Maharashtra launches campaign urging people to say ‘Vande Mataram’ on phone calls instead of ‘hello’ 

A Government Resolution said that ‘hello’ carried with it connotations of the Western culture and that the word did not have any specific meaning

October 03, 2022 05:36 am | Updated 05:36 am IST - PUNE

The Maharashtra government launched an awareness campaign urging people to use ‘Vande Mataram’ while receiving phone calls instead of ‘hello’. File.

The Maharashtra government launched an awareness campaign urging people to use ‘Vande Mataram’ while receiving phone calls instead of ‘hello’. File. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Maharashtra government on Sunday launched an awareness campaign urging people to use the Indian greeting ‘Vande Mataram’ while receiving phone calls instead of the English ‘hello’.

The move comes a day after the State General Administration Department issued a Government Resolution (GR) making it mandatory for all employees working in government and government-funded institutions to use ‘Vande Mataram’ instead of ‘hello’ while receiving telephone or mobile phone calls from citizens or government officials.

Launching the campaign, State Cultural Affairs Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, speaking in Wardha district said, “ `Vande Mataram’ means we are bowing before our mother. Hence, it is our appeal to the people to use this instead of ‘hello’.”

Mr. Mungantiwar further said that it was all right if people chose to say ‘Jai Bhim’ or ‘Jai Shri Ram’ or even mention their parents’ names while answering a phone call.

“All forms are fine with us. We are trying to get people to avoid saying ‘hello’ while receiving a call. During the Independence movement, a slogan like ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ (long live the revolution) was banned by the British rulers,” he said.

The Minister said that even Mahatma Gandhi supported the chanting of ‘Vande Mataram’ and had said so in a column published at the time.

On Saturday, the GR issued by the State government regarding the use of the `Vande Mataram’ greeting had also said that while “it was not mandatory, the heads of departments in the government should encourage their staff to do so.”

“`Vande Mataram’ means we are bowing before our mother”Sudhir MungantiwarState Cultural Affairs Minister

It said that ‘hello’ carried with it connotations of the Western culture and that the word did not have any specific meaning.

“The word is just a formality which does not arouse any emotion. Greeting people by saying “Vande Mataram” will create a feeling of affection,” the GR said, while advocating an awareness campaign to promote it.

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