standing before national anthem

  1. In a ruling, the honorable Supreme Court of India has ordered the cinema halls across the nation to mandatorily play the National Anthem before every movie screening and the audience must stand and show respect.
  2. As per the order, the national flag is to be displayed on the screen while the national anthem is played, and everyone has to stand for complete 52 seconds.
  3. Honorable court said that singing of national anthem would instill a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism.
  4. However everyone doesn’t feel the same way.
  5. Forcing someone to stand and sing national anthem when the purpose is some sort of recreation and relaxation doesn’t seem to instill any kind of patriotism.
  6. It is like mixing entertainment with patriotism, as a result of which, either patriotism would lose its fervor or the entertainment would lose it charm.
  7. And if there is a loss of fervor then even on the days like Independence day and the republic day, Anthem would not be sung with all the passion but with a monotony. The loss would be bigger.
  8. Some have also cited that it would be bizarre for people to stand for the National Anthem before the start of an adult or x-rated film!
  9. Moreover, as the State’s role in the enforcement of the court order would increase, the police etc would get more chance to extract money from the public and the theater owners. As a result corruption would flourish in the name of showing patriotism.
  10. No one denies that Under Article 51(A) of the Constitution, it is the fundamental duty of every citizen to show respect to the national flag and the national anthem but duties are not to be enforced by an iron hand.
  11. The sense of duty comes from within and not by outside coercion.
  12. Thus the order is a classic case where National pride and civil liberties clash.
  13. Extreme sense of patriotism often gets amplified to extreme nationalism which leads to unwanted circumstances.
  14. There have been cases in Maharashtra where people were beaten up for not standing up for the anthem.
  15. In October, a couple assaulted a man at a cinema in Goa for not rising during the national anthem. Later it was found that the person was paralytic and was on a wheelchair.
  16. And in a country of 125 crore, how many actually go to theaters to watch a movie and even if the order is enforced in the letter and spirit, how much impact would it create?
  17. If the courts really want to instill patriotism, better way would be to deliver the speedy justice.
  18. The justice delayed is justice denied and denial of justice detaches the person from the state and patriotism makes no sense to him.
  19. Hope Supreme Court also orders Indian Parliament to sing the National Anthem before each session. They need the dose of patriotism the most!