Madras HC Makes Vande Mataram Mandatory In Schools, Govt & Private Offices

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CHENNAI: Singing of Vande Mataram in schools, government offices, private entities and industries in Tamil Nadu has been made compulsory by the Madras high court. While schools must sing it at least once a week either on Monday or Friday, the national song must be crooned in offices once a month, said Justice M V Muralidharan on Tuesday.

Justice M V Muralidharan said that private and government schools in the state should ensure that their students sing the national song at least twice in a week, preferably on Monday and Friday. Noting that the song can also be played in other government and private establishments at least once in a month, the judge said, "If people feel it is difficult to sing the song in Bengali or in Sanskrit, steps can be taken to translate the song in Tamil."

However, the judge made it clear that in the event, any person/organisation has difficulty in singing or playing the song, they shall not be compelled or forced to sing it, provided there are valid reasons for not doing so.

Before parting, the judge added that youth of this country are the future of tomorrow and that the court hopes and trusts that this order shall be taken in the right spirit and also implemented in letter and spirit by the citizenry of this great nation.

The issue pertains to a plea moved by K Veeramani, who failed to clear the written test for the post of BT Assistant as he answered that the song was written in Bengali.

According to the petitioner, he was awarded 89 marks in the test conducted for the post by the Teachers Recruitment Board. But the minimum eligibility mark was fixed as 90 due to which he lost the opportunity of getting recruited to the post.

Subsequently, he found out that he lost the one mark required for his selection, as he answered Bengali for the question on the language of 'Vande Mataram'. But claiming that he had read in many books where it was categorically given that the song was originally written in Bengali, he alleged that TRB had made a mistake in the answer key to the test by mentioning that the right answer as Sanskrit. He further claimed that for the mistake made by the board, he lost his opportunity of being appointed as a BT Assistant.

Opposing his submission, the Government Pleader contended that the song was originally written in Sanskrit and was translated later in Bengali.

To clear the ambiguity, the judge directed the Advocate General to find out the right answer. On July 13, when the plea came up for hearing the AG clarified that the original language of 'Vande Mataram' was Sanskrit but written in Bengali+ script. The judge said the government must include Veeramani in the teacher selection process.  


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