Shashi Tharoor should apologise for denigrating Vande Mataram – Parameswarji

published on January 19, 2010

Copy of the letter send by Parameswarji to Shashi Tharoor

‘Respected Shashi Tharoor,Namaskar

‘Mathrubhumi’ the popular Malayalam daily dated 16-11-2009, carried prominently a news item with the title ‘Vande Matharam need not be sung’. It was part of the speech, which you delivered at a gathering in the premises of the CSI church, Palayam, Thiruvananthapuram.

You are reported to have stated that singing of Vande Matharam is purely a matter of personal choice, left to the sweet will and pleasure of the person concerned. At first I was literally shocked and could hardly believe that the MP representing this enlightened capital city of Kerala could have made such a statement. I made enquires and got confirmed that it was a verbatim report of the speech you made at the church premises. I am also told that it was a suo motto statement without any provocation or to clarify any point and therefore quiet unwarranted. It has no justification what so ever.

Our constitution is very clear on the point that Vande Matharam is our National song having equal status with our National Anthem. Therefore it goes without saying that every citizen is supposed to pay due respect by singing it without any reservation.

I understand that of late there have been some negative voices regarding singing Vande Matharam among some communal circles. But that is not a justification for a Congress MP and a Central Minister to come out with a public statement endorsing such sentiments, which lowers the status and dignity of Vande Matharam. On the other hand I sincerely feel that it was your duty to create a congenial atmosphere in favour of Vande Matharam by using your good will and also your authority. You have done just the opposite.

Any student of India‘s freedom movement knows pretty well the historic role played by Vande Matharam. In the year 1905, Lord Curson, the then Viceroy of India, made a declaration partitioning Bengal into West Bengal and East Bengal, basically on communal (Hindu and Muslim )consideration. The entire Bengal rose up against the partition. There was an upsurge of nationalist feeling, which engulfed, not only Bengal, but the whole of India . It was the song Vande Matharam, publicly led by great men like Ravindra Natha Tagore which inspired the people to fight against the colonial dictate. Many of them laid down their lives singing this patriotic song. Ultimately the haughty Viceroy had to eat the humble pie and withdraw the declaration of partition. …’

After freedom and adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of India , which gave equal status to both Janaganamana and Vande Matharam, the demand now is being made from religious obscurantists to give up the great song , which expresses the spirit and soul of Bharat in toto. I am sure, any sign of weakness and any further compromise on this is bound to lead, to further weakening of the national fabric and accentuate dangerous divisive forces. It will be suicidal for India.

It is against this historical background, that I make bold to say that your public statement on Vande Matharam is nothing short of denigrating this symbol of nationalism and also questioning the validity of the relevant constitutional provision. As a Central minister, who has taken the oath promising to defend the constitution of the country, it is my firm view that you have acted against the spirit of the constitution and your own solemn oath. …

I WISH AND HOPE THAT YOU WILL MAKE A PUBLIC STATEMENT EXPRESSING YOUR REGRETS FOR THIS UNWARRANTED AND OBJECTIONABLE STATEMENT.’

Letter to Prime Minister

The Union Minister has not even bothered to send a reply to Parameswaran, one of the senior most and respected Hindu leaders in Kerala today. Taking note of this attitude of this Union Minister, Parameswaran wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of India on 10 December 2009 inviting his attention to the conduct of Shashi Tharoor. I am quoting below the relevant excerpts from this letter:

’This is to invite your kind attention to a serious lapse, bordering on the violation of the ministerial oath, taken by Shri. Shasi Tharoor, Hon ble Minister for State, External Affairs, in a public speech organized by the Church of South India, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on 15/11/2009. The Hon‘ble Minister made a suo motto statement. ‘… The national song, like the national sport, is optional. Sing it out of respect for the mother land. Do not sing it if you do not want to. No one forces you’ (Times of India). Such a statement is derogatory and denigrating Vande Mataram which has been accorded equal status with ‘Janaganamana’, our National Anthem.”

As a post script (PS) his letter to the PM, Parameswaran also added that: ‘It is extremely regrettable, and throws very bad light on the minister, that even though I had written a personal letter (copy enclosed) to him about the matter on 17/11/2009, he has not yet shown the elementary courtesy of even acknowledging the same. A member of Parliament is expected to behave better and be more responsible to public institutions and personalities.’

http://newstodaynet.com/col.php?section=20&catid=33

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