Vande Mataram Be Honoured Equally With Jana-Gana-Mana, Be Sung In All Educational Institutions: Ashwini Upadhyay Files PIL In Delhi HC
A PIL has been filed in the Delhi High Court by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking a declaration that "the song 'Vande Mataram', which had played a historic part in the struggle for Indian freedom, shall be honoured equally with 'Jana-Gana-Mana' and shall have equal status with it in spirit of the Statement made by the Constituent Assembly Chairman Hon'ble Dr. Rajendra Prasad with regard to the National Anthem, on 24.01.1950".
The PIL filed by the Petitioner in person also seeks a direction to the Centre and State Governments to ensure that 'Jana-Gana-Mana' and 'Vandemataram' is played and sung in all schools and educational institutions on every working day.
The Petition says that 'Vandemataram' is the symbol of our history, sovereignty, unity and pride. "If any citizen by any overt or covert act shows disrespect to it, it would not only be an anti-social activity but it would also spell doom to all our rights and very existence as a citizen of a sovereign nation", the Petition says, adding that it is the duty of the executive to frame a national policy to promote and propagate 'Vandemataram'.
The Petition says that the All India Sunni Ulema Board had issued a fatwa saying that "Muslims can sing first two verses of Vande Mataram". Board president Moulana Mufti Syed Shah Badruddin Qadri Aljeelani said: "If you bow at the feet of your mother with respect, it is not shirk but only respect", as per the Petition.
The Petition also quotes Christian Priest Father Cyprian Kullu to have said, "The 'Vande Mataram' song is a part of our history and national festivity and religion should not be dragged into such mundane things. The 'Vande Mataram' is simply a National Song without any connotation that could violate the tenets of any religion."
The Petition says that the sentiments expressed in 'Jana Gana Mana' have been expressed keeping the State in view. "However, sentiments expressed in 'Vande Mataram' denote the nation's character and style and deserve similar respect. Sometimes Vande mataram is sung in such circumstances which are not permissible and can never be countenanced in law. It is the duty of every Indian to show respect when Vandemataram is played/sung", the PIL says.
The Petitioner relies on Article 51A of the Constitution and the Judgment of the Supreme Court in the matter of Chandra Bhavan Boarding and Lodging Case (1969) 3 SCC 84.
The Petitioner says that the framer of the Constitution wanted equal status to Jana Gana Mana and Vandemataram "but due to appeasement politics their wish is still a dream".