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Row over Vande Mataram recital rocks MP

Salil Mekked in Bhopal | June 22, 2005 13:27 IST

The Madhya Pradesh opposition has accused Chief Minister Babulal Gaur of enforcing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideology and objected to the instructions for compulsory recital of Vande Mataram at government offices.

"The Bharatiya Janata Party should first clear its stand on its values of patriotism, mainly chief Lal Kishenchand Advani's comments on Jinnah, before imposing Vande Mataram on the government employees," state Samajwadi Party general secretary Munawwar Salim said.

"BJP is implementing its hidden agenda of Hindutva through this decision. It is trying to spread terror among minority community members by spreading RSS ideology," leader of opposition Jamun Devi alleged, adding, "In fact, it is an attempt to make Madhya Pradesh a laboratory of Hindutva like Gujarat."

The row over Vande Mataram started soon after Gaur's recently-expanded cabinet started its maiden meeting with its recital on June 3.

"Chorus recital of Vande Mataram will boost patriotism among the officers and workers, besides ensuring punctuality," the chief minister said.

The recital was termed as a 'gimmick' by the Communist Party of India-Marxist. CPI-M office secretary Vinay Dwivedi also accused Gaur of diverting attention from people's problems.

Government employees welcomed the move but showed unease over 'compulsory recital' of the song.

"Patriotism cannot be imposed. One cannot show it off. It has to come from within oneself," Federation of Employees Union of Madhya Pradesh secretary Sachil Aqbar said.

Undeterred by criticism, Gaur went a step further by making it mandatory for government schools to hold chorus recitals of the song everyday from next academic session.

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Number of User Comments: 6

Sub: Contd... This is nothing new

Coming back to "Vande Mataram", please see the BJP version at The transliteration in English is an insult to the National song: sufalam (for ...

Posted by Dr T S Raman

Sub: This is nothing new

Ordering compulsory recital of Vande Mataram is no different in principle from forcing office workers to hold meetings to observe anniversaries of Gandhi's assassination, Nehru's ...

Posted by Dr T S Raman

Sub: Vande Mataram

Those who do not want to sing the national song are free to quit government jobs.

Posted by subbaraman

Sub: what the hell...

I fail to understand how Hindutva is related to Vande Mataram, the song is for all patriots who love their country irrespective of their religion. ...

Posted by deeptanshu

Sub: how is vandemataram hindu?

Can any one show one word in Vandemataram which is racist. Muslims recite Koran which calls non muslims infedels, kafirs on their speakers from Mosqs ...

Posted by Vijaya Kumar


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