[Polity] National Anthem in Cinema Halls, Bijoe Case- right to be silent, Santhara Death vs Child Rights, Jumme Ki Raat Chhutti nahiDEVENDRA VISHWAKARMA
- National Anthem in Cinema Halls
- Bijoe Emmanuel vs State of Kerala (1986): right to be silent
- Shashi Tharoor case: freedom to put hand on heart? (2008)
- Kaepernick Incident USA: freedom to kneel? (2016)
- Shyam Narayan Chouksey v. Union of India (2016)
- Anthem Order and Counter Views
- “Santhara”: Religious rights vs Child rights
- Friday holiday in Assam Madrassa
National Anthem in Cinema Halls
- 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.|
Bijoe Emmanuel vs State of Kerala (1986): right to be silent
- 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)]
Shashi Tharoor case: freedom to put hand on heart? (2008)
- 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.
Kaepernick Incident USA: freedom to kneel? (2016)
- 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 Narayan Chouksey v. Union of India (2016)
- 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.
Anthem Order and Counter Views
|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.||
“Santhara”: Religious rights vs Child rights
- 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.