NEW DELHI, India—The Supreme Court of India on November 30 made it mandatory for cinemas nationwide to play the national anthem of India (Jan Gan Man…) before playing it’s movies. All nationwide cinema owners have been instructed to implement the ruling within 10 days.
The court also said that the hoisting of the tricolour national flag should also be hoisted and that cinemagoers must stand during the 52-seconds playing of the national anthem and doors are to be kept closed during this time.
Strongly condemning the apex Court’s verdict, President of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) S. Simranjit Singh Mann has said that the Sikhs would never stand in respect of the Indian national anthem as they have their own national anthem “Deh Siva Bar Mohe Ihai…” given by the Sikh master Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Prof-freedom Sikh outfit Dal Khalsa has termed it as tantamount to belittling the freedom of holding one’s own independent belief system.
Dal Khalsa President S. Harpal Singh Cheema has said that how would foreigners visiting cinema halls be forced to express their loyalty towards a India, to which they don’t belong.
Bhai Ranjit Singh Damdami Taksal, who is Vice-President of pro-freedom youth body Sikh Youth Federation Bhindranwala, has also strongly condemned the move. He has termed it as pre-conditioning forceful imposition of ‘Nationalistic Pride’ on civil masses.
“A lot of communities including the Sikh community in this Indian sub-continent don’t willingly adhere to the so called ‘nationalistic pride’ so how can they be forced to stand in respect of national anthem”, he maintained.