SC takes U-turn on 'mandatory' Jana Gana Mana in movie halls

Brandon Parsons
October 24, 2017

Till date, Playing National anthem in Public place, like movie theatres. the Apex court has asked the Centre to come up guidelines to regulating them in Movie also create a burden on the government to decide whether it should be mandatory for people to stand for the National Anthem or not.

While hearing the matter, Justice D Y Chandrachud said, " you do not have to stand up in the cinemas during the National Anthem to prove your patriotism".

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. Why should we wear patriotism on our sleeves?

The November 30, 2016, order made it mandatory that the national anthem should be played at the commencement of film in all cinemas and moviegoers will have to stand during the playing of the national anthem. With the plaintiff also seeking several other directions, the main case and other tagged cases are still pending. "Where this moral policing would stop?", Justice Chandrachud said. "In our opinion, it is appropriate that Centre takes a call in this mater, and if necessary, as advised, it may think of issuing a notification or circular or Rules by using its discretion without being influenced by our November 30 order". Attorney General K K Venugopal represented the Centre in court.

Justice Chandrachud said cultural and social values are imbibed from parents and teachers and not what courts enforce through its orders.

It had said that "love and respect for the motherland is reflected when one shows respect to the national anthem as well as to the national flag". Where do we draw a line? It said, "As the Central Government, you have vast powers to amend the Flag Code, which has no bar on defining the places where national anthem must be sung". Why people should assume that everyone who don't sing or stand for the national anthem is not patriotic. He wanted both the laws should be in consonance to each other and disrespect should be made a punishable offence.

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