In what can be described as a controversial move, the Congress government in the state of Madhya Pradesh led by Kamal Nath has rescinded a 13-year old tradition of singing Vande Mataram in Mantralaya on the 1st of every month. The move came on the first day of the New Year 2019. Speaking to the media, CM Kamal Nath stated that the order to sing Vande Mataram has been put on hold and a new form of the order is being drafted.
The tradition of singing Vande Mataram was instituted by Shivraj Singh Chauhan’s government 13 years ago. Under this, all the employees of the state secretariat gathered together on the first day of the month and sung Vande Mataram along with the national anthem. The current move by Kamal Nath to abolish the rendition of Vande Mataram has created another political debate over Congress’ duplicity and appeasement politics.
It is worth mentioning that during the election campaign, the Congress had promised in their manifesto to put a ban on government employees’ visiting Sangh shakhas. Congress had then also promised that if they are elected to power, they will ensure that government premises are not used for Sangh activities.
A video had also emerged in the run-up to the MP assembly elections in which Kamal Nath was seen allegedly advising Muslims to remain patient till the assembly elections and promising them that “we will deal with them later”. BJP spokespersons seemed to suggest that senior Congress leader Kamal Nath was talking about dealing with Hindus. In fact, former bureaucrat RVS Mani had earlier claimed that Kamal Nath had once said ‘people are willing to drink Rahul Gandhi’s urine’ while asking him to concoct the bogey of Hindu terror.
Kamal Nath’s move to abolish the practice of singing Vande Mataram has been fiercely criticised by the BJP. Former CM Shivraj Chouhan, who initiated the tradition under his regime, expressed his anguish over the issue and stated that he will be there to sing the national song with the public if Kamal Nath’s government is feeling ashamed to sing the national song.
मैं और @BJP4MP के समस्त विधायक विधानसभा सत्र के पहले दिन 7 जनवरी, 2019 को प्रातः 10:00 बजे वल्लभ भवन के प्रांगण में वंदे मातरम् का गान करेंगे। इस मुहिम से जुड़ने हेतु आप सभी का स्वागत है। https://t.co/5h6W16NJSZ
— ShivrajSingh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) January 2, 2019
Taking to Twitter, the former CM has stated that all BJP MLAs will gather to sing Vande Mataram in the premises of Vallabh Bhavan, the state secretariat building in Madhya Pradesh on January 7, on the first day of the next assembly session.