Indore, June 13 (IANS) Was it a plain goofup or ideological zeal that forced the congregation to abandon the recital of national anthem midway and sing Vand Mataram instead? Just as Indore Municipal Corporations budget session was to commence on Wednesday, the gathering began reciting Jana Gana Mana. The Mayor stopped them abruptly and asked them to render Vande Mataram instead.
As per the Corporation protocol, the programmes begin with the rendition of Vande Mataram and the national anthem is sung at the conclusion.
But the video clip of the abrupt stoppage of national song has gone viral. Indore Mayor Malini Gaud, who also happens to be the local BJP MLA, is seen stopping rendition of the anthem meeting. The BJP has a majority at IMC.
According to witnesses, while the national anthem was being sung, some members started rendering national song and sang it to the last word.
Meanwhile, the opposition corporators have demanded action against members who had insulted the national anthem. IMC Leader of Opposition Fauziya Ali Sheikh of Congress lodged a complaint.
“We have lodged a complaint with the IMC Commissioner and we will also lodge FIR over disrespect to the national anthem,” Fauziya Ali said.
IMC Chairman Ajay Naruka said he and the IMC council had apologised for the gaffe.
“I have apologised and the IMC Council has also expressed an apology in the matter,” Naruka said.
Naruka said, “The mistake has possibly occurred following a corporator’s slip of the tongue. I don’t feel it was due to anybody’s ill intention.”
“So, the incident should not be given undue importance,” said Naruka.
According to sources, deliberately disrupting the national anthem or stopping its recital midway, invites three years imprisonment.
Ali says even if the anthem was started before the programme, the rendition should have been allowed. Vande Mataram could have followed. The BJP councillors say the mix-up was caused by the commotion created by the opposition members.
Gaud has helped Indore earn the tag of India’s cleanest city three years in a row. She was honoured by President Ram Nath Kovind during the cleanliness survey awards in March this year.