New Delhi [India], May 25 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Central Government on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that sought direction to declare that the song 'Vande Mataram', which played a historic part in the struggle for Indian freedom, shall be honoured equally with 'Jana-Gana-Mana' and have equal status.
The Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sachin Datta on Wednesday while issuing a notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Law and Justice and others, also expressed displeasure with the petitioner for going to the press (media) for publicising the matter even before listing.
The Court has listed the matter for November 9, 2022.
The plea also sought direction to the Centre and State Governments to ensure that 'Jana-Gana-Mana' and 'Vande Mataram' are played and sung in all schools and educational institutions on every working day and also to frame guidelines in the spirit of the Constituent Assembly resolution dated January 24, 1950, read with the Judgment passed by the Madras High Court and Supreme Court of India.
The petitioner Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, practising lawyer and BJP leader stated that India is a Union of States and not an association or confederation of States. There is only one nationality i.e. Indian and it is the duty of every Indian to respect 'Vande Mataram'. "In order to keep the country united, it is the duty of the Government to frame a National Policy to promote-propagate 'Jana-Gana-Mana' and 'Vande Mataram'. There is no reason why it should evoke any other sentiment as the both are decided by Constitution makers.""The sentiments expressed in 'Jana-Gana-Mana' have been expressed while keeping the State in view. However, sentiments expressed in 'Vande Mataram' denote the nation's character and style and deserve similar respect. Sometimes, 'Vande Mataram' is sung in such circumstances which are not permissible and can never be countenanced in law. It is the duty of every Indian to show respect when 'Vande Mataram' is played/sung," said the plea.
"'Vande Mataram' was the whole nation's thought and motto when India gained independence from British rule during the independence movement. Large rallies, fermenting initially in major cities, worked themselves up into a patriotic fervour by shouting the slogan Vande Mataram'. The British, fearful of the potential danger of incited populace, at one point in time, banned the utterance of 'Vande Mataram' in public places and imprisoned many independence activists for disobeying the proscription," the plea said.
Rabindranath Tagore sang 'Vande Mataram' in 1896 at the Calcutta Congress Session. Dakshina Charan Sen sang 'Vande Mataram' five years later in 1901 in another Congress Session at Calcutta. Sarala Devi Chaudurani sang 'Vande Mataram' in Benares Congress Session in 1905. Lala Lajpat Rai started a journal called 'Vande Mataram' from Lahore, the plea stated. (ANI)