Supreme Court: National anthem must be played in cinema halls before screening of films

The Supreme Court has ruled that the national anthem be played in cinema halls before the screening of a film and people should stand up when the anthem is played as a mark of respect. National Flag must be shown on the screen at that time of playing and all exits must be shut during that time. Further, there should not be any dramatisation of the anthem and it should not be printed or displayed on undesirable objects. Similarly, commercial benefits cannot be accrued by playing the anthem. Acting on a petition by Shyam Narayan Chouksey, the Supreme Court has directed the Centre to give effect to the order in a week’s time and circulate it to all the States and Union Territories.

National Anthems were traditionally played in the cinema halls in the 1960s but the practice got faded away in due course of time. In some states like Maharashtra, single theatres still play the anthem.

The national anthem, Jana-gana-mana, was composed originally in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore. It was adopted in its Hindi version by the Constituent Assembly as the national anthem of India on Tuesday, 24 January 1950. Playing time of the full version of the National Anthem is approximately 52 seconds.

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