Madras HC makes Vande Mataram mandatory in schools, private and government offices
Singing of Vande Mataram in schools, government offices, private entities and industries in Tamil Nadu has been made compulsory by the Madras high court.
The Madras High Court on 25 July 2017 ruled that Vande Mataram should be sung in all schools and colleges across Tamil Nadu at least once in a week and in government and private offices at least once in a month.
While issuing order, Justice MV Muralidharan said that to instil a sense of patriotism in each and every citizen of Tamil Nadu, the national song ‘Vande Mataram’ shall be played and sung in all educational institutions at least once a week, preferably on Monday and Friday.”
He also said that the song should be played and sung in all government and private offices/factories and industries at least once a month.
Highlights of the Decision
• Justice Muralidharan said, if people feel it difficult to sing the song in Bengali or in Sanskrit, efforts should be made to translate the song in Tamil
• The court also directed the public information department to upload the translated version of Vande Mataram in Tamil and English, thereby making it available on government websites and social media.
• The court also said that if any person/organisation has a problem in singing or playing the national song than he/it shall not be forced to sing it, but they should provide valid reasons for not doing so.
The decision was made while hearing a petition filed by K Veeramani, a candidate who failed the Teachers Recruitment Board’s written test for the post of BT Assistant. Veeramani claimed that he had missed recruitment to the post by one mark due to “wrong” evaluation for a question on Vande Mataram.
Question due to which Veeramani failed to pass the test
The question was, in which language was Vande Vande Mataram written first?
Answer of Veeramani: He answered, the national song was written first in Bengali, but his answer was marked wrong. He was awarded 89 marks against the minimum 90 to be eligible for appointment.
What happened during the argument on Veeramani’s petition?
Reports suggest that during the arguments, the government pleader said the song was originally written in Sanskrit and later translated into Bengali. Later, the Advocate General (on the direction of the High Court) clarified that while the song was of Sanskrit-origin, it was written in Bengali.
After hearing the arguments of both sides, the court has ordered the state government to include Veeramani in the list of candidates selected.
Vande Mataram in Supreme Court
A petition demanding that singing Vande Mataram should be made mandatory in schools, parliament, state assemblies, public offices and courts is pending in the Supreme Court of India. Earlier, a three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra on 17 April 2017 issued a notice to the Union Government on the petition. The petition was filed by Delhi BJP spokesperson Ashwani Upadhyay.
The matter is scheduled to come up for hearing on August 23.