July 25, 2017

India: Vande Mataram - National song should be sung at least once a week in educational institutions - Text of Madras high court order


K.Veeramani .. Petitioner Vs. The Chairman, Teachers Recruitment Board,
College Road, Chennai-6. ..

Respondent PRAYER: Writ Petition is filed under Article 226 of the
Constitution of India to issue a Writ of Mandamus, directing the respondent
to award one mark for the answer attended by the petitioner in Question
No.107 (D-Type) (Paper-II) and publish the correct result in so far relates
to the petitioner.

For Petitioner : Mr.C.Prakasam

For Respondent: Mr.R.Muthukumarasamy, Advocate General Assisted by
Mrs.K.Bhuvaneswari, Government Advocate 2 Assisting the Court by Advocates
1) Mrs.S.Sujatha, 276, L.C. 2) Mr.A.S.Bilal, 283, L.C. 3) Mr.Annadurai,

O R D E R The Petitioner has filed the instant Writ Petition for issuance
of a Writ of Mandamus, directing the respondent to award one mark for the
answer attended by the petitioner in Question No.107 (D-Type) (Paper-II)
and publish the correct result in so far relates to the petitioner.

2. A country with a population of more 1.32 billion people with 29 states
and 7 Union Territories and extremely different languages and dialects
spoken across every part of this nation makes our country a largest
democracy in this world. As Nelson Mandela has remarked, “If you talk to a
man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him
in his language, that goes to his heart”.

3. Language has perhaps been bridge between people across towns, cities,
states, countries and continents. As civilizations developed, so did
languages and our country has the pride of having many languages that have
been in existence and practice for several thousands of years together. 3

4. As there are several languages in our country, it is sometimes difficult
to ascertain as to what evolved in which language. This Court is now posed
with the question as to in what language was our National song originally
written. The answer would in fact answer the main issue involved in the
present writ petition.

5. It is the claim of the petitioner that he has taken part in the Teacher
eligibility test conducted by the Respondent on 18.08.2013 and as applied
for the post of B.T. Assistant. It has been contended by the petitioner
that he had secured 89 marks in the examination and upon receiving the
final answer key he has found that the respondent has not awarded marks
properly to the questions. In particular it has been contended by the
petitioner that he has attended question number 107 (D-type) in paper-2 but
according to him the answer given in the answer key is incorrect. The
question is as follows:- In which language the song “Vande Matharam” was
written first a. Bengali c. Urdu b. Marathi d. Sanskrit

6. It has been contended by the petitioner that the correct answer is
option A.Bengali, whereas the respondent in the answer key has wrongly
given it as option D.Sanskrit. To support his claim, he has relied upon the
book “Anandamath” which was authored by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee 4 which
was published in 1882 which included the song “Vande Matharam”, which later
become the national song of India.

7. Since it was felt by this Court that the matter required consideration,
notice was ordered to the Respondent and the petitioner was also directed
to be called for certificate of verification. When the matter was again
called on 07.06.2017, the learned Special Government Pleader had submitted
that the answer key to question number 107 was prepared on the basis of
authenticated text and sought time to produce the said materials on
13.06.2017 failing which the Secretary, Teachers Recruitment Board was
directed to be personally present before the Court. Again after two
adjournments no response was forthcoming and on 07.07.2017 when the matter
was taken up, the learned Additional Government Pleader submitted that the
national song was only written in Sanskrit and later translated to Bengali.

8. To resolve this controversy, this Court directed the learned Advocate
General to appear and inform the correct answer to the question since there
were conflicting answers to the said question. This Court also sought the
assistance of any advocate to offer their reply to settle the controversy
involved in the present writ petition.

9. I have heard the submissions of Mr.C.Prakasam, learned counsel appearing
on behalf of the petitioner and Mr.R.Muthukumarasamy, learned Advocate
General of the State assisted by Mrs.K.Bhuvaneswari, 5 Government Advocate
and also the submissions of Mrs.S.Sujatha, Mr.A.S.Bilal and Mr.Annadurai,
learned counsels, who have come forward to assist this Court.

