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  India   All India  26 Jul 2017  Sing Vande Mataram in TN schools, orders HC

Sing Vande Mataram in TN schools, orders HC

THE ASIAN AGE. | P ARUL
Published : Jul 26, 2017, 1:19 am IST
Updated : Jul 26, 2017, 1:19 am IST

The high court’s order is limited to Tamil Nadu and will not be binding on any other state as they were not made parties in the hearing.

The judge said if any person or organisation faces difficulty in singing or playing the national song, they shall not be compelled or forced to sing it, provided there are valid reasons for not doing so.
 The judge said if any person or organisation faces difficulty in singing or playing the national song, they shall not be compelled or forced to sing it, provided there are valid reasons for not doing so.

Chennai: The Madras high court ruled on Tuesday that Vande Mataram should be sung by students at least once a week — preferably on Monday or Friday — in government and private schools and universities.

The national song, written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay in 1870s and popularised by the 1952 Bollywood film Anand Math, shall also be played and sung in all government offices and institutions, private companies, factories and industries at least once a month, Justice M.V. Muralidaran ordered.

The ruling, which is likely to spark a debate over alleged stifling of civil liberties by a new brand of patriotism, comes seven months after the Supreme Court directed all cinemas halls to play the national anthem before screening films.

The high court’s order is limited to Tamil Nadu and will not be binding on any other state as they were not made parties in the hearing.

Muslims are also opposed to singing Vande Mataram as it equates the country with Hindu goddesses Durga and Lakshmi, something which is in conflict with the beliefs of Islam.

The fourth stanza of the song addresses motherland India as, “Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen, with her hands that strike and her swords of sheen, Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned…” The court’s direction to “instil a sense of patriotism in each and every one” came during a hearing on the petition of aspiring government teacher K. Veeramani, who was awarded one mark less while answering a question on Vande Mataram in a selection test.

The court accepted the petitioner’s contention that the Vande Mataram was written in Bengali and later translated in Sanskrit and directed the Tamil Nadu Teachers’ Recruitment Board to award an additional one mark to him, making him eligible for appointment.

“Patriotism is an essential requirement for every citizen of this country. Our motherland should always be remembered,” the Madras high court said, hoping that the order will be taken in the right spirit.

The judge said if any person or organisation faces difficulty in singing or playing the national song, they shall not be compelled or forced to sing it, provided there are valid reasons for not doing so.

Tags: madras high court, vande mataram, educational institutes