Plea seeks same status for Vande Mataram as national anthem

High Court seeks response from Centre, Delhi govt., NCERT on the petition

May 25, 2022 09:06 pm | Updated 09:56 pm IST

The Delhi High Court has posted the matter for hearing in November.

The Delhi High Court has posted the matter for hearing in November. | Photo Credit: File photo

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Centre and the Delhi government to reply to a plea seeking equal status for the national song, Vande Mataram, as the national anthem, Jana Gana Mana.

A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sachin Datta issued the notice on the petition by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who sought direction to ensure that both Jana Gana Mana and Vande Mataram are played and sung at all schools and educational institutions on every working day.

The High Court also sought a response from the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) while posting the case for further hearing on November 9.

Publicity irks court

During the hearing, the Bench took exception to Mr. Upadhyay publicising the filing of his petition to the media even before it was listed for hearing. “This gives an impression that the petition was filed for publicity,” the Bench said.

It noted that Mr. Upadhyay has expressed regret and has been directed not to resort to such a practice. The court proceeded to entertain the plea saying the petitioner is a “serious litigant”.

Mr. Upadhyay, in his plea, argued that it is the duty of the executive to frame a national policy to promote and propagate Vande Mataram.

Vande Mataram is a poem written by Sh. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. It’s translation by Sh. Aurobindo is rendered as ‘I bow to thee Mother’,” the petition said, adding that the song played a vital role in the Indian independence movement and was first sung in a political context by Rabindranath Tagore at the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress.

“The sentiments in Jana Gana Mana have been expressed keeping the State in view. However, the sentiments expressed in Vande Mataram denote the nation’s character and style and deserve similar respect,” Mr. Upadhyay said.

The petitioner argued that in the absence of any guidelines or regulations to honour Vande Mataram, the national song is being sung in an “uncivilised manner” and misused in films and parties.

“There shall not be dramatisation of Vande Mataram and it must not be included in any variety show because when it is sung/played, it is imperative on the part of every one present to show due respect and honour,” the plea said.

“To think of a dramatised exhibition of Vande Mataram is inconceivable. It shall not be printed on any object and never be displayed in such a manner at such places which may be disgraceful to its status and tantamount to its disrespect,” the plea said.

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