People not required to stand up in the movie halls to prove their patriotism, the Supreme Court of India observed and asked the Central government to consider amending the decree for regulating playing of the national anthem in the cinema halls.
The Apex court also noted that "We don't have to wear patriotism on our sleeve", and that it cannot be believed that if a person does not stand up for the national anthem, then he is “less patriotic“.
While Observing the decree, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that the society doesn’t require “moral policing” and this can’t be done on the whims and fancies of government.
Supreme Court on national anthem: A comprehensive and comparative study
Highlights of Court's observation
The court said that it may alter its order of 1st December 2016, by which it was made mandatory in the movie halls to play the anthem before the screening of a film.
The court noted that movie places are for entertainment, and people do not prove their patriotism in cinema halls. People cannot be forced to carry patriotism on their sleeves and courts cannot infuse patriotism among people through its ruling.
This Court remarks came on the PIL filed by Shyam Narayan Chouksey last year challenging the court’s directions about playing national anthem in all the cinema halls.
The court then asked the Centre to take a call by January 9, 2018, for regulating the playing of the national anthem in cinema halls across the country.
Supreme Court directs cinema halls to play National Anthem before film screening
Government’s view on this observation
Putting across the government’s view on this PIL, the Attorney General K K Venugopal appearing for Centre said that India is a diverse country, national anthem should be played in the movie halls to bring in uniformity.
He was in the opinion that the matter should be left open to the government to take a call on whether the anthem should be played in cinema halls and whether people should stand up for it.
Background of this Remark
A bench headed by Justice Misra, on December 1, 2016, had ordered the cinema halls across the country to “mandatorily” play the national anthem before a movie and the people present must stand and show respect.
This step was widely seen as an attempt to “instill committed patriotism and nationalism in the citizen. The court in its order categorically mentioned that “love and respect for the motherland are reflected when one shows respect to the national anthem as well as to the national flag“.
Who: The Supreme Court