Patriots chant ‘Vandemataram’ all over India

via Media Release published on September 7, 2006

New Delhi: In the midst of a controversy, the national song Vande Mataram was on Thursday sung across the country to celebrate its centenary but several Muslim educational institutions abstained from joining.

RSS chief K S Sudarshan and VHP leader Ashok Singhal were today joined by a group of children and other RSS Swayayamsewaks in reciting Vande Matram at Badkas Square in Nagpur, near the RSS headquarters  to mark the centenary of the national song.

As the BJP’s top leaders huddled up to discuss internal issues at its National Executive in Dehradun, senior party leader Vinay Katyar condemned “fatwas” over singing of Vande Mataram and advocated action against defiance over the national song.

His comments followed group singing of Vande Mataram, including portions opposed by the Muslim League seven decades ago, by senior party leader L K Advani, Rajnath Singh and Murli Manohar Joshi to mark the occasion.

Terming the controversy over the rendition of `Vande Mataram’ as “unfortunate”, former Prime Minister and senior BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee today said “The song is a symbol of devotion towards the motherland. It is unfortunate that `Vande Mataram’ has been made a subject of controversy. This controversy should end now,” Vajpayee said addressing BJP workers gathered at the party headquarters in New Delhi to recite the song.

In Bangalore Rashrotthana Parishat, has decorated its invitation for the centenary function with the well-known journalist Motilal Ghosh’s famous assertion on singing of the song – Let me be beheaded – that is not a valuable thing to lose – But I will sing Vande Mataram.” The parishat is holding the centenary function in the evening at Kempe Gowda Nagar.

Reports from BJP-ruled states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Rajasthan, the song written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee was sung in educational institutions and specially organised programmes at 11 a.m. as per an order of the Union Human Resources Development Ministry. Reports of isolated protests by some Muslim bodies came in from Madhya Pradesh.

In Bihar BJP ministers in the Nitish Kumar cabinet, legislators and party leaders organised public recitation of the patriotic song across the state today.

In Delhi  large number of students took part in the singing of the national song while .Students of madrasas in Muslim-dominated areas of Rajasthan defied the National song by not singing the song while in other schools celebrations were held.

In Dehradun, where the BJP National Executive is being held, party president Rajnath Singh and senior leader L K Advani led party functionaries in joining the celebrations.

In NDA-ruled Jharkhand, Chief Minister Arjun Munda led scores of BJP leaders and thousands of party workers to sing the national song shortly after 9 a.m.

The collective singing of Vande Mataram was organised at the State Secretariat in Gandhinagar and other places across Gujarat even as heavy rains prompted the authorities to shut several schools.

In Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra, where the singing of the song was optional, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and MPCC chief Prabha Rau joined senior party leaders to celebrate the occasion at the party headquarters. Shiv Sena and its affiliate organisations, including its labour wing Bharatiya Kamgar Sena (BKS), organized several programmes to mark the occasion.

Over 50 lakh students of Chhattisgarh including that of Muslim institutions participated in the mass singing of Vande Mataram.

Schools and colleges across Tamil Nadu participated in the singing of Vande Mataram. In Chennai, collective singing of the song was organised in almost all educational institutions. The song was recited in Central and State government-run schools in the city and students were present in large numbers.

Reports from Punjab and Haryana said students of various schools participated in the singing of the national song. The Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), which has initially asked the Sikhs not to sing the song, later changed its mind and said it had no problem if the song was recited by the community, “as it only helps in binding the nation together”.

Reports from Amritsar said that the song was sung even in the SGPC-run institutions. The Punjab Government had on Wednesday said it would not make it mandatory for students to sing the song and everybody was free to recite it as per their own choice. .

The centenary of Vande Mataram was today observed across West Bengal with students in various schools singing the national song.The BJP celebrated the occasion with members of its women’s wing singing Vande Mataram near Calcutta University.


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