The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked all cinemas to play the national anthem before a film is screened “for the love of the motherland”, reigniting a debate over whether an increasingly assertive brand of nationalistic pride is stifling civil liberties.
The court banned dramatising, abridging or making money from the 52-second-long Jana Gana Mana and said the national flag, the Tricolour, must be displayed on the movie screen when the anthem is played.
Moviegoers must stand up and all doors of cinema halls be closed at such times to stop people moving around. Theatre owners have 10 days to implement the order.
“It is because when the National Anthem is sung or played, it is imperative on the part of every one present to show due respect and honour. To think of a dramatized exhibition of the National Anthem is absolutely inconceivable…when the National Anthem is sung, the concept of protocol associated with it has its inherent roots in national identity, national integrity and constitutional patriotism”