Bolstering Congress MP Ripun Bora’s contention that the national anthem should mention the northeast, the influential All Assam Students’ Union (Aasu) on Sunday said it has long been demanding this revision and it is about time that a change be brought about, reported TNN.
“We have been asking for it (inclusion of the northeast) in the national anthem for long. We have not placed it before the government, but the fact remains that for whatever reasons, the name of the northeast has not been included in the anthem. Aasu wants it to be included,” Aasu president Dipanka Nath told TOI on Sunday.
On Friday, Bora had moved a private member’s resolution that the “House urge the government to amend the National Anthem to delete the word ‘Sindh’ and replace it with the words ‘Northeast India’.” Bora had said, “Northeast is important part of India, it is unfortunate that it is not part of national anthem. On the other hand, Sindh is mentioned, which is no longer part of India but part of Pakistan, which is a hostile country.”
In a different context, but just a day after Bora, Haryana minister Anil Vij sought an amendment to the anthem as well, demanding that the word ‘adhinayak’ be replaced since India is a democracy now. Vij had supported Bora’s resolution.
The first official record of the demand for inclusion of a reference to the region in the national anthem was in 1986 by AGP legislator Zoii Nath Sarma in the assembly.
In 2013, the issue came up for discussion in the state assembly again. AGP legislator Phani Bhusan Choudhury moved a private member’s resolution, referring to a vernacular daily’s report, quoting TOI, where the notation of the national anthem published in 1950 and 1997 showed the word Kamrup (ancient name of Assam) inserted in the lyric composed by Tagore. Choudhury, while moving his resolution, had stated that said the word ‘Kamrup’ was dropped from the national anthem to make room for the word ‘Sindhu’ and he demanded re-inclusion of ‘Kamrup’. He had said that no one had tried to verify the report published by TOI. Congress minister Rakibul Hussain had then told the House that the state government would approach TOI for verification.
In 2016, former Meghalaya governor V Shanmuganathan had suggested in his address at 65th Plenary of the North Eastern Council in Shillong that the region should find mention in the national anthem. That would, he said, instil a feeling of belongingness among the people of the region. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also present at the function.