Uttar Pradesh, March 30: Sparking a controversy, the Meerut mayor Harikant Ahluwalia has made it compulsory for every Nagar Nigam board member to sing Vande Matram or they will not be allowed to enter the board meeting room or participate in the proceedings.
According to a 'Times of India' report, The announcement led to protests by a few Muslim board members who began quoting a Supreme Court order that says singing of Vande Mataram is not mandatory.
The incident took place here on Tuesday when the board meeting was held for the first time after the new BJP government took over in UP.
Recital of the song has been taking place at the Nagar Nigam since long, but those who did not wish to participate in it were allowed to leave the hall and return after it was over. On Tuesday, though, when a few Muslim municipal counsellors began leaving the room, BJP members began shouting, "Hindustan mein rehna hai to Vande Mataram kehna hoga (If you want to live in India, you have to sing Vande Mataram)."
Soon there were heated exchanges, leading Ahluwalia to pass a resolution by voice vote to make the singing mandatory for all members. The resolution will still need the government's nod to be implemented. "It is a way of showing respect to one's motherland.