NATIONAL ANTHEM – MANDATORY OR VOLUNTARY
It is unfortunate as well as shameful that we, the people of India, even after 70 years of
independence are still debating the advisability of making national anthem mandatory or
voluntary. Actually, given the nature and gravity of the subject matter, it cannot be treated on the
extremes of right or wrong like most of the things in life. If showing respect to national anthem
cannot be taken as a certificate of patriotism then showing defiance or indifference to national
anthem on one or other grounds of religion or democratic liberty and freedom too is no less
unintelligible and unacceptable.. All ideologies, isms, and doctrinal explanation of nation and
nationalism apart, do not we owe anything to our nation under the auspices of which we
celebrate our distinct socio- economic, political and cultural identity and we enjoy the strength
and consciousness of collectivism?
If showing respect to our parents and other elderly members of family and society cannot be a
matter of intellectual analysis, how can we afford to discuss the what, how and why of saluting
our national flag and standing up in respect for our national anthem which is not just an another
song but something which symbolizes an integrative consciousness that amid all visible
diversity in different spheres of life across the length and breadth of the country, we share a
common ancestory,a common culture and a common tradition. Very often, we fail to appreciate
the reality that symbolic and substantive content of life do not constitute mutually exclusive
phenomenon. In simple words, what appears to us as mere symbolic carries in reality a lot of
substance from the facilitative disposition of which we pursue more substantive things in our life
on sustained basis..Accordingly, when all of us salute our national flag and stand up during
national anthem being played we acknowledge and celebrate our spirit of oneness much above
the notion of caste, class,religion,region,gender etc and our ‘irredeemable indebtedness’ to this
great fertile land,river,mountain,the whole ecological setting for sustaining our lives for long and
our all sons of soil who during the long course of evolution went through all trials and tribulations
in one or other denominations of great and sustained human effort to keep the flame burning for
Can not we stand up together for few seconds in respect for all those who made and are making
selfless endeavor day and night to make our world a better place to be in?
Is it a matter to be examined in terms of choice or rights?
Is it a matter to be judged upon by the honorable Supreme Court with some sort of another
Does this really qualify to be interpreted as politically motivated nationalism or jingoism?