Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik’s memoirs, which recollect lesser known facets like his struggle with cancer to high fight for changing name of Bombay city to Mumbai and getting National Anthem and National Song sung in Parliament, will be released in Rashtrapati Bhawan on Wednesday.
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President Pranab Mukhejree and Vice President Hamid Ansari will be present at the release of book ‘Chraiveti! Chraiveti!!’ (March Ahead! March Ahead!) in four languages Hindi, English, Urdu and Gujarati.
Senior BJP leader Naik, 82, who suffered from Cancer in 1993 but fought the disease successfully, recounts how he campaigned for changing name of Bombay to Mumbai, raising the issue when he was first elected to Lok Sabha from Bombay North, now Mumbai North constituency, in 1989.
The then Lok Sabha Speaker Rabi Ray agreed to change name of the city to Mumbai at least in the day-to-day affairs of the Lower House of Parliament but the matter got stuck on a technical issue that the state government must sponsor changing name of a city of a village, he writes in the book.
Once BJP-Shiv Sena combine came to power in Maharashtra, a proposal for changing the name of the city was sent to the Centre but the Congress-ruled Centre put it in cold storage, he recounts.
“But I continued to raise the issue and finally on December 15, 1995 the Centre issued a notification changing the name,” he wrote.
In 1991, the issue of making popular National Anthem “Jana Gana Mana” and National Song is “Vande Mataram” came to his mind out of a blue.
Naik says he raised questions in Lok Sabha about schools in India not signing National Anthem and National Song. The minister in-charge admitted schools not signing either of the two due to apathy.
He then raised a half an hour discussion on December 9, 1991 and after his suggestion the business advisory committee decided that a session of the Parliament must begin with singing of the National Anthem and end with rendering of Vande Mataram.
“But unfortunately, not all members of the committee agreed with the decision. Some questioned the need saying it was being imposed while some others saw Hindutva and fundamentalism instead of nationalism behind the move,” he wrote.
He said he continued to fight and finally after 45 years of independence on November 24, 1992 the ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was first heard in Parliament and Vande Mataram on December 23.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiya Naidu and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar will also be present at the book launch.