College campuses across Maharashtra may soon find themselves singing the National Anthem every day. The Department of Higher Education and the Department of School Education have issued orders asking for steps to be taken in this regard.
The demand was raised by youth organisation “Chhava” in August last year. It was taken further with the state government by the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Vinod Tawde .
“It is unfortunate that the National Anthem is being sung only in schools and at sporadic places like theatres on a mandatory basis. The singing of the anthem should not be arbitrarily stopped after school education. In fact, youngsters, after completing their school education, become most receptive to inculcating feelings of patriotism,” Chhava had said in its appeal.
No deadline has been laid down by the education department, though the State Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) issued instructions to six regional offices on June 3, seeking compliance by colleges and submission of action report.
When contacted, Director of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Sarjerao Jadhav said he would issue orders to junior colleges soon. The Directorate of Higher Education, which governs non-professional colleges, however, was still in the dark about the orders. Director of Education (Higher) Prakash Gaikwad said he has not come across official orders from the government yet.
Speaking to The Indian Express last week, Tawde said: “The National Anthem is the binding force for our diverse population. Youth can be motivated and channelised towards activities of nation building if campuses are filled with the sound of Jana Gana Mana.”
Wasudeo Gade, Vice-Chancellor, University of Pune, said he supported the demand “in principle”. “The motive behind the demand is highly appreciated. However, colleges offering several courses in different streams do not have uniform assembly timing of students and could pose difficulty before college authorities in arranging group singing of National Anthem,” he said.