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Lauding the decision given by the Supreme Court to play the national anthem before the screening of films, movie director Madhur Bhandarkar on Wednesday described it as a landmark judgement and a proud moment for all Indians.
"It happened in 1970's also, when national anthem was played at the end of the film. Then, there was some problem and people used to walk off from the theater, that was the reason presumably it was removed. But for the past five years, we have seen the national anthem being played before the movie starts in Mumbai and Maharashtra," he added.
The top court stated that all people present in the movie must rise and pay respect to the anthem and the flag also to publish it on electronic and print media.
Abhinav Srivastav, the legal counsel of the petitioner, said, "The court has given an interim direction, saying that in all cinema halls, before a feature film is played, the national anthem will be played along with the national flag, and everybody is supposed to stand for it. This will be implemented within ten days in the country. The Centre has agreed to circulate the order to all state chief secretaries."
He further said there will be no commercial exploitation; the national anthem won't be dramatised in any way. One can't play it suddenly in the middle of serials or movies.
"The abridged version of national anthem of 20 seconds which includes only the first and last paragraphs will not be played in any condition. The full version of 52 seconds will be played," he added.
"There has been news that the national anthem was played but people are sitting or leaving, abridged version played in the swearing ceremony, a leader talking on phone during the national anthem. There should be no disrespect towards the national anthem," he said.
The next hearing will take place on February 14.
The plea was filed by Shyam Narayan Chouksey and heard by Justice Dipak Misra.
In 1960s, it was mandatory for cinema halls to play the national anthem after every movie. But it faded away by the 1990s.
The Maharashtra government passed such an order in 2003.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)