The Supreme Court has rightly ruled that the national anthem should be played before the screening of films in cinema halls, and that all should “stand up in respect.” One feels that patriotism should be nurtured from within each Indian and not forced by anyone else. Respect has to be earned as one cannot force anyone to love the country. The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does; the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility, but the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to war. The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 states: “Whoever intentionally prevents the singing of the Jana Gana Mana or causes disturbances to any assembly engaged in such singing shall be punished with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.”
Even existing laws don’t penalise or force any person to stand up or sing the national anthem. Respect and dignity to national symbols should not be a one time show, but should be deep rooted in the minds of individual that gives him inner strength as a proud Indian. We should be patriotic in our conduct and indeed while representing our country in any international events sports or otherwise.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)