July 27, 2017
Bengaluru: Call it nationalism or a rather forced one, but in a strange move, the Madras high court has made singing of Vande Mataram in schools , government offices, private entities and industries in Tamil Nadu compulsory.
Justice M V Muralidharan said that private and government schools in the state should ensure that the students sing the national song atleast twice in a week, preferably on Monday and Friday (Expect longer assemblies). Not only restricted to schools, the national song can also be played in other government and private establishments at least once in a month. He was quoted saying, “If people feel it is difficult to sing the song in Bengali or in Sanskrit, steps can be taken to translate the song in Tamil.” Such is the emphasis.
And if you are one of those who knows Vande Mataram, but can’t recall the entire song, here is a chance to learn it by heart. Yes, and also a chance to know the meaning behind the song. We embark on a fun experiment, asking people if they know the song and the meaning. “Firstly, I would like to point out, wasn’t it enough to have the National Anthem as a morning prayer? How long should the assembly be? I know Vande Mataram but you will be surprised to know,most people don’t,” says Munmun Chakravarty, Teacher. Maheshwar Rana and Sumitra N, a cook and a househelp both don’t know the song. “I can recall hearing the song from my school days, but don’t remember it that well. Honestly, we don’t care much. Only when we have our stomach full, we would think about national anthem, national song and nationalism,” Maheshwar Rana chuckles. Tilova Ghosh, a Designer working for a startup in Bangalore says, ” I know the song, but never bothered going through the meaning of each para. Now that you are asking me, I should look up.”
Sudeshna Saha Roy, an HR says, “Funnily, till something becomes compulsory we don’t bother about it. Though I feel this sort of forced nationalism will do no good for the country, but this will be the reason for many to know the song.”She adds, “And I do believe that it is easier for a Bengali to understand the meaning, it is a great step to translate the song for locals in their local language.”