Do we really need to fake respect or force others to show their respect via childish interventions that can only instill disgust in one? How can playing the anthem increase love or respect? It is like saying that playing the song "Jab tak hain aakash mein chand aur sitare, salamat rahe maa baap hamre" will increase love and respect for parents. Worse, it will increase the longevity of parents. In light of their ruling, may be the justices should review their play list.
Finally, will the justices face the law if their judgement leads to ordinary folks being harassed by the self-proclaimed protectors of patriotism and nationalism that will result from this ruling (as has resulted earlier from such requirements)? Or may be the real gain in fake patriotism is worth the real pain and a more fractured and a less trusting society?
Over to the justices:
TO INSTILL “committed patriotism and nationalism”, the Supreme Court Wednesday ordered that “all the cinema halls in India shall play the national anthem before the feature film starts and all present in the hall are obliged to stand up to show respect to the national anthem” as a part of their “sacred obligation”. Discarding notions of “any different notion or the perception of individual rights”, a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy added that the movie screen shall have the image of the national flag when the anthem is being played and that doors of the halls will remain shut during the anthem so that no disturbance is caused.
“The directions are issued, for love and respect for the motherland is reflected when one shows respect to the National Anthem as well as to the National Flag. That apart, it would instil the feeling within one, a sense committed patriotism and nationalism,” said the bench, giving 10 days for compliance with its direction.