In what seemed to be a bad start for the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh this year, the officials in the Secretariat did not sing Vande Mataram which is the National song on January 1, New Year.
It may be noted that for the past 13 years, there has been a constant practice where the concerned government officials would sing Vande Mataram on the first day of every month before proceeding the day’s work. The practice was started by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The BJP said ending the practice is “unfortunate” and Former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “It is unfortunate that the new Congress government has ended this tradition. I demand that it should be reintroduced.”
He said if the government fails to restore the tradition, he would sing Vande Mataram “with patriots” at the Vallabh Bhavan (Secretariat).
“I have decided that I will sing Vande Mataram inside the [Secretariat] premises at 11 am on January 6,” he told news agency ANI.
Speaking about the long tradition, Chouhan said, “It’s a mantra that instils a sense of patriotism. The then BJP government had decided that weekly cabinet meetings would be started with it [singing Vande Mataram] and that it’ll be sung at the Vallabh Bhavan (Secretariat) on the first day of every month.”
On the contrary, CM Kamal Nath dismisses allegations levelled by the BJP
CM Kamal Nath said the state government has not planned to terminate the practice of singing Vande Mataram. “The order is on hold and will be reintroduced in a new form,” he said.
Striking back at the BJP, Nath said the decision to put the practice ‘on hold’ has neither been related to any political motive nor is the Congress against singing Vande Mataram. “The National song is in our hearts.
However, we also believe that merely singing Vande Mataram once a month is not a certificate of one’s patriotism. Love for ones country cannot be linked to singing the National song once a month. Are those who don’t sing Vande Mataram any less patriots?” he asked.
He also added that Congress believes that “patriotism is a feeling which does not require display”, and the “BJP should not politicise the matter”.