A few days after asking the government to enforce a law making the national song, ‘Vande Mataram’, compulsory for all, Shiv Sena is now asking the government to strip the voting rights of people who refuse to sing the national song.
An editorial in the Maharashtra-based political party’s mouthpiece, ‘Saamna’, claimed that their founder Bal Thackeray was once barred from voting for propagandizing Hindutva. So, seeing from this line, not singing ‘Vande Mataram’ is an even bigger crime.
Shiv Sena said in the editorial:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has strongly reined in the gaurakshaks on a rampage, but not singing Vande Mataram is an equally serious issue and leaders cannot afford to be silent on it. It is unfortunate that we have to even demand a law to make singing Vande Mataram compulsory. The only solution is to consider opposition to Vande Mataram as opposition to the country and scrap voting rights of those who oppose it.
It has to be recalled that in 1995 the Shiv Sena leader founder was convicted by the Supreme Court for allegedly corrupt electoral practices and advised the then-President, Shankar Dayal Sharma, to strip him of his voting rights as well as the power to contest elections for six years.
Recently, the general body of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) passed a notice mandating ‘Vande Mataram’ to be sung at all civic schools, stirring quite a controversy. Now, Shiv Sena’s latest outrage is over an incident in the general body meeting of the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation, where a few corporators of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen refused to sing the national song or even stand in honor of the song.
Needless to say, the incident attracted the wrath of other parties present, especially the BJP and the Shiv Sena.
Taking a dig at the AIMIM party, the Shiv Sena editorial had further said:
If some token Muslim leaders are still pushing the community in this muck of blind faith then it is detrimental to popular Islam and Islam is in danger because of them.