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Singing of Vande Mataram optional in most states
September 06, 2006 19:00 IST
A day ahead of celebrations to mark the centenary of Vande Mataram, most states said the singing of the national song in schools and colleges would not be compulsory.
This, even as Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states made arrangements for its mandatory recitation in educational institutions and community events.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee and Students Islamic Organisation of India asked people not to join the celebrations scheduled for 11 am on Thursday.
An order issued by the Union Human Resource Development ministry asking all states to organise the singing of Vande Mataram on September 7 has sparked a controversy, with some Muslim leaders saying the song went against Islamic teachings about not worshipping any person or object.
The BJP-ruled states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand have made the singing of Vande Mataram mandatory.
In Madhya Pradesh, it will also be sung in government offices, while Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda, facing a serious political crisis, called on BJP activists to recite the song.
In Orissa and Karnataka, where the BJP is part of the government, the singing has been made mandatory.
It is not compulsory in Bihar, where the BJP is part of the Janata Dal (United)-led ruling alliance, but the party has asked its ministers and MLAs to organise the public singing of Vande Mataram.
Maharashtra, Tripura, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam Punjab and Haryana have made the singing optional for students.