10 NUJS L. Rev. [i] (2017)

handle is hein.journals/nujslr10 and id is 1 raw text is: 





EDITORIAL NOTE


              THE SUPREME COURT'S

       NATIONAL ANTHEM MANDATE:

            A  MISUNDERSTANDING OF

      HABERMASIAN CONSTITUIONAL

                        PATRIOTISM

                      I. INTRODUCTION

            In December 2016, the Supreme Court passed its judgment in the
controversial case, Shyam Narayan Chouksey v. Union oflndia.' The Supreme
Court ruled that all cinema halls in India have to play the National Anthem
before the screening of a feature film.2 The Court also stated that all view-
ers present in the cinema hall would be obliged to stand up for the National
Anthem  as a sign of respect.3 This judgment has created a stir amongst Indians.
Proponents of the judgment argue that the judgment is a positive step towards
inculcating a culture of patriotic cohesion in the Indian masses. On the other
hand, critics of the judgment seemingly adopt either one, or sometimes both,
of the following lines of argument. First, they argue that the singling out of the
cinema halls is arbitrary as an imposition of a duty to sing the national anthem
in a space meant for entertainment lacks justifiable basis.' Second, and more
importantly, critics argue that the mandatory enforcement of patriotic values is
indicative of a worrying trend towards aggressive nationalism in the Supreme
Court.

            However, the debate on the judgment must travel beyond the spe-
cifics of the judicial order. As mentioned in the order, the Supreme Court has
justified this mandate by stating that they are furthering a culture of consti-
tutional patriotism. In this note, we examine this claim, by demonstrating
I  Shyam Narayan Chouksey v. Union of India, (2017) 1 SCC 421.
2  Id.
3  Id.
4  See Aman Lekhi, SCs National Anthem Order Offends Principles it wants to Uphold,
   December 3, 2016, THE QUINT, available at https://www.thequint.com/india/2016/12/03/
   supreme-court-national-anthem-order-offends-principles-it-wants-to-uphold-nationalism-
   patriotism-flag-constitution (Last visited on March 24, 2017).
   See Harsh Mander, SC Order on NationalAnthem in Cinema Halls Mirrors Aggressive Hyper-
   Nationalism, HT, December 2, 2016, available at http://www.hindustantimes.com/opin-
   ion/sc-order-on-national-anthem-in-cinema-halls-mirrors-aggressive-hyper-nationalism/


January - March, 2017

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