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National Anthem before Movie Screening in Cinema Halls? Here is what Common People and Film Stars have to Say!

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November 30, 2016: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered that the National Anthem has to be played in cinema halls across the country before the start of a movie, as it will “instil a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism” in citizens.

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As soon as the news broke out, people started giving out different opinions on the matter. While some dealt it with sarcasm considering it to be an ‘imposed’ patriotism on them; others have welcomed the change.

[bctt tweet=””Last year, I visited Bangladesh, and they too follow the same.”” username=””]

While in conversation with NewsGram, Animikh Chakrabarty, a postgraduate student of Film Studies at the Jadavpur University said, “It is an unnecessary and forced dose of patriotism, suddenly makes us think about fascist countries that play the national anthem and preaches national propaganda through TV and film. A film viewer enters a theater to be committed towards the film, as a viewer, not to be force fed with some other patriotic commitment.”

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Soumyadeep Mandal, a Kalyani University student of Mass communication said, “In the field of entertainment, imposing National Anthem doesn’t make sense. It will be rather disrespectful.”

On the other hand, Rakin, a TV actor who is well-known for his role as “Dev in a Bengali TV serial “Raashi” considers it to be a “good move”. He says, “Last year, I visited Bangladesh, and they too follow the same. When I saw them all standing up in honour of their national anthem in the cinema hall, I felt it’s really a good practice. In fact, what was playing in my mind was, why don’t we have anything like that? I think, it’s a great initiative.”

According to a HT report, actress Taapsee Pannu considered it to be a great initiative and said ,“I’ve always loved watching National Anthem play on screen. In Delhi, I never saw it, but since I’ve been in Mumbai for last few years, I’ve started missing it when I go back to Delhi. I don’t know if it will influence anyone or change the thinking because it’s a very subjective thing and everyone views everything in different perspective. But I’m really happy and proud.”

Actor Kunal Kohli said, “Standing up for the anthem should be a natural reflex action and no court should be telling anyone to stand and respect the National Anthem.”

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Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar said to HT, “I think it’s a welcome decision. Earlier in the 70s, they used to play but I don’t know why they stopped. Today’s judgment is a landmark in our history and it’s a proud moment for every Indian. Our country is full movie goers and everyone should be proud of this judgment.”

– prepared by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi

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India Gets A Win, Supreme Court Decriminalizes Homosexuality

In December 2013, a Supreme Court bench said that it was for the legislature to look into desirability of deleting section 377 of IPC.

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Homosexuality, India
SC decriminalises homosexuality, victory for gay rights. Pixabay

 In a historic verdict, the Supreme Court on Thursday decriminalised homosexuality between consenting adults by declaring Section 377, the penal provision which criminalised gay sex, as “manifestly arbitrary”.

In separate but unanimous verdicts, a five-judge Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Rohinton Nariman, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra partially struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as unconstitutional.

The bench said it is no longer an offence for LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, intersex and queer/questioning) community to engage in consensual sex between two adults in private.

Reading out the judgment, Chief Justice Misra said attitudes and mentality have to change to accept others’ identity and accept what they are, and not what they should be.

Homosexuality, India
LGBTIQ people have a right to live unshackled from the shadow.
Pixabay

“It is the constitutional and not social morality which will prevail,” said the court.

The verdict sparked celebrations in the LGBTIQ community across India even as the judgment was being read out. Many of the community members who had assembled outside the apex court jumped in joy and distributed sweets.

Chief Justice Misra said consensual sex between adults in a private space, which is not harmful to women or children, cannot be denied as it is a matter of individual choice.

Section 377 will not apply to consensual same-sex acts between homosexuals, heterosexuals, lesbians, the court said, clarifying that sexual act without consent and bestiality will continue to be an offence under section 377.

“An individual has full liberty over his or her body and his or her sexual orientation is a matter of one’s choice,” said the Chief Justice.

“Time to bid adieu to prejudicial perceptions deeply ingrained in social mindset. Time to empower LGBTIQ community against discrimination. They should be allowed to make their choices,” he added.

Homosexuality, India
In separate but unanimous verdicts, a five-judge Constitution Bench struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as unconstitutional. Pixabay

 

In a concurring judgement, Justice Nariman said homosexuality is “not a mental disorder or disease”.

He said the LGBTIQ community has an equal right to live with dignity and are entitled to equal protection of law. He directed the Centre to give wide publicity to this judgment to remove the stigma attached to homosexuality.

Justice Chandrachud said to deny the LGBTIQ community their right to sexual orientation is a denial of their citizenship and a violation of their privacy.

“They cannot be pushed into obscurity by an oppressive colonial legislation… Sexual minorities in India have lived in fear, hiding as second class citizens,” said Justice Chandrachud, adding “the state has no business to intrude on such matters”.

Justice Indu Malhotra said that history owes an apology to the LGBTIQ community for all that they have suffered on account of the ignorance of the majority about homosexuality.

“LGBTIQ people have a right to live unshackled from the shadow,” she said.

Homosexuality, India
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The Supreme Court verdict, which overruled its own earlier judgment, assumes significance as in the earlier round of litigation in 2013, the top court had reversed a Delhi High Court ruling decriminalising homosexuality.

The Delhi High Court bench, headed by then Chief Justice A.P. Shah, had in July 2009 legalised homosexual acts between consenting adults by overturning the 149-year-old law — finding it unconstitutional and a hurdle in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

In December 2013, a Supreme Court bench comprising Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya in the Suresh Kumar Koushal and another vs Naz Foundation and others case, had set aside the high court’s judgment and said that it was for the legislature to look into desirability of deleting section 377 of IPC.

The matter was subsequently resurrected in July 2016, when a fresh petition was filed by members of the LGBTIQ community — dancer N.S. Johar, journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia, hotelier Aman Nath and business executive Ayesha Kapur — which was then marked to the Constitution Bench by a Division Bench.

Homosexuality, India
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The reference was made on the basis of submission that it was the first time that individuals directly affected by the provision were approaching the court.

Among the petitioners are a batch of current and former students of Indian Institutes of Technology. Claiming to represent more than 350 LGBTIQ alumni, students, staff and faculty from the IITs, the petitioners said that the existence of Section 377 had caused them “mental trauma and illnesses, such as clinical depression and anxiety and relegated some of them to second-class citizenship”. (IANS)