Home News Reports National anthem before movies - read how it became mandatory, and how it has now become optional

National anthem before movies – read how it became mandatory, and how it has now become optional

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that it is not mandatory for cinema halls to play the national anthem before every movie.

This ‘relaxation’ provided by the Supreme Court bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra was a result of the Modi government filing an affidavit before the court, requesting it to recall the order making national anthem mandatory, till an inter-ministerial panel finishes reviewing the rules. The decision to whether play the national anthem, now rests with the cinema hall owners.

Such a ruling might finally put to rest the circus which came to town, after the Supreme Court passed the order on 30th November, 2016 making the playing of national anthems mandatory before every movie screening.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

This supreme court order was a result of a very interesting struggle by a private citizen named Shyam Narayan Chouksey, which began in early 2002 when he decided to head to a Bhopal cinema hall for watching Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.

In that movie when Shahrukh Khan’s son was singing the national anthem, Chouksey decided to stand in respect, but to his shock people sitting behind him, objected and mocked him for blocking their view. Chouksey interpreted it as an insult to the national anthem, thus began his crusade.

He first approached the cinema hall’s manager to complain and when no action was taken, decided to stage a ‘satyagrah’ outside the theatre to create awareness among people, about the need to respect the national anthem. This too didn’t result in people standing for it, thus he went to the local administration, state police, and finally to the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

The MP High Court incredibly decided to ban the movie Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam itself, and ordered its producers to delete the national anthem scene as according to the court, people were unknowingly disrespecting it by not standing up. They were also asked to pay Chouksey’s legal expenses. The producers as a result rushed to the Supreme Court which set aside this order.

Chouksey though wasn’t willing to give up and kept knocking on the doors of justice. He also upped the ante by adding to his petition, scenarios like television shows and events where there could be disrespect to the national anthem.

In October 2016, he finally managed to get the Supreme Court to issue notice to the union government regarding this matter, and his efforts attained fruition on the ‘historic’ day of 30th November, 2016, when the Supreme Court declared that playing national anthem before every movie was mandatory and people will have to stand up in respect.

In this, the court incidentally ordered that “all present” must stand up in respect till the national anthem ended. This terminology created a problem for differently abled persons like wheelchair users and those with other special needs.

Soon the Supreme Court thankfully modified its order where differently abled persons falling under Section 2(i) and 2(t) of the Disability Act, 1995, were exempt from standing up for the national anthem. Things though were being taken so ‘sincerely’ that the attorney general informed the court that the Central government would issue guidelines regarding how differently abled persons shall show respect to the national anthem.

To much outrage, the guidelines were indeed issued, which included asking those with disability to position themselves to the extent of maximum alertness and attentiveness with or without appropriate aids, during the course of the anthem.

On October 23rd, there was an indication that this order was not going to last long, after differences had emerged between Justice Dipak Misra and Justice D Y Chandrachud regarding this matter, with the latter commenting that, “one need not wear patriotism on his sleeve”.

Eventually the ball was thrown into the centre’s court and the Modi government, many might agree, did the sensible thing by filing an affidavit calling for a withdrawal of the order till an inter-ministerial committee, which it decided to constitute, comes up with its findings within the next six months.

This committee would be headed by the additional secretary (border management), part of the Home Ministry and would also consist of representatives from defence ministry, external affairs ministry, ministry of culture, child and women development ministry and the ministry of parliamentary affairs.

Now that the playing of the national anthem is as good as optional, it remains to be seen whether Chouksey would enter the battle field once again to fight against this setback to his crusade.

Share This Post With Your Friends & Fans:
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.

Election 2019 Live Updates

Track all the updates on one page as the results and trends trickle in

Shehla Rashid remembers 2014, says she had wanted Kejriwal as PM

Shehla Rashid loses it early on counting day, says “Felt like a Muslim when ‘mass murderer’ won in 2014”

As early trends show an NDA victory, Shehla Rashid calls him a mass murderer, says she had wanted Arvind Kejriwal as PM in 2014 and she had felt like a 'Muslim'.

Live updates: According to EC, BJP leading in 299 seats on their own, clocks victory in 2, taking their tally possibly to 301

Latest results, trends, updates, and news about 2019 Lok Sabha election counting. Find out who will form the next government.
NYT peddles Modi 2.0 as victory of India's most divisive leader

Dear New York Times, India has chosen Modi 2.0, deal with it

When India gives a thumping, unprecedented, overwhelming victory to a man who has made every single Indian feel proud of their nation and heritage, the NYT's heartburn is expected. 
Rana Ayyub had a meltdown seeing BJP securing an unprecedented victory

Unprecedented Modi victory triggers meltdown for controversial journalist Rana Ayyub

Prospect of a stunning Narendra Modi victory in 2019 Lok Sabha election triggered a mental collapse for controversial journalist Rana Ayyub

IIT graduate and an IAS officer explains in detail why EVMs can’t be ‘hacked’ or ‘tampered’ with

Bhavesh Mishra, IAS 2015 batch, B.Tech IIT Delhi, on Quora gave a detailed explanation regarding why EVMs cannot be 'hacked' or 'tampered' with.
Reactions of Liberals after NDA appearing to secure majority

‘Liberals’ have a meltdown as result day trends indicate a massive victory for PM Modi

Trends indicate that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will once again take an oath for the post of Prime Minister. This has not gone down well with the Liberal intelligentsia and they are losing their cool over this prospect

Barkha Dutt expresses deep anguish over the fact that the mainstream media can no longer influence elections

Barkha said it doesn't make her happy that mainstream media cannot influence the voters to vote in a particular way anymore.

Kanhaiya Kumar’s family uses LPG stove to prepare for his victory, contrary to his claims just a few weeks ago

Kanhaiya had claimed that his mother cooked on a Chullah and not on an LPG stove as it was not viable because of being too expensive and also exhausted within 3-4 days.

AAP’s Sanjay Singh wants Arnab Goswami to either go to a mental asylum, be jailed or drowned

AAP's Sanjay Singh was reacting to a clip by Arnab where he was mocking the Opposition for their EVM drama
PM Modi slammed Mayawati for not defending the people of UP and Bihar against TMC government's accusations

23rd May 2019: When the future of Bengal politics was changed forever

Whatever the ultimate result may be, one thing is for certain, going into the 2021 Assembly Elections in the state, for the first time in history, West Bengal will have a party of saffron hue as the primary opposition.
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories

Latest articles

Connect with us

Share This Post With Your Friends & Fans: