Varanasi and Gorkhpur municipal corporations have joined the bandwagon of corporations in Uttar Pradesh where controversy is brewing over the national song Vande Mataram. Mayors of both the corporations have said that Vande Mataram would be sung at every House meeting, something Congress and Samajwadi Party corporators have opposed.
Despite the objection, BJP corporators in Varanasi sang the national song at a meeting on Saturday.
The Indian Express quoted Varanasi Mayor as saying, "The proposal of singing the national song was given to the House. But corporators linked to SP started raising slogans against RSS. I have ordered that all meetings which I attend will start with the national song."
Like his counterparts in Meerut and Bareilly, Samajwadi Party corporator Vijay Jaiswal told the newspaper that the BJP was trying to create controversy and that this was never a tradition.
And like in the Meerut municipal corporation, Muslim corporators walked out after Gorakhpur Mayor Satya Pandey announced this at a meeting on Saturday.
It was reported on Tuesday that BJP corporators at the Bareilly municipal corporation too have said that Vande Mataram will be sung at the beginning of every meeting.
Samajwadi Party corporator in Bareilly Rajesh Agarwal had said that the BJP was trying to create a controversy like the one is Meerut.
It was reported last week that 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.
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.
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