Monday 27 June 2022
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Banerjee ‘insulted’ national anthem: ABVP activist’s FIR

The act of Mamata Banerjee of rising only after a part of the national anthem was already over during the press conference in Mumbai is an offence, the FIR says

An ABVP activist in has filed a complaint against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for allegedly singing the national anthem while being seated and “abruptly stopping after four or five verses”. The Trinamool Congress head, who was on a visit to the financial capital, met NCP chief Sharad Pawar yesterday after meeting with Shiv Sena leaders the day before.

The complainant by Vivekanand Gupta, who is also an advocate, alleged that Banerjee “showed utter disrespect to (the) national anthem”. “It’s an offence under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 and @HMOIndia order of 2015,” he tweeted.

The BJP slammed Banerjee for the act of disrespect after she was seen standing up midway through the national anthem during a press conference in yesterday. In videos doing rounds on social platforms, Banerjee can be seen sitting again finishing the anthem abruptly. 

Other politicians hit out at Banerjee too. While BJP Pratik Karpe called the incident “demeaning”, Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya said that it was a “deplorable behaviour from a constitutional authority”.

The West Bengal BJP unit tweeted, sharing the same 16-seconds clip, “Today, as a Chief Minister, she has insulted the culture of Bengal, the national anthem and the country, and Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore!”

BJP’s IT Cell chief Amit Malviya said, “Our national anthem is one of the most powerful manifestations of our national identity. The least people holding public office can do is not demean it. Here is a mutilated version of our national anthem sung by Bengal CM. Is India’s opposition so bereft of pride and patriotism?”

The Trinamool Congress, however, has not reacted to the controversy yet. Before meeting Pawar, Banerjee had met civil society members in Mumbai, where she mentioned the “victimisation” of prominent Bollywood personalities such as Shah Rukh Khan. Noted lyricist Javed Akhtar, film-maker Mahesh Bhatt, social activist Medha Patkar, actor Richa Chadha and stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui were among those who participated in the interaction.

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