By order: Movies to universities, 10 times we were asked to be patriotic
Here are 10 instances when the state imposed its version of patriotism on the people.india Updated: Sep 13, 2017 15:12 IST
Are you feeling patriotic? You should, for our governments and courts have ordered several ways that the Indian citizen take pride in the nation.
The latest order is in Madhya Pradesh. The state’s BJP government has said that it will make ‘Jai Hind’ the mandatory answer for roll call in schools, bringing the patriotism debate back into sharp focus. Satna will be the first district where this practice will be introduced from October 1 — a month before implementing the same in all the schools across the state.
In the last few years, the government, courts and official institutions have issued a series of directives aimed at imposing patriotic practices. From making national songs compulsory in school to asking for patriotic bands to perform in colleges, here are ten times when the state foisted its version of patriotism on the people.
1) Jana Mana Gana in theatres
A 2016 Supreme Court order made it mandatory for cinemas to play the national anthem before a film is screened “for the love of the motherland”.
The court banned dramatising or abridging the 52-second-long Jana Gana Mana and ordered movie goers to stand while the anthem played before the movie. Following the order, there were reports of people being beaten up by self-appointed vigilantes for not standing up during the anthem.
2) MP govt makes national anthem, flag hoisting compulsory in schools
Jai Hind to answer roll call is not the first instance where the Madhya Pradesh government has introduce a daily dose of nationalism among students. In December last year, the state government made singing of the national anthem and hoisting of the tricolour mandatory in schools across the state.
School education minister Vijay Shah said the order was issued to all government and private schools and non-compliance would lead to withdrawal of “recognition” of the erring institutions, he added.
3) UP government asks madrasas to record I Day
On Independence Day this year, the Yogi Adityanath government directed all madrasas in the state to record video of the national anthem being sung and the cultural events.
The circular was issued by the UP Madarsa Shiksha Parishad. In the past, madrasas had been directed to hoist the national flag, this year they were also asked to organise cultural events on the day. Many madrasas organized Independence Day events, but defied the government order to record the proceedings, deeming it an attempt to test their patriotism.
4) Mumbai municipality makes singing Vande Mataram compulsory in schools
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in August passed a proposal to make singing ‘Vande Mataram’ compulsory in civic-run schools, sparking protests from some corporators.
The motion, moved by BJP corporator Sandeep Patel, was passed in the general body meeting of elected representatives without any discussion, alleged corporators. In the past, the BMC had made yoga and surya namasakar compulsory in schools, a move that eventually fizzled out.
5) Madras HC makes Vande Mataram compulsory in offices, schools
In July this year, the Madras high court made singing Vande Mataram compulsory in all government schools, colleges in Tamil Nadu at least once a week and all government offices, private companies and industries at least once a month. The court passed the order in the “larger public interest and to instil a sense of patriotism in each and every citizen of the state”.
6) National flag to fly at all central universities
In 2016, vice-Chancellors of 42 Central universities unanimously agreed to fly the national flag on campus as a response to rising ‘anti-nationalism’ after the JNU row. The proposal was approved by the HRD ministry.
“At a central place at every university, the national flag will be flown prominently and proudly,” the ministry said in a statement.
7) HRD ministry asks universities to hosts ‘patriotic’ bands
On August 21, the HRD ministry wrote to the IITs and central universities, asking them to invite rock groups to perform patriotic songs on campuses under a programme dubbed ‘Yeh India Ka Time Hai’ .
HRD minister Prakash Javadekar agreed to the plan conceived by information and broadcasting minister Smriti Irani, where half a dozen bands identified by the ministry would be invited to perform patriotic numbers, mostly from Bollywood.
8) JNU VC wants army tank installed in university campus
At a Tiranga March organised in the Jawaharlal Nehru University earlier this year, vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar asked minister of state for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan and minister of state for external affairs, VK Singh, to assist in installing an Indian Army tank to be displayed inside the varsity premises.
“We request you to help us procure an army tank so that it could be put in JNU. The tank will remind students of the great sacrifices and valour of Indian Army,” said Kumar.
9) BJP MP proposes making Bharat Mata ki Jai mandatory for lawmakers oath
The ruling BJP’s North Mumbai MP Gopal Chinayya Shetty introduced a private members’ bill in Lok Sabha last year seeking to make saying “Bharat Mata ki Jai” mandatory for elected representatives taking oath.
10) Shiv Sena asks for law to make Vande Mataram compulsory
In August this year, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray asked the government to bring in a law to make singing of Vande Mataram compulsory. “Nationalism shouldn’t be part of just January 26 and August 15 celebrations. It should become integral part of life,” Thackeray said.
First Published: Sep 13, 2017 15:12 IST