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Engineer-turned-social crusader Shyam Narayan Chouksey has expressed satisfaction over the Supreme Court order for cinema halls across the country to play the National Anthem before the screening of a film and people to stand up as a mark of respect. The apex court's directions came yesterday on a PIL filed by Chouksey seeking directions that the National Anthem should be played in cinema halls across the country before a film begins and proper norms and protocol be fixed regarding its playing and singing at official functions and programmes where those holding constitutional office are present. Chouksey told PTI that the trigger behind his petition, was an incident in 2001 during the screening of the blockbuster film "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham" at a local cinema hall when except a few people, including Chouksey, stood up when the National Anthem was played as part of a scene. "No one else did so (stood up) and they even objected to our standing up as it created obstructions for them," said the 76-year-old retired chief engineer of Central Warehousing Corporation. Later, Chouksey filed a petition in Madhya Pradesh High Court on the issue in 2002 following which the court directed filmmaker Karan Johar to remove that particular scene from the movie in 2003. However, the Supreme Court later set aside the HC order but that did not deter Chouksey from taking up the cause again and he collected several evidences of disrespect of the National Anthem and filed petitions on the issue. "In September 2016, I had again filed a fresh petition in the Supreme Court on the issue of disrespect to the National Anthem and felt very satisfied when this order came yesterday," he said. On being asked how does he manage funds for fighting such cases, Chouksey, a resident of Shahpura area, said, "My children are well-off and highly placed.
One of them is in the US and they extend all possible help to me in my crusade on the issue." "Earlier I used to plead the cases on my own but due to age, now I have engaged a young lawyer in Delhi for appearing in the matter," he added.
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