The Centre has sent out circulars to all states and Union Territories asking them to ensure the national anthem and the flag are not disrespected under their watch, reported PTI. The directive calls for "strict compliance" of the Prevention of Insults to the National Honour Act, 1971, and Flag Code of India, 2002. A copy of both the acts were also sent to the states and UTs along with the letters. Under these laws, an offender can be imprisoned for three years.

“The National Anthem of India is played or sung on various occasions. Instructions have been issued from time to time about the correct versions of the anthem, the occasions on which these are to be played or sung and about the need for paying respect to the anthem by observance of proper decorum on such occasions,” the letter read.

Regarding the national flag, the National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre said it has received reports that plastic was often used instead of paper to make flags at public events. Since plastic is not biodegradable, it poses the problem of not disposing the flags with dignity after the programmes, the government observed.