Supreme court says audience need not stand for National Anthem in cinema halls

Supreme Court says Audience need not stand when National Anthem is part of film.

Supreme Court (SC) of India passed a verdict saying the audience need not stand in Cinema Hall to prove their patriotism and “cannot be forced to carry patriotism on their sleeves”. People go to cinema halls for undiluted entertainment. Society needs entertainment. We cannot allow you (Centre) to shoot from our shoulders. Desireability is one thing but making it mandatory is another. People do not need to stand up in cinema halls to prove their patriotism.

SC added that the society did not need “moral policing” and it cannot be assumed that if a person does not stand up for the National Anthem, then he or she is less patriotic.

Previously, SC had ordered theatres across India to “mandatorily” play the National Anthem before a movie and the audience must stand and show respect, in a bid to “instill committed patriotism and nationalism”. However, the order has now been revoked and audience may or may not stand.

I’m sure there are some who will be happy to hear this new hearing from the Supreme Court, but many will also be surprised to see how quickly the top court in India have reversed their decision. Few months back, the Indian Supreme Court had made it mandatory for all cinema theatres to play the Indian national anthem before beginning of every film show. In the weeks to follow, citizens who refused to stand in cinemas, were assaulted, intimated and even arrested for not rising to the national anthem. It triggered debates on television news channels, challenging the nature and intent of the ruling.

Things took an objectionable turn, when Theater director Atul Kumar’s rendition of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night hit a roadblock. Before the performance could commence at Rangsharda in Mumbai, Kumar was commanded to play the anthem at the beginning of the performance.

After several applications were filed on the question, including from the Conference for Human Rights and the Kodungallur Film Society, the Supreme court finally issued this clarification.

The Supreme Court finally issued a clarification saying “There is no need to be on your feet inside a cinema hall when the National Anthem is featured as a part of a film, documentary or a newsreel”.

Ram Gopal Varma asks why not play national anthem in bars and clubs?

In a sarcastic comment, Ram Gopal Varma had said that the national anthem should be played in bars and clubs as well.

Bollywood filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma voiced his displeasure over the ruling and said shouldn’t the #NationalAnthem be compulsorily played in all night clubs before drinking and dancing begins?


  • He says it should be played before every TV programme and TV serial episode and radio program
  • Every shop should ask customer to see a video of it b4 entering shop.
  • National anthem would be made compulsory in temples, churches and mosques before prayers begin.
  • The lead actor giving anti-tobacco message should compulsorily sing national anthem.



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