Union minister, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said that singing ‘Vande Mataram’ is a “matter of choice” and those refusing to sing it could not be called anti- nationals.
“Singing Vande Mataram is absolutely an individual’s choice. Those who want to sing can sing it, those who don’t, may not. Not singing it does not make one anti-national,” he told the PTI.
The Union minister of state (independent charge) for parliamentary affairs and minority affairs added that however if someone deliberately opposed the singing of the national song it was “in bad taste” and “not in the interest of the country”.
Sparks flew in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Friday as BJP MLAs slammed Samajwadi Party’s Abu Asim Azmi, who opposed a demand for making the singing of ‘Vande Mataram’ mandatory in the schools and colleges of the state.
Citing a recent Madras HC order, which made singing of ‘Vande Mataram’ mandatory in the Tamil Nadu schools, BJP MLA, Raj Purohit said it should be followed by the schools and colleges in Maharashtra as well.
Azmi said he would not sing the national song, even if he was “thrown out of the country”, while AIMIM MLA, Waris Pathan said he would not sing it “even if a revolver is put to my head”.
Meanwhile, commenting on Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s return to the NDA, Naqvi described the JD(U) supremo as “a natural ally of the BJP”.
“It does not matter whom he (Kumar) had criticised (when he had parted ways with the NDA). The BJP will support anybody who is against corruption and interested in good governance,” he concluded.