The Daily Fix

The Daily Fix: National anthem already gets due respect. Centre should get its priorities right

Everything you need to know for the day (and a little more).

The Big Story: Needless exercise

When the Supreme Court in November, 2016 mandated that all cinema halls in the country should play the national anthem before the screening of every film, the Union government cheered the move.

The decision led to a debate on two counts. Is it the responsibility of the court to frame laws? Should one’s patriotism be tested by their commitment to stand up for the anthem in a place which is primarily meant for entertainment? These questions turned out to be sharply divisive, with ultra-nationalists of the Right deeming anyone questioning the orders anti-national.

The move led to incidents in several cinema halls, with those not standing for the anthem being attacked. Cases were also booked against some for disrespecting the national anthem.

On Tuesday, the Centre took a U-turn in the matter, filing an affidavit before the court asking for the mandatory clause to be diluted. The government said it has formed an inter-departmental committee consisting of members from 12 ministries to analyse the issue and come out with rules. This exercise required wide discussions, the affidavit stated. The Supreme Court obliged and said playing the national anthem will no longer be mandatory, but people have to respect it by standing up if a cinema hall chooses to play the song.

It is not clear why the Centre took over a year to make this submission. It could have made the same point in November 2016 and spared the country of a bizarre rule.

Even on Tuesday, the Centre’s affidavit showed that its priorities are completely misplaced. While the country is facing several challenges, including an economic slowdown and marked drop in job creation, the Union government is putting substantial resources into something that was never a popular demand. It is hard to recollect the last time when 12 ministries were involved in a lawmaking exercise. The move also shows that the Centre may still be harbouring plans to make playing the song on certain occasions mandatory, only this time it will try to give the move the legitimacy of legislative approval.

The argument made against the Supreme Court decision’s in November 2016 still holds true. Left to themselves, Indians have shown great respect to and taken pride in the national anthem over the last seven decades. The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act already governing the anthem is more than adequate to protect its sanctity if implemented properly.

The Big Scroll

  • Trump is using the national anthem as a distraction – just like Hindutva supporters in India do.  

Punditry

  1. From Shah Bano to triple talaq, lies and deception are being used to cheat women of rights, writes Union Minister MJ Akbar in the Indian Express. 
  2.   Agriculture requires a reform package and only an overhaul resembling the industrial liberalisation of 1991 will work, says Puja Mehra in The Hindu. 
  3.   Even poor people who couldn’t read or write, when made aware of what they were consenting to, cared deeply about privacy and data protection, argues Priti Rao in Mint. 

Giggles

Don’t miss

‘We don’t want to be identified on the basis of our religion,’ say Assam’s indigenous Desi Muslims.

“It is a mobilisation of sorts to let everyone, including the government and nationalist organisations, know that we are indigenous people of Assam, not migrants,” Hamid said. “There is no point if one of us goes and talks to some minister in private, we have to come out in numbers and assert ourselves. That is why we are here today.” 

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Get ready for an 80-hour shopping marathon

Here are some tips that’ll help you take the lead.

Starting 16th July at 4:00pm, Flipkart will be hosting its Big Shopping Days sale over 3 days (till 19th July). This mega online shopping event is just what a sale should be, promising not just the best discounts but also buying options such as no cost EMIs, buyback guarantee and product exchanges. A shopping festival this big, packed with deals that you can’t get yourself to refuse, can get overwhelming. So don’t worry, we’re here to tell you why Big Shopping Days is the only sale you need, with these helpful hints and highlights.

Samsung Galaxy On Nxt (64 GB)

A host of entertainment options, latest security features and a 13 MP rear camera that has mastered light come packed in sleek metal unibody. The sale offers an almost 40% discount on the price. Moreover, there is a buyback guarantee which is part of the deal.

Original price: Rs. 17,900

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 10,900

Samsung 32 inches HD Ready LED TV

Another blockbuster deal in the sale catalogue is this audio and visual delight. Apart from a discount of 41%, the deal promises no-cost EMIs up to 12 months.

Original price: Rs. 28,890

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 10,900

Intel Core I3 equipped laptops

These laptops will make a thoughtful college send-off gift or any gift for that matter. Since the festive season is around the corner, you might want to make use of this sale to bring your A-game to family festivities.

Original price: Rs. 25,590

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 21,900

Fashion

If you’ve been planning a mid-year wardrobe refresh, Flipkart’s got you covered. The Big Shopping Days offer 50% to 80% discount on men’s clothing. You can pick from a host of top brands including Adidas and Wrangler.

With more sale hours, Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days sale ensures we can spend more time perusing and purchasing these deals. Apart from the above-mentioned products, you can expect up to 80% discount across categories including mobiles, appliances, electronics, fashion, beauty, home and furniture.

Features like blockbuster deals that are refreshed every 8 hours along with a price crash, rush hour deals from 4-6 PM on the starting day and first-time product discounts makes this a shopping experience that will have you exclaiming “Sale ho to aisi! (warna na ho)”

Set your reminders and mark your calendar, Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days starts 16th July, 4 PM and end on 19th July. To participate in 80 hours of shopping madness, click here.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Flipkart and not by the Scroll editorial team.