Karnataka govt admits to ‘mistake’ in notification on singing of State anthem in schools, issues fresh one

Minister for Kannada and Culture Minister Shivaraj Tangadagi admitted that the words ‘private schools’ had been left out from the notification

Updated - February 21, 2024 06:19 pm IST

Published - February 21, 2024 05:52 pm IST - BENGALURU

Shivaraj Tangadagi, Minister for Kannada and Culture, during the Legislatve Council session in Bengaluru.

Shivaraj Tangadagi, Minister for Kannada and Culture, during the Legislatve Council session in Bengaluru. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Opposition embarrassed the ruling Congress in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, February 21, by pointing out that a government notification had left out “private schools” from mandatorily singing the State Anthem (naada geete) written by Jnanpith awardee and poet laureate Kuvempu.

On February 1, 2024, the Department of Kannada and Culture had issued a notification amending the 2004 order declaring Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujaate as the State anthem. The amendment noted that the anthem must be sung in “all schools” and government departments, including State-owned undertakings. But on February 16, 2024, another amended notification was issued changing “all schools” to “government schools, aided schools and government departments and State-owned bodies.”

BJP pulls up govt

Leader of the Opposition R. Ashok raised the issue on the “mistake” committed by the Kannada and Culture Department and said the government has left out unaided schools. “Don’t you think all private schools also come under the jurisdiction of the government?” he asked.

BJP State president and member B.Y. Vijayendra demanded that Minister for Kannada and Culture Minister Shivaraj Tangadagi tender an apology. BJP’s Araga Jnanendra and other members hit out at the government, saying that the ministers have lost control of the officials.

Mr. Tangadi as well as Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister H.K. Patil admitted the mistake in the notification. Mr Tangadagi said a “printing error” had occurred. The notification dated February 1, 2024, included “all schools.” In connection with an ongoing case in the High Court, the lawyer had questioned the meaning of “all schools.” While specifying this, the words “private schools” had got left out, Mr. Tangadagi informed the House.

What new notification says

Mr. Tangadagi produced a fresh notification that specifically mentions that the State Anthem must be sung in all schools — government, aided, unaided and private. Mr. Patil said action would be initiated against the officers responsible for the “mischief.”

A couple of days ago, BJP members criticised the Congress government for allowing the Principal Secretary of the Social Welfare Department to take a decision to change a slogan attributed to Kuvempu and use it at the entrance of government-run residential schools. The BJP had termed it as an “insult” to Kuvempu.

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