Video grab of the theatre incident that went viral on social media.
There was more Tamasha inside the PVR Cinema hall in Kurla than on the screen on Saturday. A family, which went to watch the Ranbir-Deepika film, was asked to leave the theatre for not standing up while the national anthem was playing. A video of the episode, which went viral on social media, showed the audience getting into a verbal spat with the family, questioning them about the reason for not standing up.This is not the first time that the familiar strains of Jana Gana Mana is hitting the news.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh had said that the word “adhinayak” in the national anthem was a paean to the British and it should be replaced by “mangal”.Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling had always demanded that word ‘Sindh’ should be replaced with ‘Sikkim’.Early this year, then railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and his wife and then Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi created a row for sitting while the national anthem was being played at a function in Indore. Legal experts dna spoke to say that not standing up when the National Anthem is being played is indeed a crime, and a punishable offence at that.Article 51 A of the Indian Constitution, which enlists 11 fundamental duties, says: “It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.” “The family at the multiplex should have been made aware of these duties, and if they were still hesitant, proper action could have been taken,” said advocate Ahmad Abdi, president of the Bombay Lawyers Association. Article 51 A, like the Directive Principles of State Policy, is not legally enforceable. For example, one of the fundamental duties of an Indian citizen is “to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.”But there are two rules that set the National Anthem apart.Says Supreme Court Advocate Kunal Cheema: “As per orders issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, whenever the anthem is sung or played, the audience shall stand to attention.”Then, there is Section 3 of The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971. It says whoever intentionally prevents the singing of the Indian National Anthem or causes disturbance to any assembly engaged in such singing shall be punished with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three years or with fine, or with both.The two rules do not grant an exception even to the physically challenged or differently able.But Cheema says: “As per the orders, “standing in attention” is compulsory. As long as a disabled person/challenged person is not contravening the rules laid down in the Act… if that person is not able to stand due to physical/mental infirmities, he would not be contravening any of the provisions.” The MHA order, however, grants one exception. “In the course of a newsreel or documentary, if the Anthem is played as part of the film, the audience is not expected to stand up as it would create disorder and confusion.” PVR offers no commentManager of PVR at Phoenix Market City in Kurla refused to comment. According to some reports, the screening of the film on Saturday evening was stopped after the audience complained against the family. It resumed only after the family was forced to leave.
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