Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vande Mataram and Shashi Tharur


Shashi Tharoor should apologise for his statement on Vande Mataram

Posted by: "S. Kalyanaraman"   kalyan97

Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:04 am (PST)

*P Parameswaran* sent a letter to *Shashi Tharoor* on *17-11-2009* . Portions
of it are worth quoting in the larger public and national interests:

тАШ*Respected Shashi Tharoor,*Namaskar

тАШMathrubhumiтАЩ the popular Malayalam daily dated 16-11-2009, carried
prominently a news item with the title тАШVande Matharam need not be sungтАЩ. It
was part of the speech, which you delivered at a gathering in the premises
of the CSI church, Palayam, Thiruvananthapuram. You are reported to have
stated that singing of Vande Matharam is purely a matter of personal choice,
left to the sweet will and pleasure of the person concerned. At first I was
literally shocked and could hardly believe that the MP representing this
enlightened capital city of Kerala could have made such a statement. I made
enquires and got confirmed that it was a verbatim report of the speech you
made at the church premises. I am also told that it was a *suo motto* statement
without any provocation or to clarify any point and therefore quiet
unwarranted. It has no justification what so ever.

Our constitution is very clear on the point that Vande Matharam is our
National song having equal status with our National Anthem. Therefore it
goes without saying that every citizen is supposed to pay due respect by
singing it without any reservation.

I understand that of late there have been some negative voices regarding
singing Vande Matharam among some communal circles. But that is not a
justification for a Congress MP and a Central Minister to come out with a
public statement endorsing such sentiments, which lowers the status and
dignity of Vande Matharam. On the other hand I sincerely feel that it was
your duty to create a congenial atmosphere in favour of Vande Matharam by
using your good will and also your authority. You have done just the

*Any student of IndiaтАШs freedom movement knows pretty well the historic role
played by Vande Matharam. In the year 1905, Lord Curson, the then Viceroy of
India, made a declaration partitioning Bengal into West Bengal and East
Bengal, basically on communal (Hindu and Muslim )consideration. The entire
Bengal rose up against the partition. There was an upsurge of nationalist
feeling, which engulfed, not only Bengal, but the whole of India . It was
the song Vande Matharam, publicly led by great men like Ravindra Natha
Tagore which inspired the people to fight against the colonial dictate. Many
of them laid down their lives singing this patriotic song. Ultimately the
haughty Viceroy had to eat the humble pie and withdraw the declaration of
partition. тАж*тАЩ

After freedom and adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of India ,
which gave equal status to both Janaganamana and Vande Matharam, the demand
now is being made from religious obscurantists to give up the great song ,
which expresses the spirit and soul of Bharat *in toto*. I am sure, any sign
of weakness and any further compromise on this is bound to lead, to further
weakening of the national fabric and accentuate dangerous divisive forces.
It will be suicidal for India.

It is against this historical background, that I make bold to say that your
public statement on Vande Matharam is nothing short of denigrating this
symbol of nationalism and also questioning the validity of the relevant
constitutional provision. As a Central minister, who has taken the oath
promising to defend the constitution of the country, it is my firm view that
you have acted against the spirit of the constitution and your own solemn
oath. тАж


**The Union Minister has not even bothered to send a reply to Parameswaran,
one of the senior most and respected Hindu leaders in Kerala today. *Taking
note of this attitude of this Union Minister,*Parameswa ran* wrote a letter
to the Prime Minister of India on *10 December 2009* *inviting his attention
to the conduct of Shashi Tharoor.* I am quoting below the relevant excerpts
from this letter:

тАЩ*This is to invite your kind attention to a serious lapse, bordering on the
violation of the ministerial oath, taken by Shri. Shasi Tharoor, Hon ble
Minister for State, External Affairs, in a public speech organized by the
Church of South India, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on 15/11/2009. The HonтАШble
Minister made a suo motto statement. тАШтАж The national song, like the national
sport, is optional. Sing it out of respect for the mother land. Do not sing
it if you do not want to. No one forces youтАЩ (Times of India). Such a
statement is derogatory and denigrating Vande Mataram which has been
accorded equal status with тАШJanaganamanaтАЩ, our National Anthem.*тАЭ

As a *post script* (*PS*) his letter to the *PM*, *Parameswaran* also added
that: тАШ*It is extremely regrettable, and throws very bad light on the
minister, that even though I had written a personal letter (copy enclosed)
to him about the matter on 17/11/2009, he has not yet shown the elementary
courtesy of even acknowledging the same. A member of Parliament is expected
to behave better and be more responsible to public institutions and
personalities. *тАЩ

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