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20th Mar 2018 11:03:PM Editorials
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Congress MP Ripun Bora has moved a private resolution in Rajya Sabha, seeking an amendment of the National Anthem and replacing the word 'Sindh' with 'Northeast' region. This has evoked a national debate on whether the word 'Sindh' representing Sindh province, no longer a part of India but Pakistan, should be deleted and a word representing 'North East' region, an important part of the country be added.

It is not the first time that the National Anthem has come under controversy.

Controversy has dogged "Jana Gana Mana" on other issues like inclusion or exclusion of regions. There have been petitions in courts to include regions like Kashmir and the Northeast in the national anthem. It is criticised for having left out these regions. Tagore is said to have included only British-ruled regions of India in his song. While the Northeast was not under the British domination, Sindh in Pakistan finds mention because it was under their rule. Voices have been raised to drop Sindh as it no more is in India. For the moment, the matter has been settled by courts which have said Sindh ought to be taken not as a region but as a language and the community which speaks it lives in India.

Being a native of the North East, this call for inclusion of ‘purvotaar’ in the National Anthem doesn’t make me at least jump with glee.

The addition of Northeast to the National Anthem will no doubt be a huge symbolic win for a region which has long been denied its rightful place by the Indian union. Apart from that, is there anything more to it? The answer to that will be Nay. Whenever the National Anthem is sung, it fills people with a sense of pride and patriotism irrespective of the fact that ‘Northeast’ word is nowhere in the picture.

With all respects to the great poet, Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was meant to be a poem and not a cartographic representation of India then and now. The fact that any deletion or addition might also tamper the rhythm and flow of this masterpiece is also to be kept in mind.

Once a poem has been adopted by the Constitution it can be altered from its original. But is it something which is necessary?

It is a poem, and like all poetry, it has philosophical truth rather than historical accuracy.

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Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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