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Vande Mataram controversy refuses to die down
Onkar Singh in New Delhi |
September 11, 2006 18:59 IST
Though Congress General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi tried to explain the selection of September 7 as the date for singing Vande Mataram, the controversy refuses to die. In fact it has become a headache for party leaders who try to duck questions from news persons.
Asked why the Congress party chose to announce September 7 as the date of the centenary of singing of Vande Mataram, Abhishek Singhvi was at his wits ends to defend the decision. "The party has already explained its stand through one of our general secretaries. The date was wrong," he said.
Media persons pointed out the that Indian National Congress had been misleading the nation and particularly children.
"There is nothing significant about the date. A particular former member of Parliament wrote to the minister and then it got incorporated into a circular and then in the gazette notification. September 7 is merely a symbolic date. The song was sung for the first time in 1896 by the niece of poet Rabindra Nath Tagore," he said.
He refused to spell out the details as to what led to the wrong date despite the fact that all former prime ministers, Manmohan Singh; Sonia Gandhi, leader of the Opposition L K Advani and other eminent personalities from other parties were on the high powered committee constituted by the Union government.
"Only the human resource development minister can answer the question," he said.
Senior Congress leaders were upset by the manner in which the whole issue has been handled by the United Progressive Alliance government.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, spokesman of Bharatiya Janata Party, asked the Congress to apologise to the nation for making a blunder.
"It amuses us as well make me feel sad. The Congress under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi does not represent the Indian National Congress that fought for the freedom of the country. Three different leaders gave three different reasons why she did not participate in the singing of the national song on date fixed by the party," he said.