Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has made the singing of Vande Mataram compulsory in all civic body-run schools. The proposal, initiated by Shiv Sena, was unanimously backed by Congress, BJP, MNS and NCP.
PMC incidentally, isn’t the first to pass such a proposal as it was first done by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Along with this, it has also been mandated that all the schools must install a portrait of Shivaji Maharaj.
“The national anthem and the national song are regularly sung by children the schools already. But, children aren’t parrots, they must understand the meaning of the songs. This is the important aspect to that. At the same time, this helps to build a sense of respect and discipline in them. They should know the sacrifices made by our leaders for them,” states Principal Asha Nagmore, Nutan Bharat Marathi Vidyalaya, Narayan Peth.
Maya Lashkare, a teacher at the same school says that such initiatives help prevent children from foreign influences. “We’ve been singing these songs daily in the school for years. It is important for children to do this. It instils a sense of pride in them towards their nation. You see how developed countries like Germany and France are. Out there, people don’t litter their streets. This will also contribute towards that. Children these days need to be disciplined.”
At the Ahmed Kidwai Urdu High School, Bhavani Peth, children sing the national anthem every morning. “I think it teaches us a lot about the nation and those who sacrificed their lives for it,” says a 13-year-old student at the school.
“If our soldiers can stand on the border and take bullets for the country, can’t we stand for five minutes to respect the nation?” questions Archana Panch, supervisor, New English School Ramanbaug, Narayan Peth. She further adds that in schools they are responsible for building the nation’s pillars and such initiatives are necessary.
“It should be a natural thing to have the national anthem and song sung by children daily in schools. It is a matter of pride for us. This school is a part of the Deccan Education Society with founders like Lokmanya Tilak in the year 1880. It helps to inculcate the nation’s spirit among students. We sing this twice a day. You should hear the lovely chorus of our children singing!”
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