Vande Mataram must be played in all Tamil Nadu schools, govt offices, private firms, says Madras High Court

The Madras High Court on Tuesday made it compulsory for Vande Mataram to be played and sung in all schools, colleges and universities at least once a week, preferably on Monday or Friday across Tamil Nadu, ANI has reported.

The court has also asked all government offices, institutions, private companies, factories and industries to do the same at least once a month. It also said that if anyone has difficulty in singing the song, they shall not be compelled or forced provided there are valid reasons.

According to News18, the court has also asked the Director of Public Information to upload and circulate the translated version of “Vande Mataram” in Tamil & English.

This comes only a few months after the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre on a plea which sought to make the singing of Vande Mataram mandatory in all educational institutions. The next hearing on the issue is scheduled to take place on 23 August.

On 17 February, 2017, the Supreme Court had refused to enter into the debate on the plea seeking the declaration of Vande Mataram as the National Song. "...We do not intend to enter into any debate as far as the National Song is concerned," a bench of Justices Dipak Misra, R Banumathi and Mohan M Shantanagouder had said, declining the plea by a lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay.

The Madras High Court's order is not the first time that the judiciary in the country have asked for overt displays of patriotism. In November 2016, the Supreme Court had ordered that the National Anthem must be played in public theatres across the country before a movie, minus any dramatisation. It had also ordered that the National Flag be shown on screen when the anthem is played.

A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Amitava Roy had said that this would instil a feeling of constitutional patriotism and nationalism. "It is the duty of every citizen to abide by the ideals ingrained in the Constitution and as such show respect to the National Anthem and the National Flag," the bench had said.

"People must feel this is my country and this is my motherland," the bench had said. "At the root of protocol for National Anthem, is respect for national identity, integrity and constitutional patriotism," it had added.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jul 25, 2017 16:03:35 IST