TIME India

Indian Movie Theaters Must Play the National Anthem Before Screenings, Supreme Court Rules

Movie theater in a city, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
UniversalImagesGroup—UIG/Getty Images Movie theater in a city, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. (

Moviegoers must stand while it is played

The Indian Supreme Court ordered movie theaters around the country to play the national anthem before every screening in an attempt to promote “a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism.”

Cinemas, which have 10 days to comply, must display the flag on the screen while the song plays, and moviegoers must stand in respect, the New York Times reports.

The ruling comes after a petition from a man who said he was once the only person to stand in a movie theater while the national anthem played. “The people sitting at the back objected, and said, ‘Let us watch the movie,’” he said. “It hurt me very badly.”


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