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Congress says September 7 hype wrong

india Updated: Sep 11, 2006 00:53 IST
Anil Anand
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The Congress on Sunday said September 7 has nothing to do with the national song, vande mataram. "Due to some reason, a mistake was made and we admit it," said general secretary Janardan Dwivedi.

Without naming HRD Minister Arjun Singh, who pushed the proposal for commemorative 100 years of the song, Dwivedi said the date chosen for the celebrations was incorrect.

He said it was former MP Shashi Bhushan's idea to celebrate the song's centenary on September 7. But Shanti Bhushan said he never suggested a date --."I went not by the date but the year 1905".

The HRD ministry issued a circular earlier last month making the singing of vande mataram compulsory in schools on September 7.

Later, the directive was turned into a recommendation in view of protests.
But the BJP made it mandatory to sing the song in states ruled by it. And it attacked Congress president Sonia Gandhi for not showing up at a Sewa Dal function to commemorate the national song. The Congress admission on Sunday came in the context of this criticism. So, why and how did September 7 come to be associated with the national song?

Historian Bipin Chandra said there was no historical record of the date on which vande mataram was written. The song first appeared in print in the late 1860s-- the year Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay serialized his novel Anand Math in a magazine. The story later appeared as a book. And song became popular during the swadeshi movement in 1905.