- National Anthem in Cinema Halls
- “Santhara”: Religious rights vs Child rights
- Friday holiday in Assam Madrassa
- GSM2-2016, UPSC asked about Coelho case (2007) with respect to Hardik Patel / Jat / Maratha agitation for reservation.
- Hence we’ve to prepare such SC judgements in news. This time- on national anthem 1) Bijoe Emmanuel 2) Shayam Narayan Chouksey.
National Anthem “Theory”
- National Song: Benkimchandra Chatterji’s “Vande Mataram” (1896)
- National Anthem: Rabindranath Tagore’s “Jana Gana Mana” (originally written in Bengali, 1911)
- 52 seconds: full version of the Anthem (five stanzas).
- 20 seconds: Short version of the Anthem with only first and last stanzas.
- When receiving foreign dignitaries in India– their national anthem played first, then Indian national anthem played.
|1950||Constitutional assembly adopted the Hindi version of Jana Gana Mana as “National Anthem” (24 Jan).|
|1962||Practice to play National Anthem in cinema halls at the end of the movie, to instill patriotism in the height of India-China war.|
|1971||Prevention of insult to national honor act. It prohibits desecration of country’s national symbols, including the Flag, Constitution, map and Anthem, with jailtime upto 1 year.|
|1976||42nd Amendment inserted fundamental duty Art. 51A: every citizen shall respect Constitution, flag and anthem. (Swaran Singh Committee)|
|1986||Bijoe Emmanuel case: Remaining silent during anthem is also permitted under “Freedom of conscience”.|
|2002||Flag Code of India to regulate the size, display and decorum of hoisting national flag in public.|
|2003||This practice of cinema-anthem faded eventually.|
|2016||Shyam Narayan Chouksey case: SC orders playing of national anthem before start of the movie in cinema halls.|
- Jehovah’s Witness is a sect whose belief are distinct from mainstream Christianity.
- They believe saluting a flag or singing an anthem, ascribes salvation not to God but to State / its leaders. Hence flag salute and anthem singing forbidden in their sect- be it Indian, American or British.
- In Kerala, three students from this sect, were suspended for refusing to sing the national anthem.
- Supreme court overturned the suspension because right to freedom of speech and expression included the right to remain silent [Articles 19(1)(a)] and Freedom of Conscience [Article 25].
- Since students stood up and did not disturb others from singing anthem, hence did not violate fundamental duty of respecting flag and anthem [Article 51-A(a)]
- In a public function, the then minister Shashi Tharoor asked audient to put right hand on left side of chest during the anthem. (because Americans do like that during their anthem).
- Shashi Tharoor was booked under “Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act, 1977” for desecrating and interrupting the national anthem.
- 2013: court discharged him saying he did not ‘desecrate’ the anthem nor he forbid anyone from singing it.
- Indian Fundamental rights are borrowed from USA Constitution.
- 2016: NFL player Colin Kaepernick did not stand up, but knelt during USA anthem to protest against the police atrocities on the black people.
- President Obama defended Colin’s action saying it was his Constitutional right to raise legitimate issues.
- Earlier US Supreme court declared even flag burning to be part of the constitutionally protected free speech.
- Shyam Chouksey had gone to watch Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham(K3G) but dejected to see audience did not stand up during a scene in the movie where SRK sings national anthem.
- He approached Madhya Pradesh HC. The then justice Dipak Misra order film to delete the national anthem scene.
- But SC overturned HC order.
- Years later, same Justice Dipak Misra elevated to Supreme Court.
- Same petitioner Shayam Choksey again files PIL (under Art.32) to frame guidelines on the playing of the National Anthem. Resulting into this order to play anthem before movie.
|Order of supreme court||Counter views|
|Compulsory for cinema owner to play anthem before movie.|
|compulsory for audience to stand.|
|Cinema hall’s entry and exit doors be closed while playing the National Anthem||What if fire breaks out? SC itself ordered in Uphaar tragedy that cinema doors should never be closed.|
|cinema screen must show national flag image when National Anthem is being played.||specification not given- whether static image or animated clip of flag? What if there is text/advertisement/ website watermark below the flag wallpaper?|
|Full version of anthem must be played (52 seconds)||Even Home ministry guidelines allow for shorter version of anthems (20 seconds) in numerous occasions.|
|No person can have commercial benefit for singing anthem||Bollywood / local singer can’t get royalty for singing anthem? Is it not violating prohibition against forced labour (under Article 23)?|
|No film, drama or show can have the National Anthem as part of the show.|
|National anthem or its part can’t be printed on any object.||Good step. In past, foreign companies have denigrated images of Gandhi and Indian flag by printing them on footwear.|
|This is meant to instill patriotism.|
|Fundamental duty of every citizen to respect flag and anthem.|
- During the “Chaumasa” period, Jains undergo fasting (“Santhara”) to attend penance.
- They’re glorified, honored and lauded by the community and showered with gifts.
- If person dies, procession (“Shobha Yatra”) organized in grand fashion.
- 13 years Jain girl dies after 68 days fast In Hyderabad- 2016, Oct.
- Police arrests parents on NGO complaint of child abuse and negligence.
|Pro- this should be allowed||Against|
- Assam Education dept. has discontinued the weekly Friday holiday in Government run Madrassas.
- They’ve to follow the work-week like any ordinary school.
- On Friday, they’ll get 1 hr break to offer Jumma-Namaz, then have to resume work / teaching.
- Headmaster will be suspended if he doesn’t enforce this rule.
|Pro-yes Friday holiday required.||Anti: Friday holiday not required.|
|Yes. Fundamental right to religious freedom, practice and propagation is guaranteed under Art. 25|
|Communally divisive agenda will hurt the secular fabric of India.|
|“Saffronization” of education must be stopped. This is an example of “intolerance” against minorities by Assam’s BJP government.|
Visit Mrunal.org/polity for more study material on Indian polity and governance for UPSC prelims and Mains General Studies Paper-2.