Published On : Mon, Jan 8th, 2018

Not in Favour of Making National Anthem Mandatory in Cinema Halls: Centre to Supreme Court

New Delhi: Changing its stand over playing of national anthem in cinema halls, the Centre on Monday asked the Supreme Court to modify its order making playing of national anthem before every show mandatory in movie halls across the country. In an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, the Centre said that it has formed an inter-ministerial committee to frame new guidelines. It added that any further action will be taken after the committee submits its recommendations.

The committee, headed by Additional Secretary (Border Management) in the Ministry of Home Affairs, was set up on December 5 last year. “Upon consideration of the recommendations made by the Committee, the government may bring out the requisite notification or circular or rules in this regard, if required,” the affidavit said.

Earlier, a Supreme Court bench had observed that citizens cannot wear patriotism on their sleeves.“What if someone objects to wearing shorts in Cinema halls, where do we stop this moral policing”, Justice DY Chandrachud said.

The Supreme Court, in its October 23, 2017, order had asked the Centre to consider amending the national flag code for regulating the playing of national anthem in cinema halls across the country.

The apex court, in 2016, ordered the theatres across the country to mandatorily play the national anthem before a movie and the audience must stand and show respect, in a bid to “instill committed patriotism and nationalism”.

It had said that “love and respect for the motherland is reflected when one shows respect to the national anthem as well as to the national flag”.

The court had barred printing of the anthem or a part of it on any object and displaying it in such a manner at places which may be “disgraceful to its status and tantamount to disrespect”.