Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has called “narrow” and “divisive” BJP leader and MP Subramanian Swamy’s call for replacing some words in the national anthem written by Rabindranath Tagore with the one composed and sung by Subhas Chandra Bose.
“I may like to draw your attention to a letter written by Subramanian Swamy, a Rajya Sabha member. The said letter concerns the replacement of a few words in our national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ by a few words composed and sung by the Late Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his INA forces,” Chowdhury said in the letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Chowdhury, who heads the Bengal Congress unit, said, “The letter both in spirit and understanding is narrow, divisive and violates the deep national sentiment that exists on the subject matter. It also betrays the ethos of Indian nationalism that lies behind the composition of the national anthem. Gurudev’s ‘Idea of India’ reflects pluralism, humanism, universal brotherhood and respect for religious and cultural diversities.”
In his letter to Modi, Swamy had argued that Tagore’s ‘Jana Gana Mana’, which was adopted by Indian Constituent Assembly on 24 January 1950 as India’s national anthem, neither reflects post-independence Indian reality as it contains ‘Sindh’ (which now lies in Pakistan) nor is it clear for whom this was written as the poet composed it in 1911.
“Swamy’s understanding of ‘Jana Gana Mana’ is too limited and narrow as he takes mere territorial understanding of the present India, and hence he considers ‘Sindh’ as a misfit in post-1947 India. But India is not merely a territorial land, it is an ocean of cultures and ideas with an infinite capacity to knit together infinite pluralism in perfect harmony,” said Chowdhury.
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