National Anthem not mandatory in cinema halls: SC revises earlier order

National Anthem in cinema halls: The government also told Supreme Court that it will set up an inter-ministerial committee that “has been constituted to look into all aspects relating to the singing or playing of the National Anthem”.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 9, 2018 3:47 pm
National anthem, national anthem in theatre, elderly woman, old woman harassed, Chennai International Film Festival, elderly woman harassed, national anthem harassment, India news, Indian EXPRESS Movie goers stand up as the National Anthem is played at a movie hall before the screening of a movie in Jammu. The Supreme Court had said in 2016 that the order was aimed at instilling a sense of patriotism. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday modified its November 2016 order stating that it is now not mandatory to play the National Anthem before a film is screened in cinema halls across the country. Today’s order comes after the government on Monday filed an affidavit asking the Supreme Court to reconsider its order making it mandatory for cinema halls to play the national anthem before screening of films and that it was setting up a inter-ministerial committee to look at any modifications in the existing rules — Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, if necessary.

Allowing the request, the apex court, however, emphasised that citizens should show respect to the National Anthem and that the committee should look into all aspects. The government also allowed petitioner Shyam Narayan Chouksey to take up his prayers with the committee. The top court also said that its earlier order granting an exemption to the disabled from standing in cinema halls during National Anthem shall continue to remain in force.

The Supreme Court, in its November 30, 2016, order, had directed all cinema halls across the country to play the National Anthem before the screening of films and that all present must “stand up in respect” till the anthem ended. Also Read | SC revises National Anthem order – All your questions answered

The government on Monday also told the Supreme Court that it will set up an inter-ministerial committee that “has been constituted to look into all aspects relating to the singing or playing of the National Anthem” and on receiving its recommendations, “the government may bring out the requisite notification or circular or rules in this regard, if required”.

According to the affidavit, the committee will be headed by Additional Secretary (Border Management), Ministry of Home Affairs, with representatives from the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Department of Legal Affairs, Department of School Education and Literacy and the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disability.

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  1. Santosh LN
    Jan 9, 2018 at 11:08 pm
    My Kid go to Movies to sing National Anthem. So I strongly recommend playing National Anthem in hall. Atleast some of the 30 years old hogs acting like kids can improve their condition and start respecting their mother, others mother and learn from kids. You are nothing w/out my nation. Tere nashib main 70 ssal bad bullet train kyun nahi Bhai? Do not cry, do some work for my nation.
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    1. Avinash Kumar
      Jan 10, 2018 at 3:25 am
      70 saal bad bullet train is nahin hai ki hum Indians nonsense points par adhik dhyan dete hain. Desh ka public education, health, infrastructure, jobs etc "chuda" pada hai - aur public to mandir/masjid/national anthem ki padi hai.
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      1. Suneet Sood
        Jan 10, 2018 at 5:11 am
        Mr Santosh, our definition of patriotism is misplaced. The country will benefit much from persons who pay their taxes honestly, follow its laws, work hard, achieve excellence, and help India's poor, whether or not they stand up during the anthem. The country will get approximately zero point zero benefit from persons who stand for anthem after anthem, if these persons do not pay taxes, follow laws, work hard, achieve excellence, and help India's poor. Anthems, flags are symbols of the people (not vice versa). The people are the real thing, and deserve respect. It's illogical to respect a symbol if one doesn't respect the real thing. And if one respects the real thing, there's no need to respect a symbol. So why do we teach our children to be illogical? Answer: it's easy to stand during an anthem. It's difficult to pay taxes, follow laws, and achieve excellence. So we do the easy thing. And pat ourselves on our backs, happy with our so-called patriotism.
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      2. Shankar N
        Jan 9, 2018 at 10:34 pm
        Thankfully not all judges are like Justice Mishra
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        1. Iron Thugjoy
          Jan 9, 2018 at 9:39 pm
          Before 2002 the Flag Code prohibited private individuals organizations from routine everyday display of the National Flag in public or private premises for the simple reason that it would be exposed to disrespect or disfigurement deliberate or otherwise. Even now it is not allowed after dark. Protection of national symbols emblems from disrespect is as important as revering them. Similarly the National Anthem is exposed by routine playing in theatres. The 2016 SC CJ Dipak Mishra's order ruling it mandatory before each show prompted SC Judge Chandrachid to ask pertinent queries "Should we wear our patriotism on our sleeves? and ”Will wearing shorts t-shirts and denims to theatres be prohibited as it would amount to disrespect to the mandatory National Anthem? Where do we draw a line? Where do we stop this moral policing?" Remember 'Protecting, preserving and treasuring the sanc y of National symbols and emblems are as important as, if nor more than revering and loving them.
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          1. Suneet Sood
            Jan 10, 2018 at 4:57 am
            Mr Iron, this is something I've never understood from a logical point of view. National emblems are emblems of what? Of our mountains? Of our cinema halls? Of our garbage cans? I've always thought they were emblems of citizens. India's flag, anthem are emblems of Indians. The crucial words here are "emblems" and "Indians". By which logic can an emblem be more important than the object it represents? It seems that Indians are allowed to insult Indians every day: no problem, but insulting an emblem: big problem! Mr Rahul Gandhi insults the PM every day: No problem, but sitting down while a song is played: big problem! My point: I don't understand your comment about the importance of protecting, preserving and treasuring our emblems. We should be protecting, preserving, treasuring, respecting each other.
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          2. Iron Thugjoy
            Jan 9, 2018 at 9:33 pm
            Before 2002 the Flag Code prohibited private individuals organizations from routine everyday display of the National Flag in public or private premises for the simple reason that it would be exposed to disrespect disfigurement deliberate or otherwise. Even now it is not allowed after dark. Protection of national symbols emblems from disrespect is as important as revering them. Similarly the National Anthem is exposed by routine playing in theatres. The 2016 SC CJ Dipak Mishra's order ruling it mandatory before each show prompted SC Judge Chandrachid to ask pertinent queries "Should we wear our patriotism on our sleeves? and ”Will wearing shorts t-shirts and denims to theatres be prohibited as it would amount to disrespect to the mandatory National Anthem? Where do we draw a line? Where do we stop this moral policing?" Remember 'Protecting, preserving treasuring the sanc y of National symbols and emblems are as important as, if nor more than revering loving them
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            1. blackpower 666
              Jan 9, 2018 at 8:46 pm
              proves the utter folly of the honble supreme court in even contemplating it in the first place - playing the national anthem in theatres
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              1. Abraham K
                Jan 9, 2018 at 11:03 pm
                These days Supreme court seems to be driven under the covers by the Govt. It is as confused as the Govt which took a number of decisions like Aadhar, demo, GST etc without much thinking and then kept revising the rules every day.
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