National anthem debate: Differently-abled exempted, halls won't be bolted, clarifies SC

Ten days after its 30 November order directing cinema halls across India to play the National Anthem before the start of a film and made it mandatory for every one present to stand while it is being played, the Supreme Court on Friday clarified on the controversial order, saying differently-abled persons are exempted. It also said the halls will not be bolted during the duration of the Anthem.

In its 30 November order, a bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Amitava Roy said that playing the anthem would instill a feeling of constitutional patriotism and nationalism. "It is the duty of every citizen to abide by the ideals ingrained in the Constitution, and as such, show respect to the National Anthem and the national flag," the bench had said.

"People must feel this is my country and this is my motherland," the bench said. "At the root of protocol for national anthem, is respect for national identity, integrity and constitutional patriotism," the bench said.

According to ANI, the order came with additional caveats such as everyone present in the hall must rise and "pay respect" to the National Anthem.

The court's order came on a public interest litigation (PIL) by Shayam Narayan Chouksey seeking framing of guidelines on the playing of the National Anthem.

The verdict was welcomed by both BJP as well as Congress. However, while the latter supported the decision, it raised questions over the implementation. "The 130-year-old party has seen the bigger independence movement. Therefore, we have strongly supported all aspects of genuine nationalism. We support, in principle, everything that enhances the respect and dignity of this nation. Therefore, we support this in principle," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.

Echoing the Supreme Court ruling, a happy Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said that the decision will "inculcate a sense of patriotism among people, particularly the younger generation". BJP also welcomed the order, saying that it will strengthen the spirit of nationalism and the idea of 'Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat'.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Dec 09, 2016 16:39:39 IST