Taking a swipe at its ally BJP over the Supreme Court’s ruling that playing the national anthem in cinema halls was optional, the Shiv Sena today urged “bhakts” and the RSS to clarify their stand on nationalism. An editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ sarcastically described the SC ruling as “historic or revolutionary”, and said the ruling came after the BJP-led Union government took a position that playing the anthem in halls was “not important”. “The Supreme Court did a U-turn on its own decision after the Centre took a stand that (playing) the national anthem in theatres was not important… What is the stand of the RSS and other nationalist organisations on this,” it asked.
“It (the apex court’s decision) is a jolt to those who took the stand in the Modi regime that those who sing ‘Vande Mataram’ are nationalists and those who do not are traitors,” the newspaper said. Calling the government’s position on the anthem cowardly, it said the definition of nationalism was changing every day. Till recently, it was asserted that those who protected cows were nationalists and those ate beef were traitors, but the chief minister of BJP-ruled Goa yesterday said there was no ban on beef in the state, it pointed out.
While it has become mandatory to display Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photographs in Madrassas in Uttar Pradesh, there are no norms for the national anthem now, it said. “It is as if those who died at the gallows for freedom chanting ‘Vande Mataram’ were stupid. What do the BJP bhakts (supporters) have to say about this,” it asked.