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National Anthem in Movie Halls – an Observation!

On Diwali day, I was at a movie theatre. While a few were searching their seats a few were in a hurry to order snacks. At this point of time, the commercial advertisements were on at the screen. While the commotion was on, the announcement comes to stand up for the National Anthem. When it started, I stood, as a mark of respect, and started observing the audience’s reaction.

My seat was in the last row and I could clearly see the entire auditorium from the top.  Barring a young lady who was with her infant, everyone stood – a few started singing the Anthem.  Those who were in search of their seats stood back to show their respect. A few were indeed slow to stand up from their seats!  What was surprising is that a little girl of around 8 or 9 years was singing the anthem loudly without shyness – her voice was echoing in the auditorium.  I could not control my happiness and I congratulated her profusely.

The modified Court order says that the people need not stand up (in Cinema halls) to show their patriotism. But this court order is taken very supportively. Irrespective of this, what I feel is that one should retrospect and decide. The respect for the National Flag and national anthem comes first under basic etiquette and the feeling for the nation should come on its own. By standing, we are showing respect and gratitude to the country.

While going on an evening walk, a senior club was playing the national anthem at the beginning of their monthly programme and I stopped at that time to pay my respect. But to my surprise, even those who were walking alongside with me and people walking opposite to me were all falling in line to pay respect.  People still believe and respect the national spirit in their actions but the intolerant people unnecessarily make it a big issue and fight even for issues concerning the real spirit of the daily routine.

India is a secular country and after getting Independence on August 14, 1947, we have the right to express your views and nobody can stop you from giving valuable suggestions. Newspapers play a positive role in bringing the views of the readers by including them in Letters to the editor column. It gives an opportunity to the reader to give his/her frank opinion.

The flag is the symbol of India’s sovereignty. It is quite imperative that all the residents of India and that include city residents too, respect the National Flag. Further, the Union Ministry in its notification has instructed Plastic flags should not be used at all. We must respect that and prevent usage of Plastic flags. Once the celebrations are over, it is our utmost duty to check that the flags should not lie on the roads. It is also quite imperative to stand in silence for the National Anthem.

There is a need for paying respect to National Anthem. There may be modifications in the rules, but we feel proud to respect our flag when National anthem is played in cinema halls. Modifying its earlier order ordering that everybody must stand while the National Anthem is played in theatres, the Supreme Court clarified that the audience need not stand if the anthem is part of a film.

The apex court opined that the audience need not stand up when the National Anthem is played. It is not compulsory to sing the National Anthem in cinema halls. There is also no need to stand up if it is a part of the film, the apex court clarified. The Supreme Court had ordered cinema halls across the nation to mandatorily play the national anthem before the screening of a movie and the audience must stand and show respect.

The Supreme Court refused to give an urgent hearing on a plea seeking direction for framing of a policy to promote and propagate the National Anthem, National Flag and National Song. The time has come when citizens must realise they live in a nation and are duty-bound to show respect to the National Anthem which is a symbol of constitutional patriotism and inherent national quality and hence there is no compulsion.

The tricolour instils in us a sense of great pride, no matter what the platform and the confidence level take you to the skies. India is my country and all the Indians are my brothers are sisters — this rings in my mind throughout the day and the year around.


(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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