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Making Vande Mataram mandatory for Maharashtra students: Tempers flare at legislature

In another face-off on the Vidhan Bhavan premises, BJP legislator Raj Purohit and Pathan were involved in a verbal spat

mumbai Updated: Jul 28, 2017 23:38 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times
Vande Mataram,Maharashtra,BJP
AIMIM’s Waris Pathan and BJP’s Raj Purohit at Vidhan Bhavan on Saturday.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT )

Tempers flared in both houses of the state legislature on Friday after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders attacked Samajwadi Party legislator Abu Azmi and AIMIM’s Waris Pathan for opposing the demand to make it mandatory for students to sing Vande Mataram in all educational institutes.

BJP MLAs Anil Gote and Eknath Khadse cornered Azmi and AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan in the legislative assembly. Azmi said that his statement was blown out of proportion and that he would praise the nation thousands of times but would not utter anything which was against his religion.

In another face-off on the Vidhan Bhavan premises, BJP legislator Raj Purohit and Pathan were involved in a verbal spat. When Pathan was speaking to TV channels, Purohit raised slogans, including ‘Is Desh Mein Rahana Hoga, To Vande Mataram Kahana Hoga (If you want to live in this country, you have to sing Vande Mataram)’. In reply, Pathan shouted slogans of ‘Jai Hind’ and ‘Hindustan Zindabad’.

Purohit demanded that the AIMIM be banned and its MLAs be disqualified. Pathan staged a sit-in protest, saying that he was forced to sing the national song. “Ours is a national party and no one can ban us. The Constitution does not have any provision of compelling anybody to sing Vande Mataram. It has given us the freedom of speech and expression,” he said

Thanks to the timely intervention by security personnel, the tension between the two leaders was defused.

In the legislative assembly, BJP MLA Anil Gote raised the issue during zero hour, quoting Azmi that he was ready to move out of the country if he was forced to sing Vande Mataram. Calling the statements anti-national, he questioned why MLAs were against the song when it merely means worshiping the motherland.

BJP’s Eknath Khadse said, “It was Vande Matarm which gave an impetus to the freedom fight. If the motherland takes care of everything from food, shelter, water to the burial land, why should one be ashamed of worshipping the motherland?”

First Published: Jul 28, 2017 23:32 IST