Senior RSS functionary Bhaiyyaji Joshi has said that ‘Vande Mataram’ is the real national anthem as opposed to the ‘Constitutionally-mandated’ Jana Gana Mana.
However, it stoked a fresh controversy, forcing the RSS spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya to clarify that “all of us should equally respect and adore both the national anthem and the national song.”
Vaidya clarified that Joshi had “nowhere” stated he has asked for any change in the national anthem or flag. He held that Joshi was only deliberating on the difference between “Rajya” (state power) and “Rashtra” (the nation).
Vaidya quoted Joshi as saying that “in 1947, the Constituent Assembly had adopted the Tiranga (tri-colour) as our state flag and it was subsequently retained as that of the Republic of India. It is mandatory that every citizen of Bharat should respect. The saffron flag has been revered by the people of Bharat since time immemorial as the symbol of ancient culture.”
“Jana Gana Mana is today our national anthem. It has to be respected. There is no reason why it should evoke any other sentiment. But it is the national anthem as decided by the Constitution. If one considers the true meaning, then Vande Mataram is the national anthem,” Joshi said at a function in Mumbai.
“…The sentiments expressed in Jana Gana Mana have been expressed keeping the state in view… However, the sentiments expressed in Vande Mataram denote the nation’s character and style… Both deserve respect,” the RSS general secretary said.
Joshi’s comment came after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had said on March 27 that “we want the whole world to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. We want to make Bharat (India) rich, free from exploitation and full of self-respect. For that we will have to live that Bharat in our lives.”
Bhagwat’s comment was opposed by MIM leader and MP Asaduddin Owaisi.