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'Vande Mataram' has spl place, but can't be on par with 'Jana Gana': Centre to HC

'Vande Mataram' occupies a "unique and special place" in the psyche of Indians but it cannot be treated on par with national anthem 'Jana Gana Mana' penned by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, the Centre on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court.

The Centre's response came on a PIL seeking equal status for the national song 'Vande Mataram' written by poet Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. Seeking dismissal of the PIL, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal that the plea that 'Vande Mataram' be treated on par with 'Jana Gana Mana' cannot be accepted.

"While being the authoritative symbols of Indian states, the national flag and the anthem, equally loved and respected, need codification.
"'Vande Mataram' occupies a unique and special place in the emotions and psyche of the people of India, that requires no formal support or codification," MHA said in its recent affidavit.

"Protection under the law is not only the way to show respect to creative work. Billions of Indians have the respect and unabiding faith in Ramcharitmanas and the Mahabharat..."A nation has only one flag and one anthem, that does not mean that any less respect is meant to other song or prayers, or that the citizens are prevented from loving, respecting, singing and being attached to other songs, books or symbols," the affidavit said.
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