SC asks Govt to consider regulating playing of national anthem

SC asks Centre to decide whether standing for the national anthem in movie halls is mandatory

The Supreme Court on Monday put the onus on the Centre for amending the laws for regulating the playing of the national anthem in cinema halls.

The bench said this during the hearing when Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the centre said the national anthem needs to be played in the cinema halls to bring in uniformity in this diverse country.

On December 30, the court said the differently-abled people were not required to stand up.

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud opposed the practice of mandatory standing up for the national anthem before a movie, saying, "Just because a person does not stand up for it, does not mean that they are anti-national". People go to cinema halls for undiluted entertainment.

"Should we wear our patriotism on our sleeves?".

Kollam teen girl who jumped off from school building succumbs to injuries
The girl had objected to her younger sibling, studying in the same school, being punished by teachers for talking in the class. The cadres of the Kerala Students Union (KSU) and Students Federation of India (SFI) staged protests in front of the school.

On November 30 past year, the Supreme Court ordered that the national anthem must be played in cinemas before a movie's start to instil a feeling of "constitutional patriotism" and a sense of "committed patriotism and nationalism".

At this juncture, Chief Justice Dipak Misra, who headed the bench, which also included Justice A.M. Kanwilkar, hinted that the court itself would modify the order.

The Court then proceeded to order that the Centre may take a call on the issue one way or the other by issuing an appropriate notification/circular. The AG submitted that playing the Anthem would be a "unifying force" so that "when people come out of the theatre they will believe that we are all Indians".

The apex court asked the Centre to take a call on the issue and consider amending the national flag code to regulate the matter, and frame rules by January 9. Justice Chandrachud was particularly critical of earlier order and said that moral policing on the name of patriotism should not be allowed. The bench was hearing an application from a Kerala-based film society seeking to recall the November 30, 2016, order on the ground that it amounted to judicial legislation.

The court had barred printing of the anthem or a part of it on any object and displaying it in such a manner at places which may be "disgraceful to its status and tantamount to disrespect". Where do we draw a line on moral policing? Why people should assume that everyone who don't sing or stand for the national anthem is not patriotic. He pointed out that it is an offence if the national flag is defaced, burnt or disfigured.

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