The practice of starting the day's work with the national anthem and ending it with the national song started in the Jaipur Municipal Corporation.
The practice of starting the day’s work with the national anthem and ending it with the national song started in the Jaipur Municipal Corporation today, with city mayor Ashok Lahoti asking all staffers to be present for the rendition, and urging those who opposed it to move to Pakistan. The anthem will be played at the start of the day and the national song every evening at the headquarters, Lahoti said. After the first stanza of the national song is played on loudspeakers, employees would be free to go home, he said. There was no opposition to the move, the mayor told reporters here, but added that anyone who opposed it should go to Pakistan, triggering a sharp reaction from the opposition Congress.
But the move, he added, had the support of everybody in the corporation, including the leader of the Opposition. “This is to develop a positive work culture in the office. Wherever we are in the office premises, we will stand and pay respect when the national anthem and national song are played,” he said. The national anthem — Jan Gana Mana — will be played at 9.50 am and Vande Mataram at 5.55 pm. By the end of November, the two songs would be played at all zonal offices and fire stations, Lahoti said. “The staff will all be present and pay their respect,” he added.
The songs would be played on speakers in the corporation complex, which meant the staff would not have to assemble at any one place, the mayor said. “We had been working on this for the last 15 days and there was no opposition (to the move),” he said. “We are not asking the staff to raise slogans for a religion, But if anyone wants to oppose it, he can do so, but then he should go to Pakistan,” Lahoti said. PCC vice president Archana Sharma condemned the mayor’s comment, describing it as “unwarranted”.
“There was no opposition to the move, but even then the mayor gave an unwarranted statement which shows that he wants to be in the race of BJP leaders who project themselves as nationalist leaders,” Sharma said. Lahoti stressed that the renditions would help employees develop the habit of reaching office on time and staying on till it shut. “If we cannot spare time for the national anthem and national song, then we cannot do anything for the nation,” he said. The Supreme Court recently asked the Centre to consider amending the rules for regulating the playing of the national anthem in cinema halls.