10. Our Independence struggle to attain freedom from the British has been
one of the most toughest independence struggle across this world which
resulted in loss of numerous number of lives but still unified this whole
nation together in a peaceful way to protest against the British to leave
this country and return it to the natives and the sons and daughters of
this soil. To unify and to create a feeling of oneness amongst all Indians
across the whole country, several renowned leaders and authors have
composed several songs, poems, verses and also enacted several street plays
and dramas to bring together the people for the sustained independence

11. One such songs that touched the hearts of thousands of people and acted
as a unifier was the song “Vande Matharam” which meant “I bow to thee,
Mother”. It was first sung in a political context by Rabindranath Tagore at
the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress. In 1950, subsequent to
the Independence, it was adopted as the national song which even today
touches our heart when we hear it.

12. To find out the origin of this song this Court has sought the
assistance of the learned counsels from the bar who were willing to assist
the Court and the learned counsels Mrs.S.Sujatha, Mr.A.S.Bilal and 6
Mr.Annadurai have readily come forward with considerable research and
material on the subject. Mrs.S.Sujatha has taken painful efforts in
collecting materials from the National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh, extract
from the book Interpretation of Vande Matharam and also produced other
records collecting from the native of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee which would
clearly throw light on the subject. Mr.A.S.Bilal, learned counsel has also
given extensive materials collecting from all levels and Mr.Annadurai has
made submissions tracing the history of the song “Vande Matharam”.

13. From the perusal of the materials produced before this Court, that the
song “Vande Matharam” was originally penned down as “Bondey Matorom” by
Bongkim Chondro Chottoapadhyay in Bengali. It was later translated to
Sanskrit as “Vande Matharam”. Though Sanskrit has been used in the song a
cursory perusal of all relevant records produced would reveal that the
native language in which the song was written in Bengali.

14. The learned Advocate General Mr.R.Muthukumarasamy, has also accepted
the fact that the song “Vande Matharam” was originally written in Bengali
and there was a mistake on the part of the respondent in not awarding the
mark for the petitioner though he has selected the correct option Bengali.

15. Therefore, it is clear that the petitioner is entitled for one
additional mark since he has rightly answered the question in issue. Hence,
it is directed that the respondent shall award one additional mark 7 to the
petitioner. Though it has been communicated that even if the petitioner is
granted one additional mark as claimed, he would still have a cut-off of
58.57 which is 0.16 marks lesser than the prescribed cut-off marks for
SC(G), the learned counsel for the petitioner would however submit that
several persons below the petitioner have been accommodated and given
appointments as B.T. Assistant. But, the Special Government Pleader through
the Additional counter informed this Court that one Mr.Elavarasan, who
secured 54.12 marks in the TET and belongs to SC(G) was given appointment
on the ground that he perused B.Ed. in Special Education.

16. Considering the submissions made by the learned counsel appearing for
the petitioner and also considering the fact that the petitioner is only
0.16 marks below that cut-off marks as claimed, the respondent is directed
to accommodate the petitioner in any vacancy that have arisen in the SC(G)
category and consequently issue appointment order as B.T. Assistant, if
otherwise eligible within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt
of a copy of the order. The writ petition is allowed in the aforesaid
terms. However, there shall be no order as to costs. Consequently,
connected miscellaneous petition is closed.

17. Before parting this Court places its appreciation for the able
assistance provided by Mrs.Sujatha, Mr.Bilal and Mr.Annadurai, learned
counsels who have taken pains in providing voluminous material to this
Court for resolving the controversy. 8

18. Patriotism is an essential requirement for every citizen of this
country. The fact that this country is our Motherland should always be
remembered by every citizen of this country. Several people have sacrificed
their lives and families to the independent struggle that prolonged for
several decades. In these tough times, it was songs like our national song
“Vande Matharam” which created a sense of belief and confidence in the

