National Anthem not compulsory at cinema halls: Committee to advise Govt

The 12-member inter-ministerial committee, set up to “frame guidelines describing circumstances and occasions on which the national anthem is to be played or sung”, is likely to suggest that cinema halls should not play the national anthem before screening a film.

The committee, headed by Special Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Brij Raj Sharma, is likely to suggest that the playing of 52-second long anthem before screening will interrupt the screening of the film, and create disorder and confusion instead of adding dignity to it.

The panel, set up on December 5, 2017, was given six months’ time to come up with statutory requirements on playing the national anthem in cinema halls and public places.

According to reports, the committee is likely to suggest that the national anthem should be played before and after the President’s address to the nation on All India Radio, arrival of the Governor/ Lieutenant Governor at formal state functions, when the national flag is brought out on parade, when the regimental colours are presented, and during morning assembly in schools. Whether or not the national anthem should be sung while unfurling the national flag should be left to the good sense of the people.

The shorter version of the anthem (20 seconds), according to the committee, should be played before raising toasts in the officers’ mess. Also, when the national anthem is played by a band, it should be preceded by a roll of drums.