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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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Biden & Trump hold separate town halls on debate night

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Biden & Trump hold separate town halls on debate night | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — It was supposed to be debate night, a second battle between former Vice President Biden and President Trump. But after the President’s COViD-19 diagnosis, an in person battle wasn’t in the cards. The President did not want to do a virtual debate, so both men held separate town halls at the exact same time to try and win over voters with less than three weeks before the election and millions of people already casting their ballots early.

Many of the biggest Desi names in entertainment got together for a virtual ‘South Asian Block Party’ to support the Biden-Harris campaign. In just a couple hours, $250,000 was raised, with a number of the prominent figures sharing their personal stories on why they are supporting the Biden ticket.

Pakistan’s government has banned TikTok, citing complaints alleging the popular video app carried immoral and indecent content.

Simran Sethi, ABC TV’s Executive Vice President of Development and Content Strategy, is putting in place a new set of inclusion standards to ensure the television network accurately reflects society.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian American professor missing near Mt. Rainier

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Indian American professor missing near Mt. Rainier | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Sam Dubal, an Indian American anthropology professor at the University of Washington, has been missing for days, according to his sister, UC Hastings law professor Veena Dubal. Sam is said to have gone on an overnight hike and backpacking trip near Mount Rainier in Washington state. Park rangers have found his car, but there is still no sign of him. If you hear about his whereabouts, you are asked to call 360-569-6684.

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Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee began a week of confirmation hearings for US Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Judge Barrett praised the legacies of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia. Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham set the agenda and defended his decision to move Barrett’s nomination forward. Barrett could become the first justice placed on the court right before a Presidential election.

Actress Mindy Kaling took the occasion of being on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to announce she just gave birth to a baby boy named Spencer in September. It’s the second child for Kaling, who told Colbert her daughter Katherine reconnected her to Hinduism after her birth.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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President Trump & First Lady contract COVID-19

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President Trump & First Lady contract COVID-19 | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — The world’s attention is focused on the health of President Trump and the first lady after they disclosed they both have the coronavirus. The President is 74 years old and is considered in a high risk category. White House spokespeople say the President was flown to Walter Reed Medical Center for observation and will be there for a few days out of “an abundance of caution.” Sources close to the situation say the President is experiencing a low-grade fever and that he took an experimental drug cocktail to boost his immune system. The First Lady, Melania Trump, remains at the White House. Trump confidants Hope Hicks, Kellyanne Conway and Bill Stepien also contracted the virus.

Well wishes for the President are coming in from around the globe, with one of the first messages of support coming from Indian Prime Minister Modi.

There are tributes around the U.S. to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 151st birth anniversary. Political leaders sent their well wishes and there was a ceremony at the Indian Embassy in Washington to commemorate the occasion.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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