Indian Court Orders Cinemas To Play National Anthem Before Screening

By Bright Bassey

The Supreme Court in India, Wednesday, has ordered movie theatres across the country to play the national anthem, “Jana Gana Mana” followed by the image of national flag before every film.

The court gave the ruling following a petition by Narayan Chouskey, a retired engineer in Bhopal to “specify what would constitute disrespect and abuse of the national anthem.”

“All present in the (cinema) hall are obliged to stand up to show respect to the national anthem,”

“The citizens of the country must realize that they live in a nation and are duty bound to show respect to the national anthem,” Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy said.

Chouksey’s attorneys argued the national anthem was abused, appealing to the court to protect it.

“The ruling must be implemented within 10 days,” the court said.

The ruling has been met with criticism from many Indians who expressed displeasure over the aggressive displays of patriotism amid a rise in jingoism on television news and in the press.

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