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A Look at Regulations on Singing, Playing of National Anthem on Various Occasions

Here is a look at the regulations regarding the singing and playing of the National Anthem at various occasions.

Updated:November 30, 2016, 3:43 PM IST
A Look at Regulations on Singing, Playing of National Anthem on Various Occasions
FIle photo of Indian National Flag. (Courtesy: Getty Images)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed all the cinema halls across the nation to play National Anthem before the screening of a movie. This move has received appreciation from various politicians whereas, some people have even condemned it.

Here is a look at the regulations regarding the singing and playing of the National Anthem on various occasions.


The occasions on which the full versions or the short version will be played have been indicated at the appropriate places in these instructions.

Playing of the Anthem

# The full version of the Anthem shall be played on the following occasions:

# Civil and Military investitures;

# When National Salute (which means the Command "Rashtriya Salute Salami Shastr" to the accompaniment of the National Anthem is given on ceremonial occasions to the President or to the Governor/Lieutenant Governor within their respective States/Union Territories;

iii. During parades irrespective of whether any of the dignitaries referred to in (ii) above is present or not;

# On arrival of the President at formal State functions and other functions organized by the Government and mass functions and on his departure from such functions;

# Immediately before and after the President addresses the Nation over All India Radio;

# On arrival of the Governor/Lieutenant Governor at formal State functions within his State/Union Territory and on his departure from such functions;

vii.  When the National Flag is brought on parade;

viii.  When the Regimental Colours are presented;

# For hoisting of colours in the Navy.

# The short version of the Anthem shall be played when drinking toasts in Messes.

# The Anthem shall be played on any other occasion for which special orders have been issued by the Government of India.

# Normally the Anthem shall not be played for the Prime Minister, though there may be special occasions when it may be played.

# When the National Anthem is played by a band, the Anthem will be preceded by a roll of drums to assist the audience to know that the National Anthem is going to be played, unless there is some other specific indication that the National Anthem is about to be played, as for example, when fanfares are sounded before the National Anthem is played, or when toasts are drunk to the accompaniment of the National Anthem or when the National Anthem constitutes the National Salute given by a Guard of Honour. The duration of the roll, in terms of marching drill, will be 7 paces in slow march. The roll will start slowly, ascend to as loud a volume as possible and then gradually decreases to original softness, but remaining audible until the seventh beat. One beat rest will then be observed before commencing the National Anthem.

ALSO READ: Supreme Court Directs Cinema Halls to Play National Anthem Before Movie Screening 

Mass Singing of the Anthem

# The full version of the Anthem shall be played accompanied by mass singing on the following occasions:

# On the unfurling of the National Flag, on cultural occasions or ceremonial functions other than parades. (This could be arranged by having a choir or adequate size, suitably stationed, which would be trained to coordinate its singing with the band etc. There should be an adequate public audition system so that the gathering in various enclosures can sing in unison with the choir);

#  On arrival of the President at any Government or Public function (but excluding formal State functions and mess functions) and also immediately before his departure from such functions.

# On all occasions when the National Anthem is sung, the full version shall be recited accompanied by mass singing.

# The Anthem may be sung on occasions which, although not strictly ceremonial, are nevertheless invested with significance because of the presence of Ministers etc. The singing of the Anthem on such occasions (with or without the accompaniment of an instruments) accompanied by mass singing is desirable.

# It is not possible to give an exhaustive list of occasions on which the singing (as distinct from playing) of the Anthem can be permitted. But there is no objection to the singing of the Anthem accompanied by mass singing so long as it is done with due respect as a salutation to the motherland and proper decorum is maintained.

# In all schools, the day's work may begin with community singing of the anthem. School authorities should make adequate provision in their programmes for popularising the singing of the Anthem and promoting respect for the National Flag among students.


# Whenever the Anthem is sung or played, the audience shall stand to attention. However, when in the course of a newsreel or documentary the Anthem is played as a part of the film, it is not expected of the audience to stand as standing is bound to interrupt the exhibition of the film and would create disorder and confusion rather than add to the dignity of the Anthem.

# As in the case of the flying of the National Flag, it has been left to the good sense of the people not to indulge in indiscriminate singing or playing of the Anthem.

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