The supreme court can amend its 2016 order, directing all to mandatorily stand up when the National Anthem is sung in the Cinema Theatres.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra observed that people were afraid of being called anti-national if they averse the supreme court’s order. The court’s clarification came after several applications were filed on the question, including from the conference of the Human Rights and the Kerala (Kodungallur) Film Society.
It was three-member judge bench. Besides Justice Depak Misra, Justice AM Khanwikar and Justice DY Chandrachud were also hearing the matter.
“People do not need to stand up at a cinema hall to be perceived as patriotic,” the court said, adding that it “cannot be assumed that if a person does not stand up for the National Anthem, then he is less patriotic”. Justice Misra says, “People go to cinema halls for entertainment and they definitely need entertainment, not moral policing.”
The bench said that moral policing around the national anthem debate must stop and we don’t have to wear patriotism on our sleeve.
This order had come on the PIL filed by one Shyam Narayan Chouksey that national anthem should be played in cinema halls across the country before a film begins and protocol must be fixed regarding its playing and singing at official functions and programmes.
The government asserted that India is a diverse country and the national anthem can be a binding force. “By reasons of vast diversity based on religion, caste and region, it becomes necessary to have a bind force which can be brought about by playing the national anthem in theatres. So when people come out of the theatre, they are all Indians,” said Attorney General KK Venugopal.
The bench said: “Government should take a call instead of “shooting from the court’s shoulder”. People do not need to stand up in the movie halls to prove their patriotism, the Supreme Court said on 22 October 2017.
The case is now listed for hearing on January 9, 2018, according to legal news portal Bar and Bench.
By – Hardika Upadhyay