• SC denies the need to stand when national anthem is played in a film

    February 15, 2017

    Modifying its earlier order, directing that everybody must stand while the national anthem is played in theatres, the Supreme Court said that the audience need not stand, if the anthem is part of a film.

    The apex court further elaborating on its order said that, the audience need not stand up when the national anthem is part of the storyline of a film, newsreel or documentary. The court also clarified that when the anthem is played in cinema halls, it is not compulsory for the audience to sing along.

    The discussion with regard to national anthem being played in the theatres has been going around since November 2016, when the SC had made it compulsory to play the anthem inside the theatres before a movie screening begins and further made it mandatory for the viewers to rise as a mark of respect to the anthem.

    The previous order of the SC was praised by the centre by calling it a new beginning and further added that the national anthem should be made mandatory in schools as well to inculcate feeling of patriotism in the minds of the younger generation.

    Last week, the court refused to give an urgent hearing on a plea seeking direction for framing of a policy to promote and propagate the national anthem, national flag and national song.

    Days after the November order, there were instances of people at movie theatres being assaulted and arrested for not standing during the anthem, in states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

    After safety issues were flagged, the court clarified that the doors of the theatre must be "closed but not bolted" during the anthem.


    This issue regarding the National Anthem has been going on for a while now and there have been a number of petitions filed and orders made concerning this issue. Thus, it was high time the court took a firm step and made an order to terminate the ongoing debate and further stop the incidents of assault and arrest happening in the movie theatres on people who did not obey the court’s previous order.

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