In the Aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Order

The Supreme Court’s verdict of playing the national anthem before every film screening incited Kindle Magazine to interrogate dignitaries and collect opinions from social media on the same.

Some call it madness, some foolishness, while the others believe it to be a great step towards integrating culture. Since 30th of November 2016, after the decision was made by the Supreme Court (SC), people have been vocal about the issue on almost all the social media sites.

With a plethora of sentiments doing the rounds regarding the SC’s decision among social media users from different pockets of the society, Kindle interviewed dignitaries for perspectives on the same. Here is what they had to say.

“I don’t agree with the Supreme Court’s decision because it encourages thuggish elements to take advantage of it.”
~Amit chaudhary


“First, there is contradiction between the current verdict of Supreme Court and that of the Bijoe Emannuel case. This shows the shift in the political topography of the country. Moreover, there is difference between having respect for one’s own country and prescribing only one particular way of showing it. This injection of hyper-nationalism in every phase of life is a precursor of Fascism.”      

~Vira Sathidar


 “It’s true that people never responded properly to the National Anthem previously when it was played at any gathering, so, the Supreme court found it mandatory to implement the order. However, these cannot be markers of true patriotism, which comes from an innate love, and respect for the nation. Secular patriotism should be practised, I believe, and the people should aim at dissolving the disparity in the economic condition so rampant in India.”
Goutam Ghose


“As far my state is concerned- Maharashtra, the National Anthem has been played for so long that I’m perfectly accustomed to it. People have stood up to the anthem before film screenings and never felt the need to question or make a fuss. I cannot speak for the other states that are perhaps feeling pressurized by the same order. As far as I know, it is normal in all countries to play the anthem.”
~Shyam Benegal


“We have one of the most remarkable national anthems in the world. It’s devoid of all jingoism. It does not claim we are the greatest country in the world. Instead it seeks the blessing of our motherland for all its denizens. It’s all embracing and inclusive. For years now i have wondered why we devalue our national anthem by playing it in cinema houses before showing some banal or dreadful Hollywood or Bollywood movie. Frankly it amounts to disrespect for our values and what we hold in the highest regard. The occasion had better be very special to deserve a public recital of our anthem, Jana Gana Mana. Then out of the blue we hear that the Supreme Court has made it mandatory for cinema theatres to play it before every screening. The rationale given for this is that it would inculcate respect and love for the national anthem. While one holds the Supreme Court to be one of the country’s most prized institutions, there is something naive and fundamentally problematic about this kind of reasoning. You cannot force respect down anyone’s throat. It must come naturally and from deep within the heart. And make no mistake; it does, when it comes to Jana Gana Mana. I truly wish a larger bench of the Supreme Court would reconsider the matter.”
~Kiran Nagarkar


 “What possible association is there between the movies and the National Anthem? It’s ludicrous to force the anthem in movie halls while Parliament and the Courts have no such obligation. In any case, the people don’t need lessons on patriotism from the state or any of its arms.”
P. Sainath



Here are a few handpicked reactions to the recent verdict passed by the SC from Facebook and Twitter:

 “Madness has begun.
In BJP-ruled Assam, a young Assamese poet is facing threat of arrest. ……Respect is commanded, not enforced. In solidarity with 
Pradyumna Kumar Gogoi.”

Madness has begun. In BJP-ruled Assam, a young Assamese poet is facing threat of arrest because some butt-hurt Sanghi,…

Posted by Shehla Rashid on 3 डिसेंबर 2016


Shehla Rashid, student, talks about how a poet nearly got arrested because he expressed his view on the recent SC verdict on Facebook and someone filed a complaint against him. This brings us to an aspect of the problem, which is misuse of the order. Now anyone can file an FIR against anyone, even if he or she is expressing his or her views on the recent events.

“Curious to know when SC will order playing of national anthem in courts, parliament and all public offices on a daily basis at least thrice.”

Curious to know when SC will order playing of national anthem in courts, parliament and all public offices on a daily basis at least thrice.

Posted by Asif Zamir on 30 नोव्हेंबर 2016


“First of all, there is no any need to tell people to respect national anthem or national flag. Every citizen understands it as one of a primary fundamental duty. And everyone applies/follows it in their day to day life…”

First of all, there is no any need to tell people to respect national anthem or national flag. Every citizen understands…

Posted by Mehboob Elahi on 1 डिसेंबर 2016


These reactions to the verdict seem logical-why is this rule limited to cinema halls? Why not any other administrative place or other public places? The answer seems to be quite simple. People working at other public places are patriotic, but moviegoers are not patriotic enough. So they need to stand in respect of the national anthem before screening of every film.


