NEW DELHI: The country’s top court has ruled that the national anthem must be played before the screening of any movie at public theatres. "People must feel this is my country and this is my motherland," a bench of justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy said. "At the root of protocol for national anthem, is respect for national identity, integrity and constitutional patriotism," the Supreme Court bench added.

The anthem is already played in cinemas in some states such as Maharashtra, and has stirred controversy as reports have emerged of cinema goers being harassed and abused if they failed to stand up for the anthem. With the Supreme Court extending the practice of playing the anthem to cinemas nationwide, the order received its fair share of attention on social media.

Twitter was largely critical of the move.

Many, however, tweeted in support: