The next session of the Bareilly municipal corporation is likely to see heated arguments over the singing of Vande Mataram, as BJP corporators in the Uttar Pradesh district have decided to sing it at the beginning of every board meeting.
Now, this is something that corporators of the Samajwadi Party, who are in majority in the corporation, had stalled earlier, reports The Times of India.
The newspaper quoted BJP's Vikas Sharma as saying, "I have spent four terms here as a corporator and singing 'Vande Mataram' before every board meeting was a practice before SP's Dr IS Tomar became the mayor."
SP corporator Rajesh Agarwal told the newspaper that the BJP was trying to create a controversy like the one is Meerut.
It was only last week that Muslim councillors left the Meerut Municipal Corporation House after other members began singing Vande Mataram. Reports suggest that a resolution was passed, after the walkout, to cancel their membership.
While the Sharia law bans Muslims from singing the song, they had alleged that were being forced to sing.
"We respect Vande Mataram, but BJP corporators and the mayor were literally forcing us to sing. SC says its not mandatory," Afzal an SP corporator had told ANI.
Reports suggest that Mayor Harikant Ahluwalia allegedly didn't let the seven corporators take part in the meeting and allegedly warned that people who refuse to sing the song won't be allowed inside the board room.
The song written in Bengali and Sanskrit by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee was a pean for India, which is portrayed as the motherland. While minorities don't have a problem singing the first few paragraphs of the song, they have an objection to the latter part which mentions Goddess Durga.
Also In HuffPost India