- People suffering from some disabilities are exempted from standing up for the national anthem.
- The Supreme Court directed the government to make a final list and submit it by Friday.
The Supreme Court has exempted some people from standing up for the national anthem at cinema halls. The country’s top court included 10 categories which are listed as disabilities. Those who fall under this can be seated when the national anthem is being played.
According to sources, the Supreme Court has approved the government’s nominated list of disabilities. The Union ministry of social justice and empowerment now has to decide if other categories can be included in the list.
So far, people suffering from multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, autism, locomotive disease, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, day blindness, hearing loss, leprosy-cured people and those with intellectual disability (learning disorders) can remain seated.
For those who are differently-abled, this is a much needed, much welcome move. While this list does include some categories in which the disability is evident, it remains to be seen how people will react to those who suffer from conditions that aren’t obvious.
For instance, a disability like multiple sclerosis has no external symptoms in some cases. Similarly, a person suffering from Parkinson’s disease may not experience extreme tremors if they are on medication. Until now, those who suffer from disabilities that aren’t pronounced have remained standing for fear of being bullied or attacked in a cinema hall.
The Supreme Court’s order to play the national anthem at cinema halls was received with mixed responses. Many factions of the society viewed it as forced nationalism while others saw it as a matter of pride. In its November 30th order, the Supreme Court noted, “The people should stop following individual notions of freedom and have a sense of committed patriotism.”
Sources told The Daily Mail that the government will inform the High Court and the Supreme Court before sending a final circular by May 12. Playing the national anthem at cinema halls has been an on-off tradition in India since the 1960s. Rules regarding the national anthem in theatres have changed depending on the party that forms the government in New Delhi,
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:43 PM IST