Having made hoisting of the Tricolour mandatory in universities across the state, Uttarakhand’s Higher Education minister Dhan Singh Rawat has now come up with a new diktat.
Rawat, a former RSS functionary, has now said that one needs to sing Vande Mataram if he/she wants to stay in the hill state.
“Uttarakhand mein rehna hai, toh Vande Mataram kehna hoga (If you want to stay in Uttarakhand, you have to sing Vande Mataram),” the minister said this while addressing students of a private college in Roorkee on Thursday.
The minister’s remark triggered a row with state Congress unit chief Kishore Upadhyay asking the government to elevate the standard of education in the state, rather than focusing on such issues.
“The issue of reciting national anthem or national song is not new. Being in absolute majority, the BJP can get a bill in this regard passed in the assembly. We fail to understand why so much of hue and cry is being created on the issue,” he said.
The minister was today forced to issue a clarification. He said that his statement had been taken out of context and must not be linked with religion.
“The media has taken my speech out of context. The media is not playing my full speech. We are taking advice from various people. From the next session, we will make singing Vande Mataram compulsory in our colleges and schools. Everyone should sing Vande Mataram. In our state, no one is opposing Vande Mataram,” he said.
The remarks from the Minister came days after municipal corporations in Meerut and Varanasi ruckus over the singing of Vande Mataram.