No need to Stand for National Anthem: Indian Supreme Court

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The apex court asked the Centre to consider amending the rules for regulating playing of the national anthem in the theatres ahead of the start of the film. If we make national anthem mandatory in cinema halls, next step will be that somebody can say should people be wearing shorts while national anthem is sung. People go to cinema halls for undiluted entertainment.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi supported the Supreme Court's observation on national anthem in cinema halls and said standing in cinema halls will never inculcate patriotism. The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Chandrachud turned down a plea by the Centre to not revisit the National Anthem order.

The Supreme Court (SC) today raised objections to the playing of National Anthem at cinema halls and asked the government to consider changing the policy on the same.

The SC also reiterated that Article 51A was a fundamental duty that is unenforceable. But now that the anthem is compulsory, the government may find it hard to withdraw it as this could be misconstrued as needless executive action denying people an opportunity to make a statement of their patriotism.

After sitting for three hours watching a movie, people were too impatient to stand for three minutes while the national anthem was being played. As the government, you have the power. The centre had pleaded the Apex Court to not mend the existing rule on national anthem which was enforced on 30th November 2016.

Since the 2016 verdict, there have been multiple incidents in which people have been beaten up for not standing up during the national anthem. The order, delivered in November 2016, was a sad commentary on the top court's credentials as the ultimate arbiter of individual rights. "Society needs that entertainment". Till the decision is made, playing the National Anthem in the halls would remain mandatory. He said it should be left open to the government to take a call on its own discretion on whether the anthem should be played in theaters and whether people should stand up for it.

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

The government has to respond by January 9, when the case will next be heard.