Supreme Court Of India

Dismissing the Writ Petition, the Court HELD: 1.1. A National Anthem is a hymn or song expressing patriotic sentiments or feelings. It is not a chronicle which defines the territory of the nation which has adopted the anthem. A few things such as - a National Flag, a National Song, a National Emblem and so on, are symbolic of our national honour and heritage. The National Anthem did not, and does not, enlist the states or regional areas which were part of India at the point of time when it was written nor is it necessary that the structure of the National Anthem should go on changing as and when the territories or the internal distribution of geographical regions and provinces undergoes changes. Recently Uttaranchal, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have been carved out by reorganizing certain states but that does not mean that the National Anthem should be enlarged, re-written or modified to include the names of these new states. [377-c-d, d-e, e-f] 1.2. The National Anthem is our patriotic salutation to our motherland, nestling between the Himalyas and the oceans and the seas surrounding her. The mention of a few names therein is symbolic of our recollection of the glorious heritage of India. `Sindh' is not just a geographical region. It refers to the place and to its people. Sindhis are spread throughout the country and they derive their such name as having originated and migrated from Sindh. `Sindh' also refers to the river `Sindhu' or `Indus'. It also refers to a culture, one of the oldest in the world and even modern India feels proud of its having inherited the Indus Valley Civilisation as an inalienable part of its heritage. River Indus (Sindhu) finds numerous references in the Indian Classical Literature including Rig Veda. [377-e-f-g] 1.3. The National Anthem is the poem written by Rabindranath Tagore. He himself had said that the five stanzas in which the poem was written is addressed to God. The poem is a reflection of the real India as a country - a confluence of many religions, races, communities and geographical entities. It is a message of unity in diversity. It is a patriotic song. It has since the decades inspired many by arousing their patriotic sentiments when sung in rhythm. It is the representative of the ethos of the country. Any classic, once created, becomes immortal and inalienable; even its creator may not feel like making any change in it. Any tampering with the script of the poem would be showing disrespect to the great poet-Rabindranath Tagore. [377-g-h; 378-a-b] 1.4. The issue raised does not amount to raising any constitutional issue or canvassing any fundamental right for the enforcement of which the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 32 of the Constitution can be invoked. The petition is not in public interest but more of the publicity interest litigation. It is a petition which should never have been filed. [378-b-c; 380-d-e] `Indian National Anthem' by Prabodhchandra Sen Vishva Bharti, Calcutta May 1945, referred to. 2. The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 enacted by the Parliament makes it an offence for whoever intentionally prevents the singing of the Indian National Anthem or causes disturbance to any assembly engaged in such singing. Article 51A of the Constitution inserted by Forty-second Amendment, provides for it being the fundamental duty, amongst others, of every citizen of India to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem. The Constitution of India, its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem have been treated almost on par. From the language of clause (a) of Article 51A, it is clear that the National Anthem is an ideal and an institution for the Indian citizens. [375-f-g-h] Re: Kerala Education Bill, [1959] SCR 995, referred to. Petitioner-in-person. Milon K. Banerji, Attorney General for India, A. Sharan, Additional Solicitor General, M.R. Calla, Ram Jethmalani, Amit Anand Tiwari, Samir Ali Khan, Amit Kumar, Navin Prakash, Gaurav Aggarwal, Dewashish Bharuka, Mrs. Sushma Suri, Ms. Ranjeeta Rohatgi, Ms. Lata Krishnamurthy, R.L. Panjwani, Ms. P.R. Mala, Mushtaq Ahmad, Vijay Panjwani, Dr. Natis A. Siddiqui, R.N. Keshwani and Ms. Priya Hingorani with them for the appearing parties.