Law graduate Harsh Nagar, whose petition to make the playing of the national anthem mandatory prior to screening of films in a theatre was upheld by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, was “extremely delighted”.

The apex court set a 10-day deadline for cinema halls and multiplexes across India to commence the playing of the national anthem before each screening, making the directive mandatory.

“When the national anthem is played, it is imperative for everyone to show honour and respect. It would instill a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism,” said the bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Amitava Roy.

The petition was filed in SC by Nagar last month.

“I am extremely delighted with this Supreme Court judgement. I feel all my efforts since 2011 have reaped a reward. There were many hurdles in getting the national anthem to the remaining 85 percent of theatres in India,” Nagar said.

“Some people opposed it for their political agenda, some people opposed it for its execution but all the press conferences in 18 state capitals that I held and various letters to the Chief Ministers of all states and knocking the doors of the High Court have brought in this historical move and I thank the bench of judges of the Supreme Court who saw the righteousness of getting National Anthem back in our lives for making our citizens more proud and patriotic Indians,” he added.

According to the petition filed by Nagar, Maharashtra, Goa and some southern states have the practice of playing the national anthem in cinema halls. Till almost four decades ago, it was mandatory to play the national anthem at the end of the screening of a movie.

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