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Don’t shy away from singing Vande Mataram, Ranganath tells Muslims

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Veteran honoured: Senior Congress leaders N. Dharam Singh, M. Mallikarjun Kharge, Siddaramaiah, R.V. Deshpande, D.K. Shivakumar and K.H. Muniyappa felicitating former Minister K.H. Ranganath at the party’s anniversary celebrations in Bangalore on Monday.
Veteran honoured: Senior Congress leaders N. Dharam Singh, M. Mallikarjun Kharge, Siddaramaiah, R.V. Deshpande, D.K. Shivakumar and K.H. Muniyappa felicitating former Minister K.H. Ranganath at the party’s anniversary celebrations in Bangalore on Monday.

Special Correspondent

The song was sung in full at the meet to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the founding of Congress

Surviving freedom fighters to be honoured during the year-long celebration of the anniversary

Appeal to honour trade union leader Ramulu

BANGALORE: Freedom fighter and former president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee K.H. Ranganath on Monday urged the people to sing Vande Mataram and appealed to Muslims not to shy away from singing the national song.

The ailing Mr. Ranganath, once jailed for his participation in the Quit India movement, said that the song was a prayer to Bharat Mata. Replying to his felicitation by KPCC President R.V. Deshpande, he said Ramulu, a trade union leader who had fought for independence, should also be honoured. Mr. Deshpande said that all the surviving freedom fighters would be honoured during the year-long celebration of the anniversary.

Congress workers, especially the seniors and the aged among them, were happy when KPCC Senior Vice-President H. Hanumanthappa, who compered the celebrations, asked noted singer Sangeeta Katti to render the song in full.

At the beginning of the function, only two stanzas were rendered by her and the audience stood in respect to it. So, Mr. Hanumanthappa said there was no need to stand up again. However, Ms. Katti stood while singing the song. There was total silence and many, on and off the dais, were seen clapping and enjoying the melody.

Recalling the 1905 Bengal revolt against its division by Montego Chelmsford, Mr. Hanumanthappa said it was Vande Mataram which ignited the nationalist fervour among people of all castes and religion forcing withdrawal of the same.

Clarification

Later, he clarified that the stanzas were reduced to two at an All India Congress Committee session to accommodate the sick and the aged, who could not stand for a long time during its rendering and not because the then AICC President Mohamed Ali protested against it at the Kakinada session in 1923. Vishnu Digambar Paluskar refused to stop singing it and Ali walked out in protest, he said.

Mr. Deshpande, who led a procession of Congress workers from Banappa Park to the KPCC office, said that his party had to take up people’s issues and would come to power in the State to implement its policies and programmes.

KPCC Working President D.K. Shivakumar called upon workers to shun personality worship and instead pay respect to the party.

Union Minister for Labour and Employment M. Mallikarjun Kharge charged the Yeddyurappa Government of implementing programmes utilising only Rs. 32,000 crore out of Rs.74,000 crore sanctioned by the Centre. He warned that only around Rs. 10,000 crore could be used by March next year and the rest would lapse.

The former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh and Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramiah warned that divisive forces were raising their ugly heads.

Union Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa cautioned the party against allowing vested interests from occupying booth and block-level committees, denying opportunities to the Dalits and minorities while transforming it into a cadre-based organisation.

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