New Delhi, Dec 9: Supreme Court granted exemption to differently abled persons from standing in national anthems being played in cinema halls, reported news agency ANI. The top court had earlier made it mandatory for citizens across caste, creed and religion to stand in cinema halls when the national anthem gets played. Theatre-owners were also instructed to play national anthems before each screening of the movies. While narrating the order, Justice Dipak Misra claimed that it would serve the purpose of instilling ‘constitutional patriotism’.
Apart from granting exemption to disabled persons, Supreme Court has also clarified that cinema halls would not be bolted at the time when national anthem would be played, reported India Today. The doors of cinema hall would remain open.
The order of Supreme Court has been welcomed by the Central Government. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has instructed all state governments to implement the state government’s order with complete vigour.
However, a section of civil society has marked dissent, calling it ‘forced’ nationalism. Several liberal activists have called it infringement of personal freedom. A leading publication also cited the Supreme Court’s verdict of nearly 3 decades ago, when three children of Jehovah’s sect were allowed to not sing national anthem due to concerns related to their faith.