court order, he said, “It has come after a fight of a decade-and-a-half.” “I am aware that people will start linking me to the BJP, but I am not associated with any political party,’’ he said.

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  1. P
    Prashanth
    Jan 27, 2017 at 3:50 pm
    Very great full decision....
    Reply
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      anonymous
      Dec 1, 2016 at 5:16 pm
      har picture se pehle choosle guru jyoti.lt;br/gt;pseudo mc
      Reply
      1. G
        Guru Jyoti
        Dec 1, 2016 at 12:49 pm
        How can you speak against respecting national anthem. It hardly takes 10 minutes and then anyway you will sit for next 3 hours while watching movie. I don't find any reason to object SC decision. Sometime it is good to accept the things like this as long as it does not harm anyone.
        Reply
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          Anand Ch
          Dec 1, 2016 at 1:13 am
          In which country on this earth such a practice is followed ? People going to see ma movies, why would they relish Nationalism before such rubbish ? What si the purpose of this exercise ? If it is good then even in dance bars, they should start their day only after singing National anthem.
          Reply
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            Anand Ch
            Dec 1, 2016 at 9:58 am
            There is a way and place for showing respect. Movie watching is not a workplace and movie is not a boss.
            Reply
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              psb
              Dec 1, 2016 at 9:29 am
              don't you pay respect to you boss or company daily?lt;br/gt;so just pay respect to country and its men who provide you a safe and secure life... otherwise join army to get a feel
              Reply
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