The National anthem has become a topic of conversation and debate since it has been made mandatory for the cinema halls to play it before movie screening and for the audience members to stand up and show respect when it is being played.  In fact, a number of people have been rounded up over the national anthem by self-styled nationalists. But, what if the national anthem is played at a place or at a time when it is not possible to stand up and show respect? 

This is the dilemma, the passengers of SpiceJet flight to Hyderabad to Tirupati went through on April 18. Right before landing, the PA system of the SpiceJet flight SG1044 started playing the national anthem when the passengers were strapped to their seats and could not stand up for security reasons. 

The cabin crew of the flight played the national anthem and prompted one of the passengers to file a complaint with SpiceJet. At the time when the national anthem was being played the passengers, as well as cabin crew, could not stand up and accord the due respect, the Times of India quoted the passenger, Puneet Tiwari, as saying. 

Regarding the incident, spokesman for the airline told the daily that the cabin crew inadvertently selected a wrong number from their playlist due to which the national anthem started to play. However, it was immediately stopped and that the airline regrets any ‘inconvenience caused to our esteemed customers’.

About the national anthem being on their playlist, the SpiceJet spokesman said that they have it pre-recorded on their aircraft's playlist ‘to be used appropriately’. 

However, Puneet Tiwari also alleged that a crew member did switch off the national anthem in the middle but later on, again turned it on questioning the airline’s claim that it was played mistakenly.