19. Perhaps in today's modern era where we have marched ahead with
technology, our lives have changed a lot. We have become busy with our own
lives that sometimes we forget our nation. Sensing this fact the Hon'ble
Supreme Court in Shyam Narayan Chouksey v. Union of India reported in 2016
SCC Online SC 1411 has directed that National Anthem shall be strictly
respected by all citizens and the Anthem shall be played in all cinema
halls across the country before the start of the movie. This direction was
issued by the Hon'ble Supreme Court by clearly observing that: “7.From the
aforesaid, it is clear as crystal that it is the sacred obligation of every
citizen to abide by the ideals engrafted in the Constitution. And one such
ideal is to show respect for the National Anthem and the National Flag. Be
it stated, a time has come, the citizens of the country must realize that
they live in a nation and are duty bound to show respect to National Anthem
which is the symbol of the Constitutional 9 Patriotism and inherent
national quality. It does not allow any different notion or the perception
of individual rights, that have individually thought of have no space. The
idea is constitutionally impermissible.”

20. Likewise, it would be desirable that the National Song “Vande Matharam”
is sung by citizens from different walks of life as frequently as possible
in their educational institutions/offices/ workplace/stadiums.

21. Recently, this Court while considering whether “Thirukkural” ought to
be made part of the School Curriculum in S.Rajarathinam v. Secretary to
Government, Home Department reported in 2016 SCC Online Mad 2373 has held
that: “53.It was brought to the knowledge of this Court that the syllabus
is determined by the committee appointed by the Government. It is pertinent
to mention here, the policy is framed by the Government in consonance with
and to preserve the fundamental rights under Part III of the Constitution.
Once a policy is framed, then it is a matter of accommodation. If there is
a will, there would be a way. It will be the greatest contribution to the
society and to the language itself by the Government. Various adaptations
and stories associated with Thirukkural in the form of “Thirukkural
Kathaigal”. Therefore, it can be taught to the students without 10 causing

Moral values are more important that other values. Once, the moral values
are lost, it is only a matter of time, before the person falls, despite
possessing all other qualities, which may earn in name, fame, power and
money. If Thirukkural is taught with all its avenues and dimensions
elaborately, the students would be equipped with all the facets of life,
the probable problems and the solutions. The couplets about friendship,
hard work, good character, patience, tolerance and confidence will guide
them through, even the most difficult of times. Thirukkural will give them
the inner strength to withstand any storm. Therefore, this Court commends
that appropriate action must be taken by the Government through the
committee which decides the syllabus, considering the noble objective and
the demanding situation and finalise the syllabus for the next academic
year by including 108 Chapters/Adhigarams of Thirukkural (Arathupal and
Porutpal) in the curriculum of students between VI Standard to XII
Standard, keeping in mind that the purpose of education must be to build a
nation with moral values.”

22. Considering the larger public interest and to instill a sense of
patriotism in each and every citizen of the State, this Court in addition
to 11 direction already passed in the writ petition, issues the following
directions: (a)The National Song “Vande Matharam” shall be played and sung
in all schools/colleges/Universities and other educational institutions
atleast once a week (Preferably on Monday or Friday); (b)The National Song
“Vande Matharam” shall be played and sung in all Government Offices and
Institutions/Private companies/ Factories and industries at least once a
Month; (c)The Director of Public Information is directed to upload and
circulate the translated version of “Vande Matharam” in Tamil and English
thereby making it available in the Government websites and also in social
media; (d)Let a copy of this order be marked to the Chief Secretary of the
Government of Tamil Nadu, who shall issue appropriate instructions to the
concerned authorities; (e)In the event, any person/organisation has
difficulty in singing or playing the National Song, he or she shall not be
compelled or forced to sing it, provided there are valid reasons for not
doing so.
23. The youth of this country are the future of tomorrow. This Court hopes
and trusts that this order shall be taken in the right spirit and also
implemented in letter and spirit by the citizenry of this great Nation.

25.07.2017 Index : Yes Speaking order vs To The Chairman, Teachers
Recruitment Board, College Road, Chennai-6. 13 M.V.MURALIDARAN, J. vs
Pre-Delivery order made in W.P.No.32316 of 2013 and M.P.No.1 of 2013