Unfazed by the controversy over the singing of Vande Mataram, students of more than 20 Delhi schools participated in an inter-school competition to sing the national song at Gandhi Smriti on Thursday.
The students were allowed to experiment with the musical composition and sing in innovative ways. Reports of the centenary celebrations of the national song came from other parts of the country too.
In Gujarat, singing the national song did not generate any controversy as it was not mandatory in madrasas run by the Muslim religious bodies. But Vande Mataram was sung by students in all schools run by minority educational institutes.
In Jammu, students at Islamic religious schools did not recite Vande Mataram but they did sing Saare jahan se aacha. Granddaughter of Mahatama Gandhi, Tara Gandhi Bhattacharya, who is also the vice-chairperson of Gandhi Smriti, said the ongoing debate came “came from ignorance.”
"It is meant to pay respect to our nation," said Pritha Samantha, a student of Summerfield School. "At least the students should be kept out of controversy," said Shanta Kashyap, principal, Lady Irwin School.