Arjun surrendered to radicals on ‘Vande Mataram’ issue: BJP

via published on August 21, 2006

New Delhi, Aug 21: The BJP on Monday accused Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh of surrendering to anti-national forces by declaring there was no compulsion on schoolchildren to sing “Vande Mataram” on September 7.

BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra also lashed out at Muslim clerics opposing the Central directive on the national song, demanding they be booked for treason.

“The HRD Minister’s remarks that there will be no compulsion to sing ‘Vande Mataram’ is a sign of abject surrender to fundamentalists and anti-nationals who should rather have been told to leave India if they do not want to recite the national song,” Malhotra told reporters here.

The BJP leader said the Prime Minister should intervene to ensure singing of the national song became compulsory in schools.

“Also, those who are refusing to sing ‘Vande Mataram’ should be booked for treason,” Malhotra remarked.

In a statement here, the VHP also demanded cases be registered against those who have refused to sing the national song.

Citing religious reasons, some Muslim leaders have opposed the Central directive to schools over the recitation of the first two stanzas of the national song at 11 am on September 7 to mark the centenary of its adoption.

In the wake of Muslim opposition to the directive, Singh yesterday said the singing of the national song at schools was not mandatory.

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