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National Anthem too loud for theatres?

Friday, January 12, 2018

It is a huge relief to cinema goers that the National Anthem has not been made mandatory in theatres. Theatres, fairs, games and competitions are all meant for entertainment and should not be used to force patriotism down the people’s throats, while our politicians and bureaucrats wipe away crocodile tears from their eyes and keep looting the country. They also bring out several laws to protect the guilty.

The National Anthem is a solemn ritual and ought to be played in places requiring serious and solemn duties, like at the start of a Parliament session, before commencing of Court and Tribunal proceedings. A theatre is a place of entertainment, much like a bar or even a place of ill repute. It is not the place where the hallowed sounds of the National Anthem would find a befitting audience.

— Jubel D'Cruz, Mumbai

Being a citizen of India, it is our fundamental duty to respect the national anthem. But patriotism should come from the heart and we cannot force anyone to respect the anthem. It is the people's choice. We should respect national anthem but oppositions with different religions are against it. People have to think at once that we live in India and religion or community does not matter. Playing the National Anthem in Cinema Halls are not something new, and was introduced by the Apex court, and has been a practice in yesteryear too. There is no point in taking six months for the judgement. The National Anthem must be played in theatres. It is not a burden to citizens but gives the opportunity to be more patriotic and passionate about their country. It can be seen as a failure in system, if a small thing cannot be implemented. Irrespective of the unity of the nation, and to instill that unity in the minds of the public at peace times and in war times, the national anthem must be played and the public should stand and give respect to the nation. Forming a 12 member panel is just a waste of time, energy and the tax payers money!

— C.K. Subramaniam, Sanpada

Anthem or Anathema? The flip flop on the National Anthem, even by an exalted body considered as a repository of wisdom leaves the common man flummoxed and confused. The latest directive that it is voluntary, leaving it to the mercy of cinema exhibitors is the unkindest cut of all. Given the choice no one is going to play it. If the anthem had a voice of its own it would be crying endlessly. Why the regard for the flag, anthem is at such abysmal levels needs a rigorous social and psychological study! In no other country is such a tamasha seen. One thing has been established – this country will mature only when the people voluntarily ask for the anthem to be played, not when imposed by dictatorial fiats, no matter how democratically instituted the authorities are. Patriotism and nationalism can only come from within, not through laws and rules.

— T.R. Ramaswami, Kandivali

The Narendra Modi government made complete U-turn, requesting the Supreme Court to keep in abeyance its November 2016 interim direction for cinemas to play the national anthem before every screening and for everyone present to stand up in a show of respect. The apex court will hear the home ministry affidavit, which goes against the government's previous insistence that movie theaters compulsorily play the anthem and the audiences stand up. On October 23 last year, a three-judge apex court bench had nudged the Centre to "take the call" and, if necessary, issue a "notification or circular of rules" on the playing of the national anthem. The October 23 directive had come after one of the three judges, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, had rattled the government and the bench, saying people who didn't stand up during the playing of the national anthem could not be branded "anti-nationals". If moral policing didn't stop at some point, he had cautioned, people might even be told not to wear T-shirts and shorts to movies.With this it is the biggest slap on the face of the Modi government.

— Bhagwan Thadani, Mumbai

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