Our Pride In National Anthem, Bargained For Proof Of Nationalism
Post on 02,June 2017   5:00 PM
By - PolyEyes Staff
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Lately national symbols have gained popularity and continuously being an impetus for political campaigning and invoking pseudo-nationalism in netizens.

Supreme Court rejected a plea to direct the Central government to frame a national policy under Article 51A of the Constitution to promote the National Anthem, the National Flag and a ‘National Song’.

It also rejected making the National Anthem compulsory in offices, courts, legislative houses and Parliament. Though he court maintained approbation regarding the plea that schools should play or sing National Anthem on working days.

Article 51A (a)–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 Supreme Court ordered in 2016 to mandatorily play the National Anthem before screening of a movie in cinema halls when the audience must stand and show respect.

Arguments:Forcing abidance to national symbols is not an ethical way to promote a feeling of nationalism and patriotism in the citizens. As the Fundamental Duties cannot be made compulsory and consecutively cannot be challenged in court, maximum it can be directed to individuals to become a better citizen.

The Supreme Court has also pointed out that the National Song has not been mentioned in the Fundamental Duties.

Concluding Remark: Supreme Court has maintained the neutrality and by rejecting the idea of a policy on National anthem, flag and song, it has avoided national symbols becoming a tool of promoting moral policing. For a large democracy as India amidst vote bank politics social, traditional and cultural values already are widely used as a bait, and therefore by ruling out such plea Supreme Court has upheld a decorum. Nationalism as a topic has already gained a lot of attention by political parties recently specially after the JNU protests. Decision by Supreme Court has also held personal choice over dictating patriotism.

As a matter of fact nationalism needs to be developed rather than forced upon. In this context educating people about the national flag, anthem and songs, the hardships freedom fighters went through and related history, facts etc. might increase an acceptance of national symbols in a citizen’s life. They could therefore better relate to it. They will also understand their fundamental duty to promote them. 

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