SC makes national anthem optional in cinema halls

Nathional anthem is no longer compulsory in cinemas: Supreme Court

Nathional anthem is no longer compulsory in cinemas: Supreme Court

Though the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday said that playing the national anthem in theatres before screening movies is not mandatory, the practice will continue in cinema halls and multiplexes in Mumbai and Maharashtra. He said, "If you are going to watch Sunny Leone's film then how can the national anthem be played in the auditorium and there may be any other adult movie also".

A year later, there was a change of attorney general, with K K Venugopal succeeding Mukul Rohatgi and, importantly, an altered perception at the Centre, which filed an affidavit requesting the court to make playing of the national anthem optional in cinema halls.

This came a day after the Centre, in an affidavit to the Supreme Court, asked it to reconsider its order making it mandatory for cinema halls to play the national anthem before screening of films. Chief Justice Dipak Misra, however, clarified that if a cinema chose to play the national anthem, people would have to stand up to show respect. The Centre said an inter-ministerial committee was being asked to look into the matter and the government would take a call once the committee submitted its recommendations in six months. This statement from the Supreme Court of India has come has come as a whiff of fresh air for innumerable movie buffs who visit the theatre to get some relaxing moments to spend with their family, friends and loved ones.

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The November 2016 order had reignited a debate if assertive brand of nationalistic pride was stifling civil liberties.

According to him, most ministries in the government would be represented in this committee.

The modification will be in place till the Union government takes a final decision on the recommendations of an inter-ministerial committee on the occasions, circumstances and events for the solemn rendering of the national anthem.

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"We respect the decision because it is important to keep the dignity of our National Anthem".

The petitioner had said the 1971 act did not define what constituted disrespecting the national flag. It was also stated that the audience must stand up during the national anthem to pay respect.

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