Govt's U-Turn on National Anthem in Theatres

Govt's U-Turn on National Anthem in Theatres

Until the committee submits its recommendations, it was urged that the apex court may consider restoration of the position as it stood before the order was passed on 30 November, 2016, making playing of the national anthem mandatory in cinema halls.

"This is why the government has chose to constitute an inter-ministerial committee", the affidavit said.

He also said a person who does not stand up nor sing the anthem should not be seen as an anti-national. The order said that this practice would "instil a feeling within one a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism". Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, while sharing a Supreme Court Bench with Justice Misra (now Chief Justice) in October 2017, had doubted the logic behind the order, saying there was no need for an Indian to "wear his patriotism on his sleeves".

Its affidavit said that the committee would take at least six months to give its recommendations. The government will also set up a committee to review the order.

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Later, however, while hearing a petition by a film society challenging the November 2016 order, a three-judge bench had questioned the order.

Further, the Supreme Court has requested the Centre to consider amending the rules to regulate the playing of the National Anthem before a film. People go to cinema for undiluted entertainment and to ease out.

Representing the Centre, Attorney-General KK Venugopal had told the court that India was a diverse country and the National Anthem needed to be played in the cinema halls to bring in uniformity.

The playing of national anthem before the screening of movies should not be made compulsory for now, the government told the Supreme Court on Monday. He had observed that these days, "the anthem is played during matches, tournaments and even Olympics where half of the crowd does not understand its meaning".

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