No need to stand up for national anthem in cinema halls: HC quotes Home Ministry

September 16, 2015 12:00 am | Updated November 16, 2021 04:17 pm IST - MADURAI:

The Madras High Court Bench here on Tuesday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by an advocate seeking a ban on playing the national anthem in cinema halls since he witnessed that not many people in the theatres accord respect by standing to attention.

Justices R. Sudhakar and V.M. Velumani rejected the plea on the ground that the Union Home Ministry had made it clear on January 5 this year that the audience in cinema halls were not expected to stand up whenever the anthem was played as part of news reels and documentaries.

The Home Ministry’s communication, forwarded to Chief Secretaries of all State governments and Union Territories, stated that standing in cinema halls was bound to interrupt the exhibition of the film and “would create disorder and confusion rather than add to the dignity of the anthem.”

Insofar as indiscriminate singing and playing of the anthem was concerned, the communication, issued pursuant to an order passed by the Calcutta High Court last year, stated that it was left to the good sense of the people who were expected to desist from such activities.

Since the case before the Calcutta High Court was related to singing of the anthem in schools, the Home Ministry stated that “in all schools, the day’s work may begin with community singing of the anthem. School authorities should make adequate provision in their programmes for popularising the singing of the anthem and promoting respect to the National Flag among students.”

However, stating that it would not be possible to give an exhaustive list of occasions on which singing of the anthem could be permitted.

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