Supreme Court Passes Historical Judgement on National Anthem…Read to Know What!

Fundamental Duties of India—

Fundamental Duties were added to Indian constitution by 42nd amendment in1976 on recommendation of Swarn Singh Committee. Initially there were 10 Fundamental duties were added under Articles 51A in Part 4A through 42 amendment, later via 86th amendment 11th Fundamental Duty was added in 2002.Fundamental Duties are basically statutory duties & are enforceable by law (Means Violation of these duties can be met with punishment as prescribed by legislature of India.

To abide by the constitution & respect the National Flag & the National Anthem. One of the most important Fundamental Duties of all other duties.

I find that it’s our duty to stand National Anthem whichever place & wherever they are played with due respect as mentioned or directed by SC of India. Of late in recent years we were confronted with some questions—Should National Anthem be played in cinema halls? Is it proper to play National Anthem in theatres during Entertainment shows? Will people take financial advantage or to be permitted by printing or displaying the National Anthem on obnoxious objects? All these questions need an answer.

It was a PIL filed by one Shyam Narayan Chouksy that drew the attention of the court to this issue. In his petition,Mr. Chouksey points out according to his view would lead to causing disrespect to the National Anthem. However, in the absence of guidelines, on what is permitted or prohibited with regard to National Anthem under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act 1971, the petitioner was forced to approach to court. In 1971 Act prescribes a jail term of three years orPenalty for any person who “intentionally prevents” or causing disturbance in the singing of National Anthem. While the SC in the past has held that it is not mandatory for a citizen to sing the National Anthem, there were no proper guidelines when & where National Anthem should be played.

Ministry of Home Affairs issued a Government order makes it Mandatory for a citizen to stand when the National Anthem is played but makes an exception when the same was played during screening of a Documentary, or news or film. A bench of justices Dipak Mishra & Amitava Roy said “Sometimes the National Anthem is sung in various circumstances which are not permissible &can’t be legally countered regard being had to the national honour”. The court selected two instances given in the petition where National Anthem was played during Interview to test the behavioral pattern of the candidate, another one the National Anthem was played in a variety show to dramatize the whole thing. In addition, we also find that Petition also raised questions whether the use of National Anthem will be misused or abused. The supreme Court sought the Centre’s plea that government should take measures to ensure that the National Anthem is respected, including that it should be sung in front of persons who either understands it or instructed about its meaning.

The supreme court’s decision to consider this PIL follows shortly after a wheel chair bound man was assaulted by a couple at a cinema hall in Panaji for not standing up during the National Anthem. The petition sought the National Anthem to be played in Cinema Halls across the country before the screening of films & also asked for issuing a protocol for the playing or singing of the Anthem at functions where Constitutional dignitaries are in attendance.

The Supreme court has directed all Cinema Halls in the country to play the National Anthem before a film is screened. The Supreme court told clearly that citizens must respect the   National Anthem and the Flag & orders that nobody can print the anthem on any undesirable object. What are the undesirable objects have not been specified?

Supreme court directs citizens by telling the citizens they ought to respect the National Anthem by standing up when it is played. The National Flag should be shown on screen when the National Anthem is played. Supreme court categorically lays down the point that there will be no commercial benefits be derived from the National Anthem. Supreme Court also directs center that the order should be given effect in a weeks’ time and to be circulated to all the states & the Union Territories

In India, we find in cities like Mumbai, Delhi  there are some cinema halls  which are already playing & other states are not playing the National Anthem & where it is being played upon people stand up as a mark of respect to country’s Anthem before the start of a Film. The Supreme court made it clear that no abridged version of the National Anthem, the order would come into force in ten days’ time. According to me rather for every Indian whenever & wherever the National Anthem is played we ought to stand up as a mark of respect for the flag & for our nation by doing this I feel there will be sense of Nationalistic attitude & patriotism would be invoked in each & every Indian citizen, the need of the hour, the cry of the hour goes which will also pave for Unity is strength.

A piece of information I would like to share with you all is that “Jana Gana Mana is the National Anthem of India to set to Raag Alhiya Bilwal. Written in Bengali, the first of five stanzas of the Brahmo hymn titled Bharot Bhagyo Bidata are attributed to Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.  The underlying message of Jana Gana Mana is pluralism. It’s a guide to the people through the ages. Let’s us all Sing with lot of respect our National Anthem & feel proud of our Flag, our Nation Our Freedom struggle & by doing this we will be paying a huge tribute to our freedom fighters.

Vande Mataram

Dr.S. Sukanya Iyer