Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court of India ordered cinema halls across India to play the national anthem before the screening of a film. It is said that the move is aimed at inculcating a feeling of nationalism and patriotism. The Supreme Court also ordered that during the screening of the national anthem, the cinema halls should also display the national flag.The Supreme Court order also imposed a ban on commercial exploitation of the national anthem and the national flag. Justice Misra said in the ruling, "Dramatization at this point is absolutely inconceivable." He further added that use of national anthem at "undesirable or disgraceful places tantamounts to disrespect."The ruling was in response to a PIL filed by an activist, Shyam Narayan Chouskey. The PIL was filed with the intent to obtain set guidelines on what would amount to disrespect of the national anthem. The petition also sought that national anthem should be played in all cinema halls across the country and a protocol should be set for playing and singing the national anthem at various functions. The Indian Supreme Court's national anthem order has evoked a mixed response from the legal experts across the nation. As reported by the Economic Times, Soli Sorabjee, an internationally recognized lawyer and former attorney general, said in a statement, "The order appears to have erred the realm of judicial legislation and gone much beyond the constitutional mandate."
Meenakshi Lekhi, a lawyer and a Member of Parliament, said, " The national anthem is sung at various places like schools, public functions, events etc. What's the harm in playing it at another venue? It causes no harm and it is natural to stand up when the anthem is played."
Several experts believe that Supreme Court should not intervene in the functioning of the Government. But this was definitely not the first PIL that tried developing judicial activism. Several similar PILs have been filed since 1960.But that does not mean that this order will curtail the liberty of Citizens of India. The Indian Supreme Court's national anthem Order is only an interim order, and there is a possibility that it might be reconsidered at a later stage.
In one of the recent episode of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah tried making jokes on the demonetization and Indian Supreme Court's national anthem order. On a lighter note, the jokes were amusing, but the show's writers were wrong about several facts.
Wrong Indian FlagTrevor Noah used an Indian map which was factually wrong. The map excluded parts of India that are under Pakistan's occupation. This territory is internationally accepted as Indian region and the concerned part of Kashmir is even named "Pakistan Occupied Kashmir." Such an error reflects poorly on the makers of the show and also raises concerns over the stand that U.S. is willing to take concerning Pakistan.
Demonetization Drive Is Not For INR 1000 NotesTrevor Noah said in the episode of 'The Daily Show' that all INR 500 and INR 1000 notes will have to be replaced. That was a complete factual error as INR 100 notes are still valid and do not need to be replaced. On the show, Trevor Noah played a CNN clip which clearly stated that the INR 500 and INR 1000 notes need to be replaced. It was a complete blunder with two different statements being made in the same episode with Trevor Noah making the wrong statement.
Making Fun Of National AnthemTrevor Noah while analyzing the amusing situations that might arise out of the new Supreme Court order, ended up singing the Indian national anthem "Jana Gana Mana Adhinayak" while dancing in his seat. This again might offend a certain section of the Indian population.
Trevor Noah also spoke about the trend in the United States of commercialization of the national anthem. He also compared the banned Indian notes to Clinton's inauguration tickets, which again would have offended some Hillary Clinton Supporters.[Featured Image by Evan Agostini/AP Images]