Jana Gana Mana, the national anthem sung by generations of Indians, could be set for a small correction. It turns out that the word Sindh in the anthem is actually wrong. In the original version, composed and scored by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, the word is Sindhu.
On Wednesday, the Bombay high court asked the Central government to make the alteration in the national anthem, following a public interest litigation by a retired professor over 'the word Sindh used instead of Sindhu'.
"We see no motive behind this, but kindly correct it," the division bench of justice Ranjana Desai and justice RG Ketkar told a Central government pleader referring to allegations by the petitioner that the mistake was being made and tolerated deliberately.
The PIL has been filed by a 75-year-old Versova resident, Shreekant Malushte, a retired physics professor. His lawyer Niranjan Mogre said Malushte had sought an official version of the national anthem twice and both times the word 'Sindhu' had been specifically mentioned in it.
However, he added, for years the word 'Sindh' was being used instead.
The judges agreed with him stating that if the official version carries the word 'Sindhu', the same word should be used. They, however, discarded Mogre's contention that it was being done deliberately.
"This is a mistake. We don't understand why somebody would do that deliberately," justice Desai commented, and sought a probe as to what could be the reason for doing so.
But, Mogre could not reply to the query satisfactorily.
Malushte has worked as an NCC Officer in the naval wing and has attended innumerable Republic Day camps.
According to his petition, every time they sang the national anthem, they were directed to use the word 'Sindhu' and not 'Sindh' as the latter was incorrect.