CHANDIGARH: Haryana Minister Anil Vij today questioned the presence of word 'adhinayak' in the national anthem and sought a debate on it, insisting it was like praising a dictator.
"We have full respect for the national anthem, but which 'adhinayaka' are we praising in this, till date I have not been able to understand this," the outspoken Health and Sports Minister said on microblogging website Twitter.
Later, when contacted, Vij said, "I feel time has come that a national debate should take place on this".
"Adhinayaka ka matlab hota hein tanashah (the word adhinayak means a dictator). In democracy, there is no place for a dictator," the five-time BJP MLA from Ambala Cantonment told PTI.
"Jan-Gan-Man adhinayak jai hey... who is this 'adhinayak'?," he wanted to know and said a "healthy debate" on the issue was necessary.
Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh had recently demanded removal of the word from the national anthem and suggested that it be replaced with 'mangal' (happiness).
He had contended that the word 'adhinayak' in the anthem was meant to extol the then "Angreji Shashak".