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SC directs ‘for love of motherland’: Stop ‘wallowing’ in freedom, you must stand, all cinemas must play national anthem to instil ‘patriotism, nationalism’ [READ JUDGMENT]

SC makes strong statement that it is definitely not anti-national

SC directs for 'love of motherland': 'People must feel they live in a nation and this wallowing individually perceived notion of freedom must go.'
SC directs for 'love of motherland': 'People must feel they live in a nation and this wallowing individually perceived notion of freedom must go.'

A bench of justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy ordered that in line with states such as Maharashtra, all cinema halls in India must play the national anthem before movie screenings in order to “instill a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism” in citizens.

The bench held: “When the national anthem is played it is imperative for everyone to show honour and respect. It would instill a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism... (NDTV)

“Time has come for people to realise that the national anthem is a symbol of constitutional patriotism…people must feel they live in a nation and this wallowing individually perceived notion of freedom must go… people must feel this is my country, my motherland.” (The Indian Express)

Misra reportedly added: “You don’t mind restrictions when you are abroad. But when you are here, you don’t want restrictions. Directions are to be issued for love of the motherland.” (HT)

According to the judgment:

From the aforesaid, it is clear as crystal 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. Be it stated, a time has come, the citizens of the country must realize that they live in a nation and are duty bound to show respect to National Anthem which is the symbol of the Constitutional Patriotism and inherent national quality. It does not allow any different notion or the perception of individual rights, that have individually thought of have no space. The idea is constitutionally impermissible.

The writ petition was filed by Shyam Narayan Chouksey, who runs an NGO in Bhoipal, who was represented by Abhinav Shrivastava, seeking to prohibit commercial exploitation of the national anthem.

The central government was represented by attorney general Mukul Rohatgi.

The bench wholeheartedly agreed with that too, holding that the anthem could not be commercially exploited, dramatised, or abridged.

Standing up now required by SC law

The bench also laid down several rules surrounding the playing of the national anthem in cinemas, ruling:

Having heard the learned counsel for the parties and awaiting the reply from the Union of India, as an interim measure, it is directed that the following directions shall be scrupulously followed:- [...]

(d) 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.

(e) 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.

(f) When the National Anthem shall be played in the Cinema Halls, it shall be with the National Flag on the screen.

(g) The abridge version of the National Anthem made by any one for whatever reason shall not be played or displayed.

Read judgment (PDF)

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