Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s directive to government employees that they need not sing national anthem Vandemataram in offices on the first day of every month, has created uproar.
Since BJP’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan became chief minister of the state, for the past 13 years, government officials would sing Vande Mataram on the first day of every month before starting the day’s work.
After BJP lost its power after a gap of 15 years, the Congress government has decided to give up to this tradition. Expressing concern over the government’s decision, the BJP said ending the tradition is “unfortunate”.
Former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “It is unfortunate that the new Congress government has ended this tradition. I demand that it should be reintroduced.” He said if the government fails to restore the practice, he would sing Vande Mataram “with patriots” at the Vallabh Bhavan (Secretariat).
He announced that he will sing Vande Matram inside the [Secretariat] premises at 11 am on January 6. Urging to continue the practice, he said that “It’s a mantra that instils a sense of patriotism. The then BJP government had decided that weekly cabinet meetings would be started with it [singing Vande Mataram] and that it’ll be sung at the Vallabh Bhavan [Secretariat] on first day of every month.”
However, Chief Minister Kamal Nath has rubbished the allegations levelled by the BJP. He said the state government has not decided to end the practice of singing Vande Mataram. “The order is on hold and will be reintroduced in a new form,” he said.
He also clarified that the decision to put the practice on hold has neither been taken with any political motive, nor is the Congress against singing Vande Mataram. Asserting that the national song is in our hearts, he also said that he also believe that merely singing Vande Mataram once a month is not a certificate of one’s patriotism.