On November 30, 2016, SC ordered all movie theatres to play the national anthem before the screening of films and made it compulsory for the audience to “stand up in respect” till the anthem ended.
Justice Chandrachud criticised the order saying, “Tomorrow, there may be a demand to stop people from wearing shorts and T-shirts while going to cinema halls, because national anthem is being played… Where do we draw a line? Where do we stop this moral policing?”
Finally on January 9, 2018, SC made the playing of national anthem in movie theaters before screening of movies optional.
We asked you, our Youth Ki Awaaz community,whether it should be made compulsory to stand for the national anthem in movie theatres, and got an overwhelming response. Here are some excerpts:
1. “I feel proud to stand for our national anthem.” – Vikash Anand Giri
Wherever my national anthem plays I feel full of enthusiasm. My heart automatically allows me to respect my national anthem. In my opinion it is okay to play national anthem in cinema halls because somewhere it reminds us about patriotism. Jawans have the responsibility to take care of our tricolour until their last drop of blood. So, we would just be selfish to not spare few minutes for India.
2. “National Anthem should not be played in Cinema Halls. Period.” – Nripjeet Singh Anand
3. “I think national anthem should be played at least 10 times a day.” – Rick Pete
All streets must have loudspeakers installed. That way all the hungry starving kids on the road also can join in to prove their nationalism. I also recommend playing it at 2 AM in the night. Anyone can stand up in the broad daylight. Let’s find out the true patriots by playing it at 2 in the night.
4. “Forced Patriotism.” – Sukanya Girish
We can show respect to our country directly by keeping our streets clean, protecting girls from hooligans and representing our country abroad for a good cause. National anthem in movies is utterly useless.
5. “Try not standing up for the national anthem in jam-packed cinema hall…” – Ajay Barkade
…what follows after that is the main reason why it’s a bad idea… India is the first country where soldiers have to pay for their own uniform… and government talks about patriotism…
6. “You better respect whenever you get a chance.” – Srayashi Mallick
If you can stand in queue for buying iPhone ..you can also stand for few seconds in a hall to show respect to your national anthem there should not be any doubt in it. If national anthem comes up you have to stand.. you better understand this.. !!! If you think you’re being forced to show patriotism understand we have earned this independence..!
7. “One must stand up for the national anthem (unless some physical conditions restrict one) at all times.” – Jyotiprakash Sundaray
However, playing at cinemas is pointless. In fact, if you observe, the anthem played at cinemas is a musical one and different from the original anthem…not sure why!!! If imposed in cinemas, then I would also call for the national anthem being played at all govt. offices before start of work (the way we have prayers at schools) because our ministers are the ones who have forgotten our national anthem and they must be reminded at all times that they are “government” “servants”.
8. “Don’t belittle its meaning and respect by forcing it on people.” – Meenakshi Dogra
If you want to disrespect [the] national anthem, make people think of it as an inconvenience, then by all means do it; national anthem is to show respect, you can’t make people forcibly respect something, doing so just makes the opposite happen; there are thousands of different places and times we can stand for the anthem.
9. “I think playing the national anthem in a place like the theater will trivialise it.” – Parijat Shukla
If I go to the movies every weekend and have to sing it, it will drone in my ears and I fear it won’t matter as much to me. There is a prestige to singing it at important occasions and places. It’s like everyone wearing a wedding dress to your workplace everyday.
10. “National anthem in movie theater ? Please no.” – Shibani Basak
Standing up for national anthem? 100% yes. [But] It’s disrespectful to play “Jana gana mana” before “Hate Story 4”, or “Race 3”.