The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered that the National Anthem should be played across the country before a film is screened and everyone must stand to pay respect to it, accompanied by the national flag displayed on screen. It however clarified that the disabled would be exempt from this.
The court said: “Time has come for people to realise that the national anthem is a symbol of constitutional patriotism…people must feel they live in a nation and this wallowing individually perceived notion of freedom must go…people must feel this is my country, my motherland.”
Prohibiting use of the national anthem on “disgraceful/undesirable” places and on objects, the top court noted that at the root of the guidelines is national identity, integrity and constitutional patriotism. It gave states and union territories a week to ensure awareness and compliance with the directives.
A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Amitava Roy said that this would instil feeling of constitutional patriotism and nationalism.
The bench said: “It is the duty of every citizen to abide by the ideals ingrained in the Constitution and as such show respect to the National Anthem and the national flag. There should not be dramatisation of the anthem and it should not be printed on any undesirable objects”.
The court’s order came on a public interest litigation (PIL) by Shayam Narayan Chouksey seeking framing of guidelines on the playing of the National Anthem. The apex court made it clear that there would be no commercial exploitation of the National Anthem.
Chouksey’s counsel Abhinav Shrivastava urged the court to lay down norms regarding playing of the national anthem in cinema halls, entertainment programmes and in official functions.
The court also barred any playing of the abridged version of the National Anthem. The order would come into force in ten days’ time.