Don't need to stand up to prove patriotism: SC

24 October, 2017, 00:47 | Author: Clint Gray
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The government should consider regulating the playing of the national anthem in movie theatres and other places, the Supreme Court said today, noting that "we don't have to wear patriotism on our sleeves".

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud opposed the practice of mandatory standing up for the national anthem before a movie, saying, "Just because a person does not stand up for it, does not mean that they are anti-national". People go to cinema for undiluted entertainment and to ease out.

The Supreme Court on Monday observed that it is not compulsory for people to stand up in the cinema halls when the national anthem is played to prove their patriotism. With the plaintiff also seeking several other directions, the main case and other tagged cases are still pending.

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However, Centre has expressed support for the singing of the anthem, stating that it will instil a feeling of unity in a diverse country with many castes and religions.

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".

In a brief order, the bench said, "We think that it would be appropriate if the Central government took a call in this matter by issuing necessary notifications, rules or circulars".

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"Should the court enforce all directions given under Article 51 (A) (fundamental duties) of the Constitution", Justice Chandrachud further asked. Why do you have to throw the burden on the court? "As courts, why should we assume that if someone says I do not want to sing the anthem or stand up, I am not patriotic, or much worse that I am targeted for being an anti-national".

"We have patriotic values taught by our teachers in schools we were not mandated by courts to do that", said the Bench.

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". We cannot decide this but you (Centre) can amend and make it happen.

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