The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered that the national anthem be played in all cinema halls across the country before every film screen. The apex court said that it should be played along with visuals of the national flag and it should not be dramatised or exploited commercially.

The national anthem must not be printed on any undesirable object, a bench comprising of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy said.

Source: b'Source: PTI'

The ruling came in response to a PIL filed by Shyam Narayan Chouksey in October this year. 

It sought that the national anthem be played in movie theatres across the country before a film begins and other protocols should be put in place regarding it. 

In its order the court said that the "time has come when people should feel they live in a nation" and that "people are wallowing in individually perceived notions of freedom", tweeted the Hindu's legal correspondent Krishnadas Rajagopal.

However, while the playing of the national anthem has been compulsory in theatres in some states for some time now, there have also been incidents of violence linked to perceived disrespect to it. 

Earlier in October, award-winning writer and disability campaigner Salil Chturvedi was reportedly assaulted in a movie theatre for not standing up during the national anthem.

Last year, there were multiple incidents of violence reported in Mumbai over people not showing respect to the anthem when it was played before a film screening. In one case, a Muslim family was heckled out of a theatre, while in another case a screenwriter was forced to leave a theatre for not standing for the anthem.

There was also an incident involving actress Preity Zinta evicting a person from a theatre and another man being assaulted because his girlfriend didn't stand for the anthem.