All cinema halls to play National Anthem, with the National Flag on the screen, before the film starts

Supreme Court: Stating that the love and respect for the motherland is reflected when one shows respect to the National Anthem as well as to the National Flag, the Court issued the following directions:

  • The National Anthem should not be utilized by which the person involved with it either directly or indirectly shall have any commercial benefit or any other benefit.
  • There shall not be dramatization of the National Anthem and it should not be included as a part of any variety show because when the National Anthem is sung or played it is imperative on the part of every one present to show due respect and honour.
  • National Anthem or a part of it shall not be printed on any object and also never be displayed in such a manner at such places which may be disgraceful to its status and tantamount to disrespect because when the National Anthem is sung, the concept of protocol associated with it has its inherent roots in National identity, National integrity and Constitutional Patriotism.
  • All the cinema halls in India shall play the National Anthem before the feature film starts and all present in the hall are obliged to stand up to show respect to the National Anthem.
  • Prior to the National Anthem is played or sung in the cinema hall on the screen, the entry and exit doors shall remain closed so that no one can create any kind of disturbance which will amount to disrespect to the National Anthem. After the National Anthem is played or sung, the doors can be opened.
  • When the National Anthem shall be played in the Cinema Halls, it shall be with the National Flag on the screen.
  • The abridge version of the National Anthem made by any one for whatever reason shall not be played or displayed.

The bench of Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy, JJ said that it is the sacred obligation of every citizen to abide by the ideals engrafted in the Constitution and one such ideal is to show respect for the National Anthem and the National Flag. [Shyam Narayan Chouksey v. Union of India, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 1411, decided on 30.11.2016]

One comment

  • Patriotism is a spontaneous respectful disposition towards National Anthem and National Flag originating deep within a person’s heart. To the extent of inculcating patriotism in people’s mind, employing the means such as coercion, condescension and paternalism conveys an impression that the State treats its citizenry as juvenile. Ordering the exits to be closed while the National Anthem is played, directly flies in the face of the order passed in Uphaar Cinema Case which mandates that exits must be open and freely accessible to the audience all the time. The obligation on the audience to stand up during the playing of National Anthem is not easy for the cinema hall management to implement. If a member of the audience refuses to stand up, and other members take the law into their own hands, it may lead to serious law and order issue. The Courts have consistently disapproved of public vigilantism. Moreover, such measures to inculcate patriotism were earlier deployed post 1962 China debacle, but proved to be counterproductive. In the end, the whole thing turned into an exercise in futility. It will not be wrong to say that the only thing we learn from history is that we do not learn from history

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