Some minority institutions keep away
Even when the row over singing of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya's famous patriotic song continues, a large number of schools and colleges in the city came forward to organise singing of Vande Mataram in which students participated in a big way here on Thursday.
The day also marked with paying obeisance to the writer on the occasion of completion of hundred years of this song which had been a source of inspiration to freedom fighters and nationalists over the years.
However, nearly all the minority institutions refrained from organising any function to allow children to render this song.
A teacher of Majidia Islamia Inter College told HT Allahabad Live on phone, 'ours is a minority institution and hence we refrained from doing what others did. We have enough love for the country in our heart. There is no need to express the same through the song', she added.
A teacher of Yadgar-e Husaini Inter College, Azadar Hussain said there was no government directive to make children sing this song.
He said,we would have done so in case we had received anything in writing.
A teacher of Anglo- Bengali Inter College, SP Tewari, said that the children of all castes and creed willingly participated in singing Vande Mataram. Even several Muslim students were present on the occasion, he said adding the issue has been blown out of proportion to gain political mileage by some persons and political parties.
It may be mentioned that the Union HRD Ministry following objections raised by certain individuals and organisations had made singing of Vande Mataram voluntary instead of mandatory on September 7.
Meanwhile, the city's prestigious St Mary's Convent, a Christian minority institution, held a programme after the interval in which all the girls participated in singing Vande Mataram. A colourful Vande Mataram centenary function was also organised at Maharshi Patanjali Vidya Mandir. The students sang Vande Mataram in unison. Later a Vande Mataram dance was also presented by the children .
A big show was organised by children of Rani Rewati Devi Saraswati Vidya Mandir at the Civil Lines crossing in the morning. About 1500 students of this RSS managed institution marched upto the crossing and held a function. They were led by teachers and Principal Atma Nand Singh. Children carried placards with 'Vanda Mataram Rashtriya Swabhiman Ka Prateek Hai', 'Vande Matram Gana Hamara Samvaidhanik Adhikar Hai', written on them.
Earlier they paid floral tributes at the statue of Subhash Chandra Bose.
Anuvartika, a girl student of this school threw light on the history of the song while Avnish, another student of the same school, threw light on the psychology behind opposition to the song. Later children also rendered patriotic songs from a quickly made dais at the place.
The students of Jagat Taran Girls Degree College recited Vande Mataram at a function organised in the college. The chief guest at the function Justice (rtd) Girdhar Malaviya shared his memories of Vande Mataram before the Independence.
Rashtriya Yuva Vikas Sangthan organised 'Operation Vande Mataram' rally from Medical College crossing to Subhash crossing led by national president Brajesh Singh 'Sagar'.
Meanwhile several organizations including Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) arranged loudspeakers at different road crossings in the city. The song was played through loudspeakers. The youth wing of the BJP also took out a march from Hanuman Niketan in Civil Lines to the statue of Subhash Bose and raised slogans in favour of the song. Allahabad University students led by former AUU vice-president Raghunath Dwivedi also took out a march after rendering the song and organised a meeting.