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Sept 7 not Vande Mataram centenary: Congress
September 10, 2006 18:51 IST
In a virtual snub to Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh, the Congress said on Sunday that it was wrong to say that September 7 was the date when Vande Mataram was accepted as the national song 100 years ago.
With the Bharatiya Janata Party attacking Congress chief Sonia Gandhi for not participating in an event to mark the 'centenary' of the song last week, the party said the date chosen for the celebrations was historically incorrect and it did not 'want to make it a historic date'.
Congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi told reporters that Shashi Bhushan, a former party MP who came up with the idea of commemorating the song's centenary on September 7, had admitted to media that he had made a mistake.
Arjun Singh had played a key role in asking state governments to organise the singing of Vande Mataram on September 7, triggering a controversy.
Even Congress-ruled states made the singing optional after protests by Muslim groups.
Dwivedi said, "For some reason, September 7 was chosen. We don't want to make it a historic date. This is not historically correct. We don't want to give the youth wrong information. Due to some reason, a mistake was made and we admit it.
He added that the Seva Dal had organised an event to mark the occasion as people everywhere were expressing their respect for the national song. Gandhi's absence at the Seva Dal function was criticised by the BJP, which sought on Sunday to link the issue to her foreign origin.
'People of the country are wondering whether she has really become an Indian or not', it said.