Bollywood divided on SC’s ruling to play national anthem before films | bollywood | Hindustan Times
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Bollywood divided on SC’s ruling to play national anthem before films

bollywood Updated: Dec 03, 2016 01:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The Supreme Court has ordered that everyone should stand when the National Anthem is played, and the National Flag should be shown on screen.

Supreme Court’s latest ruling that national anthem must be played in theatres before movie screenings has garnered mixed reactions from the industry. While many feel it’s a great move as it would help instil a feeling of patriotism in movie lovers, there’s also a sense of scepticism that it might just end up becoming a political agenda.

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A PIL was filed by Shyam Narayan Chouski, who runs an NGO in Bhopal, seeking a set of parameters on what amounts to abuse of the anthem. His petition was considered by the SC after a man on a wheelchair was assaulted by a couple at a cinema hall in Panaji for not standing up during the rendition of the anthem. Acting on the petition, SC has also ordered that everyone should stand when the anthem is played and the national flag should be shown on screen.

All praises for the ruling, filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar says, “I think it s a welcome decision. Earlier in the 70s, they used to play but I don’t know why they stopped. Today’s judgment is a landmark in our history and it’s a proud moment for every Indian. Our country is full movie goers and everyone should be proud of this judgment.” Model-actor Rajniesh Duggal, who hails from a Defence background, calls it a superb decision. “As a respect for our nation and the army it’s a great step. But some interesting visuals should be shown with the National Anthem instead of only the flag.”

I am sure everyone can stand for a minute to respect the country. There is nothing wrong with SC’s move: Boney Kapoor

Producer Boney Kapoor adds, “The National Anthem would be played before every movie until the 80s. I’m glad that it will now be played across all theatres in India. I am sure everyone can stand for a minute to respect the country. There is nothing wrong with this move.”

Actor Ali Abbas Zafar feels it should not be restricted only to schools and kids. “Adults need it equally. Every time you go to get entertainment, it will only make you proud of being an Indian. There is nothing wrong in that,” he says. Actor Nimrat Kaur adds, “I think it’s a great thing for the kids to be a part of. It’s something that is inherent to us and we should all be proud of it. It’s a great decision.”

Actor Nimrat Kaur lauds Supreme Court’s decision. (Waseem Gashroo/HT Photo)

Director Prakash Jha welcomes this order wholeheartedly. “Jai Ho! I always sing it most proudly wherever and whenever I get the opportunity,” he shares. “If the feeling of patriotism and unity evolves with this move, then for sure.. Jai Hind, says actor Neetu Chandra.

Standing up for the anthem should be a natural reflex action. No court should be telling anyone to stand and respect the National Anthem: Kunal Kohli

Playing the National Anthem before movie screenings was a common practice in Maharashtra since the government passed an order in 2003. Filmmaker Kunal Kohli feels, “I thought it was happening in the country and not just Maharashtra. It’s a good thing, obviously, because it is something that every citizen should be proud of. Standing up for the anthem should be a natural reflex action and no court should be telling anyone to stand and respect the National Anthem.”

Calling it a great initiative, actor Taapsee Pannu says, “I’ve always loved watching National Anthem play on screen. In Delhi, I never saw it, but since I’ve been in Mumbai for last few years, I’ve started missing it when I go back to Delhi. I don’t know if it will influence anyone or change the thinking because it’s a very subjective thing and everyone views everything in different perspective. But I’m really happy and proud.”

Highlights
  • National Anthem must be played in theatres before movie screenings.
  • Everyone should stand when the anthem is played.
  • Cinema halls should show the National Flag on screen.
  • National Anthem should not be commercially exploited or dramatised.

Urging that National Anthem should not be commercially exploited or dramatised, the court said, “When the National Anthem is played, it is imperative for everyone to show honour and respect. It would instil a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism.... Time has come for people to realise that the National Anthem is a symbol of constitutional patriotism…people must feel they live in a nation and this wallowing individually perceived notion of freedom must go…people must feel this is my country, my motherland.”

Agreeing with this, actor Arjan Bawa says, “It’s a good call to make people feel patriotic towards their country. Any steps taken to feel closer to your motherland or in regards to maintaining respect for our nation are always welcome. Standing for 52 seconds and saluting our nation before a 2-hour movie isn’t much to ask for.”

Filmmaker Onir says Supreme Court’s move is a “little ridiculous”. (Puneet Chandhok/HT Photo)

However, not everyone sees a rosy picture. “It’s a good decision, but there should also be a law holding those responsible, who get aggressive when others can’t get up during the National Anthem. They pretend as if its nationalism, but it’s not that, it’s hooliganism,” says TV personality Raghu Ram. As for filmmaker Onir, he feels, “It’s been there in Mumbai for so long that we got used to it, so may be the rest of the country should also be in sync. Honestly, I find it a little ridiculous that why does patriotism have to be thrust in your throat, at the same time, I personally don’t get offended to stand up and be a part.”

I hope it doesn’t lead to further beating up and insults to people who genuinely cannot stand up: Ken Ghosh

Director Ken Ghosh adds to it: “Personally, I always get goosebumps when I hear a good rendition of the National Anthem. On the flip side, I hope it doesn’t lead to further beating up and insults to people who genuinely cannot stand up.”

Sharing a neutral stand, actor Divya Dutta feels it’s not really a big change. “I’ve always seen the National Anthem wherever I’ve gone. I don’t see it as a big change because I am an ardent theatre person and have always seen the National Anthem play. It is a matter of conditioning and now, it has become an integral part.”

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