1. National Anthem made mandatory: Why Supreme Court order does more damage than good

National Anthem made mandatory: Why Supreme Court order does more damage than good

The Orders have a list of all occasions when the anthem is to be played (as opposed to sung) or its playing is merited, and “before a movie, in a cinema-hall” is definitely not one of those.

By: | Published: December 1, 2016 6:13 AM
National Anthem, Supreme Courts, Cinema Theaters, India The Orders have a list of all occasions when the anthem is to be played (as opposed to sung) or its playing is merited, and “before a movie, in a cinema-hall” is definitely not one of those. (Source: Express Photo)

Though the Supreme Court has ruled that the national anthem is to be played in movie theatres, before the movie is played—with attendant orders of displaying the national flag on screen, ensuring that exits are shut when it is being played to avoid any disrespect, however unintended, with people walking in or out mid-recitation—it would have done better to refer to the Orders Relating to the National Anthem of India (Orders), that can be found on the Union home ministry website.

The Orders have a list of all occasions when the anthem is to be played (as opposed to sung) or its playing is merited, and “before a movie, in a cinema-hall” is definitely not one of those. More importantly, the orders say, “it has been left to the good sense of the people not to indulge in indiscriminate singing or playing of the anthem”. This rather germane guideline seems to have somehow missed the apex court’s attention.

Given more weighty matters await its attention, the Supreme Court should have best left the matter of whether the national anthem is to be played in cinema halls to the government. Instead, the two-judge bench has—in times when nationalism and patriotism have become clubs to beat up even legitimate dissent or difference—ruled that the anthem is to precede the playing of the movie and observed, “When the national anthem is played, it is imperative for everyone to show honour and respect. It would instil … patriotism and nationalism.” The problem is the SC order, in a broader sense, achieves the exact opposite.

It is hard to comprehend how playing the national anthem and following it up immediately with a movie like, say, Grand Masti— or even an X-rated production—keeps up the spirit of nationalism and honouring the national anthem. Also, even when there is no risque content in the feature that follows the anthem, will not forcing an audience that has come to relax and unwind to stand to attention—hopefully, those with disabilities will be exempted—at best, foster reluctant patriotism?

  1. Murthy Suppusamy
    Dec 19, 2016 at 6:04 pm
    Thank You IE for courageously standing up!
    Reply
    1. Sreekumar Prabhakaran
      Dec 1, 2016 at 3:10 am
      Yup! National Anthem before every movie show and at the end of the movies everybody will hug everybody else irrespective of their gender. This to promote fraternity among the viewers.
      Reply
      1. P
        Paul John
        Dec 1, 2016 at 3:04 am
        The judges act more like a politician... They don't even have the sense to understand the negative sides... I pity the one who made this decision.
        Reply
        1. P
          PATRIOTIC INDIAN
          Dec 1, 2016 at 7:30 pm
          ""those with disabilities will be exempted""--- Are you Insane ? This is for the sake of the country. No! No one To Be Spared neither handicapped nor pregnant women nor respected old men. If they can come to theater to watch movies just for entertainment, they can also stand up to respect the national anthem!Fellow Indians, lets show some Patriotism and what true Indians can do when we are together. We Indians have the power to rule the entire world and bring it on its knees, if we are together!! JAI HIND!!
          Reply
          1. P
            PATRIOTIC INDIAN
            Dec 1, 2016 at 7:32 pm
            ""those with disabilities will be exempted""--- Are you Insane ? This is for the sake of the country. No! No one To Be Spared neither handicapped nor pregnant women nor respected old men. If they can come to theater to watch movies just for entertainment, they can also stand up to respect the national anthem!Fellow Indians, lets show some Patriotism and what true Indians can do when we are together. We Indians have the power to rule the entire world and bring it on its knees, if we are together!! JAI HIND!!
            Reply
            1. v
              varghese.al
              Dec 19, 2016 at 7:45 am
              is our national anthem stand accepted and approved by sanghparivar family of organizations?
              Reply
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