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Centre to Delhi HC: ‘Jana Gana Mana’ & ‘Vande Mataram’ Stand on Same Footing, Both Should be Respected Equally

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Delhi High Court Law Insider

Tanisha Rana

Published on: November 05, 2022 at 20:45 IST

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed the Delhi High Court on Friday that the national anthem “Jana Gana Mana” and national song “Vande Mataram” stand on same footing and that every citizen of the country should have the same respect for both [Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay vs. Union of India and Ors.].

The government claimed in an affidavit in response to BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay’s public interest litigation (PIL) petition that “Vande Mataram” should be elevated to the status of “Jana-Gana-Mana.”

The government said that the song holds a particular place in the emotions and psyche of Indians.

The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 was passed in 1971, according to the Centre, making it illegal to stop anyone from singing the national anthem or to cause commotion in any gathering that is doing so.

But in the instance of “Vande Mataram,” no such criminal measures have been made, and no directives have been published outlining the conditions under which it may be sung or played.

The MHA countered that even while the national anthem and song are sacred and deserve respect, a writ petition to the court cannot be filed on them.

The Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court have handled related cases in the past, but neither court issued any directives on them, it was also disclosed before the court.

On Upadhyay’s plea, a Division Bench of the High Court had given notice in May.

Upadhyay argues that “Vande Mataram” should be honoured and given status equal to the national anthem because it played a significant role in India’s freedom movement.

Giving “Vande Mataram” equal status would be in keeping with the sentiment of the remark made by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the President of the Constituent Assembly, according to Upadhyay.

Therefore, it has been urged in the petition that the Central and State governments make sure that both “Vande Mataram” and the national anthem are played and sung in all schools and educational institutions on every working day.

On November 9, the case is scheduled to be heard.