“With due respect to the SC, I must say this is supreme over-stretching. The Anthem, I believe, commands respect through exclusive renditions and not through impositions.”

With due respect to the SC, I must say this is supreme over-stretching. The Anthem, I believe, commands respect through…

Posted by Murali Gopy on 30 नोव्हेंबर 2016


“Respect is Earned, not demanded!”

Respect is Earned, not demanded!#SCVerdict #NationalAnthem

Posted by Dilip Jammula on 30 नोव्हेंबर 2016


Murali and Dilip, echoes the sentiment of the country in saying that respect cannot be enforced. Imposing new rules is just over stretching. One needs to earn respect-new rules can prove to be counterproductive.



“SC: Play National Anthem before all comedy shows.                                                             
*crowd stands up*
*comedian takes a photo*
Comedian: “Standing ovation last night 

SC: Play National Anthem before all comedy shows. *crowd stands up**comedian takes a photo*Comedian: "Standing ovation last night 🙏🏻"

Posted by Sapan Verma on 30 नोव्हेंबर 2016


SapanVerma, a stand up comedian, gives us an insight to the possible future. With this new rule coming up, there is a possibility that tomorrow there might be another rule ordering to play national anthem before all the comedy shows. Because one should not forget ones roots before they give in to laughter.


“ Brilliant Decision, although I have a different opinion but……abunkakyahogajo National Anthem komante hi nahi the, usmekhotnikalte the…….
Kuch GODSE bhaktoka to dil hi tut gyahoga……

It’s a tight slap of SC on….I won’t take the names…..”

Brilliant Decision, although I have a different opinion but……ab unka kya hoga jo National Anthem ko mante hi nahi…

Posted by Deepak Kumar Meena on 30 नोव्हेंबर 2016


“It is very unfortunate for the country that Supreme Court needs to order to pay respect to National Anthem.”

It is very unfortunate for the country that Supreme Court needs to order to pay respect to National Anthem.

Posted by Ramkrishna Barot on 30 नोव्हेंबर 2016


And then there is this set of people, who use dots to keep us guessing and complete their sentences He believes that “it’s a tight slap of SC on……..”  (Naming is sacrilege.)


Personally, I don’t understand why someone would have any objections to the national anthem being played anywhere.”

Via Nishtha Khurana and I couldn't agree more with every last wordHave been reading all these posts condemning the…

Posted by Garima Singhal on 1 डिसेंबर 2016

You will also find true supporters of the SC’s decision, who believe- why should anyone have a problem with the national anthem being played anywhere? They see it as: unfortunate for the country, that the SC has to even impose such laws, and standing to the anthem is not as spontaneous as responding to nature’s call.


“Glad that last three paragraphs wered removed from #NationalAnthem

Nahi toh it would have been 30 mins standing ovasion for 2 hrs movie.”

Here’s a grammatically quirky post. An extra‘d’ emphasizes the removal, while he has experimented with ‘ovasion’- making it sound more like the evasion which is the desire. Kind of a Freudian slip.


“Watched kahaani 2. 1st half was better than 2nd. Though best was the NATIONAL ANTHEM before the movie.



Here is someone taking advantage of the anthem-playing to slam a movie. Save his soul from sarcasm.


“Best way to feel current vibe of patriotism is to make citizens recite #NationalAnthem before withdrawal from ATM/Bank”

The Supreme Court might just award him the Bharat Ratna by taking him literally. But since we see what he did there, we can safely say that he doesn’t realize that the army is standing at the borders.


“#NationalAnthem it’s just a song. Just like the flag. freedoms doesnt come from either. I didn’t serve 13 years to protect a song or flag”

Rebel Resistance is stressing on the plurality of freedom (very in the spirit of a postmodern milieu), but his verb remains pointedly singular, as we ache to give him lessons in symbolism.


“Offered namaz alone at home after missing jama’at.

Ammi: This wallowing individually perceived notion of freedom must go.


One Infinite Loop is taking too much liberty with nationalism when he is looping it with religion and freedom. We forgot they could be uttered in the same sentence anymore.


Shekhar Gupta, a journalist, believes –“ Important point isn’t order SC has issued on #NationalAnthem but with the fact it entertained thus petition and invested judicial time in it.”


Shekhar Kapur, a well known name in the Bollywood industry thinks- “Hope Supreme Court orders Indian Parliament to sing our Nation Anthem before each session. Often its drama too is movie like #nationalanthem.”


Ram Gopal Verma, presented his view in satarical tone: “Shouldn’t #NationalAnthem be printed on every newspaper everyday on its front page before we start reading the news from 2nd page onwards?”



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