Supreme Court of India: National anthem to be played in cinemas before every movie

It used to be compulsory for cinema halls to play the national anthem in the 60s -- and people by and large stood for it. But the practice faded away over time. Photograph:( Getty )

DNA New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 30, 2016, 07.28 AM (IST)

India's Supreme Court ordered Wednesday that the national anthem be played in cinema halls across the country before every movie.

The anthem, the court added, is to be accompanied by the national flag on screen and everyone in the hall must stand for it. 

"When the national anthem is played it is imperative for everyone to show honour and respect. It would instill a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism," the country's highest court said.

The public interest litigation to which the court replied was filed by Shyam Narayan Chouksey, who runs an NGO in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

He had asked that protocol to do with the playing of the anthem be set, and also that misuse of the anthem be stopped. 

In response, the court directed that nobody was to eke commercial benefit from the anthem, nor was there to be any dramatisation of it. 

It used to be compulsory for cinema halls to play the national anthem in the 60s -- and people by and large stood for it. But the practice faded away over time.

(This report first appeared in DNA)