The Supreme Court on Wednesday passed an order directing all cinema theatres across the country to play the national anthem before the screening of any film. The order has to be implemented across the country in the next 10 days.

The apex court apart from laying down the rule on the playing of the national anthem also laid down other conditions regarding the playing of the national anthem (all highlighting done by the author):

  • The national anthem cannot be commercially exploited in any way
The Supreme Court's order was unexpected | Source: PTI

  • There cannot be any dramatization of the National Anthem and it should not be included as a part of any variety show. The court said this was being done 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. The court observed that "To think of a dramatized exhibition of the National Anthem is absolutely inconceivable."
  • The national anthem or any part of it cannot be printed on any object or displayed in a manner "that is disgraceful to its status and tantamount to disrespect."
  • Prior to the National Anthem is played or sung in the cinema hall on the screen, the entry and exit doors shall remain closed so that no one can create any kind of disturbance. Once the national anthem is sung, they can be opened again.
  • The national anthem can be played in cinema halls only with the image of the national flag on the screen.
  • An abridged version of the National Anthem made by any one for whatever reason cannot be played or displayed.
It is compulsory to play the national anthem in few states presently | Source: AFP

And while laying down the rules the Supreme Court justified its order saying:

"The directions are issued, for love and respect for the motherland is reflected when one shows respect to the National Anthem as well as to the National Flag. That apart, it would instill the feeling within one, a sense committed patriotism and nationalism."

Refer to clause (a) of Article 51(A), Fundamental Duties occurring in Part IVA of the Constitution the court said that people are required to respect the national flag.

The court said it was essential people showed respect for the flag | Source: PTI

The apex court bench said:

  • "From the aforesaid, it is clear as crystal that it is the sacred obligation of every citizen to abide by the ideals engrafted in the Constitution. And one such ideal is to show respect for the National Anthem and the National Flag."
  • "Be it stated, a time has come, the citizens of the country must realize that they live in a nation and are duty bound to show respect to National Anthem which is the symbol of the Constitutional Patriotism and inherent national quality."
  • "It does not allow any different notion or the perception of individual rights, that have individually thought of have no space. The idea is constitutionally impermissible."

Read the full order here