BJP locks horns with Sena over Vande Mataram  in BMC schools

A proposal to make singing of National Song Vande Mataram compulsory in all civic schools has now taken a political turn. The BJP corporators in BMC have accused the ruling Shiv Sena of "purposely" delaying the implementation of the proposal that was passed in 2017.

According to Prabhakar Shinde, BJP group leader in the BMC and corporator from Mulund, several requests to Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar to take up the matter on priority have fallen on deaf ears. "In August 2017, the proposal to make singing of Vande Mataram compulsory in all civic schools was passed by the BMC general body. Following this, the matter was sent to the then BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta for his opinion.”

Shinde further said that after follow-up in January 2020, the matter was sent back by the civic chief to the general body for final decision. The mayor adjourned the discussion and postponed the decision, the matter was listed again three times before the general body in September 2020, October 2020 and on January 5, 2021. “All three times, the mayor neglected the matter, which shows, they have some vested interest behind not implementing the proposal else they must come out openly and express their intentions behind the delay," Shinde said.

He added, "I feel that now their allies and their interests have changed and they will require taking into consideration views of their new allies."

Following the Madras High Court ruling making Vande Mataram mandatory in schools in Tamil Nadu in 2017, Sandeep Patel, BJP corporator from P-South Ward (Goregaon West) of the BMC, had demanded that singing of the national song be made compulsory in the BMC-run schools.

Patel filed a notice of motion (NM) regarding it before the general body and the same was tabled in August 2017. The NM filed by Patel stated that every civic school student must sing Vande Mataram at least twice a week. Patel has also demanded that the national song be sung before all BMC committee meetings. Patel said the move will help instill a sense of patriotism among people.

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