National Anthem Compulsory in Movie Theatres

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The Supreme Court made it mandatory for all cinema theatres to play the national anthem before a movie begins during which the national flag is to be shown on the screen.

A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Amitava Roy also said that everyone present in cinema hall should rise up and pay respect to the anthem when it is played.

Acting on a public interest litigation filed by one Shyam Narayan Chouski hailing from Bhopal complaining of misuse of the anthem in TV shows or movies, the court also ruled that it should not be commercially exploited or dramatized.

“When the national anthem is played it is imperative for everyone to show honour and respect It would instill a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism,” it 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.” – Justice Misra said.

The national anthem must not be printed on any undesirable object, and should not be used for any commercial purposes. Also, no dramatisation of the anthem should be allowed”, the court said.

The court also ruled that the National Anthem cannot be commercially exploited to gain financial advantage or benefit. “it cannot be introduced or used as part of any entertainment program or variety show”, said the bench.

It was mandatory for cinema halls to play the national anthem after every movie in the 1960s. But nowadays, it is not followed.

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