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Indian Movie Theaters ordered to play national anthem at screenings

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — India’s Supreme Court has ruled that the national anthem must be played in every cinema in the country before the screening of a film.

Judges said the order must be enforced within the next 10 days, and audiences will be required to stand while the anthem is broadcast. The ruling is a bit nostalgic to the days of the 1960s and 70s, when cinemas regularly played the national anthem before screenings.

The ruling has received a split opinion on social media.

There is no uniform law in India regarding the anthem and the 29 states have had their own laws on the issue. According to the latest ruling, the anthem must be played in all cinemas, accompanied by an image of the Indian flag at the conclusion. “The people should stop following individual notions of freedom and have a sense of committed patriotism,” Indian media reports quoted judges as saying.

The hashtag #NationalAnthem was one of the top trends on Twitter India on Wednesday afternoon.

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Shyam Narayan Chouksey, a 77-year-old resident of Bhopal, petitioned the court asking for the national anthem order.

“Over the years I’ve been seeing that the proper respect for the national anthem is not being paid by the common people as well as the constitutional functionaries,” he told BBC.

Shaina NC, spokesperson for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP party, called the court ruling a “fantastic” move.

While there remains no specific law in India which requires you to stand during the playing of the national anthem, the home ministry’s rules, which carry the force of law, specify that it is compulsory to stand to attention when the anthem is played. And cinemas that play the anthem often display messages asking audiences to stand up.

There is plenty of evidence to suggest, at least in India, that you could be hurt physically for refusing to stand during the playing of the national anthem.

In October, a disabled man alleged that he was assaulted for not standing during the playing of the anthem at a cinema. Salil Chaturvedi, who has been using a wheelchair since 1984, was attending a screening with his wife when he was attacked. Last year, a group of people were thrown out of a cinema hall for not standing during the playing of the anthem. And in 2014, a man was beaten senseless by a mob in Mumbai after his visiting friend from South Africa did not stand during the anthem.

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Puneet Talwar named US Ambassador to Morocco

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) – The US State Department announced that diplomat Puneet Talwar is its new ambassador to Morocco. President Biden proposed Talwar as the new nominee last March. The new ambassador to Morocco has a rich portfolio in diplomacy. The diplomat is currently a senior adviser to the State Department.

Six men have been arrested for the gang rape and murder of two girls. Police say one of them is a neighbor and the remaining five are Muslims from a nearby village – although it’s not believed to be a religious crime.

As Pakistan continues to deal with historic flooding a new report published in Vice says the country collected $40 million for a mega dam on the Indus river, but spent $63 million on advertising it. The crowdsourced campaign was  launched by a Supreme Court judge and endorsed by former Prime Minister Imran Khan. It’s now at the center of a massive controversy. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian & Hindu American groups hold DC summit

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WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) – A group of Indian American and Hindu American organizations joined forces to celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day and advocate for the diaspora on Capitol Hill, in what is being called an inaugural summit for political engagement. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, the Hindu American Foundation, the Coalition of Hindus of North America and Americans4Hindus, were among the more than one dozen organizations, hosting legislators from both sides of the aisle in a non-partisan effort to discuss issues of concern in the community. 
 
Indian American economist Aaron “Ronnie” Chatterji has been named White House Coordinator for the implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act’s historic $50 billion investment in the semiconductor industry at the National Economic Council. 
 
Fans of Indian comedian and actor Raju Srivastava are mourning his death. He passed away at the age of 58 after suffering a heart attack last month while running on a treadmill. He had a history of heart problems. 
 
Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.
 
 

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Sukhpal Singh arrested in Tusli Mandir hate crime case

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NEW YORK (Diya TV) – New York police arrested a man for allegedly sledgehammering a statue of Gandhi outside a Queens Hindu Shri Tusli Mandir. Twenty seven year old Sukhpal Singh is charged with criminal mischief and a hate crime for allegedly destroying the statue and defacing it with spray paint outside Tulsi Mandir in Richmond Hill last month. 

India and France agreed to set up an Indo-Pacific partnership to roll out development projects, expand strategic cooperation, and work closer to deal with pressing global challenges such as a food crisis triggered by the Ukraine invasion. 

More than a million customers in Puerto Rico are waiting for electricity to come back on after Hurricane Fiona hammers the region. The Dominican Republic is under a hurricane warning as well. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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