As the SC awaits the Centre's response on making singing of Vande Mataram compulsory in schools, the Madras HC has already reached a decision.
It has ruled the national song has to be sung at least once weekly in all educational institutes, and at least once monthly in all government offices.
However, one can't be force to sing it "provided there are valid reasons".
The HC order has urged the Director of Public Information to upload the song in Tamil and English on government websites. Calling patriotism an "essential requirement", Justice MV Muralidharan said singing the song will instill "a sense of belief and confidence" in the people.
In April, the SC gave the Centre four weeks to respond on a petition urging making Vande Mataram compulsory in schools.
Last November, it made it mandatory for movie theatres to play the national anthem before screenings, and for people to stand up.
However, in February'17, it refused to give equal respect to the national song, the concept of which isn't legally valid.
However, the November order caused much chaos: there were several reports of people being assaulted and arrested for not standing up during the playing of the national anthem, particularly in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Later, the SC exempted physically challenged people from the order.
The Madras HC was hearing a petition by K Veeramani, who lost one mark in a recruitment exam after he said the original language Vande Mataram was written in was Bengali.
He scored 89; the cut-off was 90. One mark cost him a position.
The court has ordered awarding of one mark to Veeramani. The state government earlier accepted Bengali as the original language.
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