Row over singing of National Anthem at Jaipur Literature Festival

By: | Published: January 23, 2015 9:01 PM

The Jaipur Literature Festival organizers have got embroiled in a controversy with activists accusing them today of insulting...

The Jaipur Literature Festival organizers have got embroiled in a controversy with activists accusing them today of insulting the national anthem at the inaugural ceremony by violating its singing norms.

A local court today directed police to probe a complaint against the organisers for alleged insult to national anthem during the festival’s inaugural ceremony.

The complaint against the festival organisers Sanjoy Roy and others was filed yesterday in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate by a Jaipur resident Madhusudan Rathore on the basis of newspaper reports on the alleged insult to the national anthem.

“The national anthem must be completed in approximately 52 seconds but it did not happen yesterday at the JLF. It could be because of ignorance and not intentional but it was disrespect to the national anthem and the organisers should tender an apology for it so that a clear message can be communicated to the people,” Rathore said in his complaint.

He alleged that national anthem being sung beyond its prescribed time limit of 52 seconds constituted an offence under the Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act, 1971.

Gyan Prakash Qabra, an activist also raised objection over singing the national anthem beyond the prescribed time. He alleged that the anthem “was sung for two minutes and without uniformity.”

“The court has recorded the statement of the complainant and directed the SHO of Ashok Nagar police station to probe the matter and submit a report,” the complainant’s counsel Nem Singh Rathore said.

SHO Ashok Nagar Rampratap Vishnoi said he was yet to receive the court orders.

Meanwhile, Congress PCC Chief Sachin Pilot also alleged ignorance by the organsiers towards the etiquettes and rules for singing the national anthem.

“I was not present yesterday but I came to know today that that there was some violation of the standard procedure to sing national anthem during the inaugural ceremony yesterday. This should not have happened because this is related with respect to our nation,” Pilot said.

Organisers, however, contended that there is no such legal limitation on singing duration of National Anthem and hence the case doesn’t hold any ground.

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