People not obliged to stand up if anthem is played in middle of film: Supreme Court

NEW DELHI: There is no need to compulsorily stand up when theĀ national anthemĀ is sung or played as part of a film or documentary, theĀ Supreme CourtĀ said on February 14 while clarifying its earlier order in the wake of reports that people have been assaulted for not rising when the anthem was played during a film.

In their earlier order, a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and R Banumathi had said people need to stand up when the national anthem as part of “constitutional patriotism” when it is played before screening of a film and people are not obliged to stand up when the national anthem was played as part of a movie.

The court had said in its November order that the national anthem must be played in all cinema halls before a film was screened and everyone present must stand up. “Time has come when people must respect the national anthem which is part of constitutional patriotism. People must feel that it is their country. It is because of the country that they are enjoying freedom and liberty,” the bench had said.

The apex court order was criticized by some sections and several petitions filed seeking recall of the verdict. Challenging the SC’s direction, senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan said the court should not have passed the order as making the national anthem mandatory at places of entertainment was “popcorn nationalism” and amounted to “moral policing”.

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