CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered that the national song “Vande Matharam” must be played and sung in all educational institutions at least once a week and in all other institutions, including private, at least once a month.
The court's order read, "The National Song “Vande Matharam” shall be played and sung in all schools/colleges/Universities and other educational institutions atleast once a week (preferably on Monday or Friday). The National Song “Vande Matharam” shall be played and sung in all Government Offices and Institutions/Private companies/ Factories and industries at least once a Month."
While the court said that any person or institution who has difficulty in singing or playing the national song should not be compelled or forced to sing it, “provided there are valid reasons for not doing so.” The order by judge M V Muralidharan did not elaborate on what the “valid reasons” could be.
The Supreme Court had already mandated playing of the national anthem in cinema theaters and compulsory standing in silence by all the movie watchers before each show.
While the rulings of the high courts generally apply across the country, Tuesday's order directed that the judgement copy be marked only to the chief secretary of Tamil Nadu, who shall issue appropriate instructions to the concerned authorities.
“The youth of this country are the future of tomorrow. This court hopes and trusts that this order shall be taken in the right spirit and also implemented in letter and spirit by the citizenry of this great Nation,” the order’s last para read.
The court has also the director of public information to upload and circulate the translated version of “Vande Matharam” in Tamil and English thereby making it available in the Government websites and also in social media.
The case was originally a petition filed by one K Veeramani on what he wrote during the Tamil Nadu’s Teachers Eligibility Test. His plea was that the examination had a question which asked the language the song Vante Mataram was written in first. Veeramani had answered that it was in Bengali, which is correct as per the BEd text-book. But he was denied mark for the answer and aggrieved by this he filed the petition.
However, the court took keen interest on the national song itself and ordered that the song must be played and sung by citizens as frequently as possible to inculcate a sense of patriotism.