The BJP criticised the new Congress government in Madhya Pradesh for suspending the practice of reciting the national song, Vande Matram, in government offices on the first day of every month.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who issued a statement on the matter on Tuesday, clarified that the practice of collectively reciting the national song will be adopted in a new way.
The BJP wanted to know if there will be restrictions on saying “Bharat Mata ki Jai” (Long live mother India) also.
Kamal Nath said the decision has neither been taken with any political motive, nor is the Congress against singing of Vande Mataram.
“The national song is in our hearts and we also sing it from time to time. However, we also believe that merely singing Vande Mataram once a month is not a certificate for one’s patriotism. Love for one’s country cannot be linked to singing the national song once a month,” he said.
“Are those who don’t sing Vande Mataram not patriots?” Kamal Nath asked, adding that patriotism is a feeling which does not require display.
The tradition of reciting the national song was started by former BJP Chief Minister Babulal Gaur in 2005.