Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sikkim CM seeks place in national anthem jan gan man

Gangtok, May 16: Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling today iterated his demand that word ‘Sindh’ be replaced with ‘Sikkim’ in the national anthem to promote a sense of emotional integration, a suggestion endorsed on the spot by the governor, B.P. Singh.

“In order to strengthen our understanding of national unity and understanding of nationalism, I have given my suggestion to substitute the word ‘Sindh’ in our national anthem with word ‘Sikkim’. In the changed circumstances, we feel we richly deserve this recognition to promote further a sense of emotional integration,” said Chamling.

The chief minister was addressing the 36th State Day function here to commemorate the day when the erstwhile Himalayan kingdom merged with India.

Sikkim had merged with the Union of India on May 16, 1975 and became the 22nd state in the country.

The governor was prompt in backing the demand. “The chief minister has formally, on this day, mentioned that ‘Sikkim’ be made a part of the national anthem and I support it,” said Singh. “We amended the preamble of the constitution of India, almost at the same time when Sikkim decided to join the Republic of India, by adding the word ‘secularism,’” he added.

So, this suggestion should be seen in that wide context by the parliamentarians and national leadership,” he added.

The call for ‘Sikkim’ to be inserted in the place of ‘Sindh’ in the national anthem (Jana gana mana) had been made by Chamling at a seminar on regional parties at Jamai Milia Islamia university in New Delhi on April 25.

“In the same context, I had suggested earlier and still say why not substitute the word ‘Sindh’ in our national anthem with the word ‘Sikkim’? The basic fact is that when India became independent, Sikkim was not in the national mainstream. Has not that fact altered now? This will further cement the edifice of emotional integration and justice done to the peace-loving citizens of India. Please forgive me, if I am blamed for inviting storms into a tea cup,” Chamling had said in his Delhi speech.

Bikash Bhattachary, a Calcutta High Court lawyer, said: In the Indian Constitution, there is provision for changing the national anthem of the country. But there is no provision to change any word in the anthem. To change such a word, a law should be enacted.”

No comments: