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Centre to Delhi HC:‘Jana Gana Mana, Vande Mataram’ have equal Status

New Delhi: The Center has told the Delhi High Court that the national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ and the national song ‘Vande Mataram’ “stand on the Same Level” and citizens should show equal respect to both.


While there are no penal provisions or official guidelines regarding the singing or playing of “Vande Mataram” unlike the national anthem, the song occupies a unique place in the emotions and psyche of Indians and all directions of high courts and the Supreme Court regarding the song is being followed, it said.

The submission was made by the Ministry of Home Affairs based on an affidavit filed in response to public interest litigation by lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay to ensure that the song “Vande Mataram” is given equal honor and status as the national anthem.

Emphasizing that both the national song and the national anthem have their sanctity and deserve equal respect, the Center said the subject matter of the proceedings can never be the subject of a court petition.

“Both Jana Gana Mana and Vande Mataram stand on equal footing and every citizen of the country should show equal respect to both.

The national song occupies a unique and special place in the emotions and psyche of the people of India,” said a “brief counter-affidavit” filed through a lawyer Manish Mohan’s Central Govt.

The court was informed that the issue of promoting ‘Vande Mataram’ was earlier taken up by the apex court which refused to “enter into any debate” as there was no reference to the national song in the constitution.

Subsequently, the high court, the reply added, dismissed another petition seeking directions for singing and playing ‘Vande Mataram’, observing that there could be no dispute that the song deserved the respect and reverence accorded it by the authorities.

“Both the National Anthem and the National Song have their sanctity and deserve equal respect. However, the subject matter of this proceeding can never be one that seeks impeachment of the Supreme Court, more specifically with regard to the settled position.” ” said the Centre’s reply.

The center said the case was “not adversarial” and that it would follow “any order deemed necessary and expedient by the court.”

“In 1971, the provision preventing the singing of the national anthem or causing disruption to any assembly engaged in such singing was made a criminal offense through the Prevention of Insults to National Honor Act 1971.

“However, similar punitive measures have not been taken by the government in the case of the National Song ‘Vande Mataram’ and no guidelines have been issued prescribing the circumstances under which it can be sung or played,” the reply read.

The Central Government follows the directions issued by the High Courts and also by the Supreme Court of India from time to time, he added.

The response further stated that some of the averments in the petition are in the nature of “individual concerns that require consideration at the administrative and judicial levels before they can be absorbed into the system, in accordance with the constitutional or statutory mandate.”

The petitioner, who also sought a direction from the Center and the Delhi government to ensure that ‘Jana Gana Mana’ and ‘Vande Mataram’ are played and sung in all schools and educational institutions on every working day, alleged that in the absence of any instruction or regulation to respect the song, “Vande Mataram” is sung in an “uncivilized manner” and misused in films and parties.

The petitioner said that the song played a historic role in India’s freedom struggle and should be honored like “Jana Gana Mana” in view of the statement made by the Speaker of the Constituent Assembly, Dr. Rajendra Prasad in 1950.

“For the country to be united, it is the duty of the government to make a national policy to promote and promote ‘Jana Gana Mana’ and ‘Vande Mataram’.

There is no reason why it should evoke a different sentiment since both are decided by the framers of the constitution.

“The sentiments expressed in ‘Jana Gana Mana’ were expressed with respect to the state. However, the sentiments expressed in ‘Vande Mataram’ denote the character and style of the nation and deserve similar respect,” the petition said.

The petition argued that there should be no dramatization of ‘Vande Mataram’ and “it must not be included in any variety show because whenever it is sung or played it is absolutely necessary on the part of all present to show due respect and honor.” “.

“Order and declare that the song ‘Vande Mataram’ which has played a historic role in India’s freedom struggle shall be honored on par with ‘Jana Gana Mana and shall have equal status with it in the spirit of the declaration made by the Speaker of the Constituent Assembly Hon’ble Dr. Rajendra Prasad with respect to the National Anthem on 24.1.1950,” the petition urged.

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