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National Anthem in cinema halls may soon become optional

National Anthem in cinema halls may soon become optional”

As reported by Scroll, in its order the court said that one need not stand up for the national anthem in cinemas to prove their patriotism. In February 2017, the court had clarified that it was not mandatory to stand up when the anthem was being sung or played as part of a film or documentary.

The apex court had previous year 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 "instil committed patriotism and nationalism".

According to Bhadra Sinha of Hindustan Times, Justice Chandrachud said that people go to cinema halls for entertainment, and that the society needs entertainment and not moral policing.

A bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, indicated that it might modify the earlier order and replace the word "shall" with "may".

Lashing out at the government for supporting the SC order which made it compulsory to stand up for the anthem, Justice Chandrachud said that the government should take its own stand on whether people should stand up for the anthem.

The Supreme Court gave enough indications on Monday that it might make it optional for the cinema halls to play National Anthem before the start of each show. "Where will this moral policing stop?"

In November, the top court had passed an order saying cinema halls should play the national anthem before films. The court 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".



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