On 24th January, 1950 the Constituent Assembly met in the Constitution Hall, New Delhi, at Eleven of the Clock, with Dr. Rajendra Prasad in the Chair.
Dr Rajendra Prasad made this statement:The composition consisting of the words and music known as Jana Gana Mana is the National Anthem of India, subject to such alterations in the words as the Government may authorise as occasion arises; and the song Vande Mataram, which has played a historic part in the struggle for Indian freedom, shall be honoured equally with Jana Gana Mana and shall have equal status with it.
Volume XII of the Constituent Assembly Debates records that the above statement met no objections and was greeted with applause.
I refer to the Constituent Assembly Debates because Mr Owaisi said that the Constitution does not require him to say Bharat Mata ki Jai. The Constituent Assembly Debates however record that Vande Matram (of which Bharat Mata ki Jai is Hindi version) has to be honoured equally with the National Anthem and have equal status with it.
I am sure Mr Owaisi will have no objection to singing the National Anthem (although it is not included in the Constitution of India). If so, when those who made the Constitution of India (which Mr Owaisi swears by) placed Vande Matram at par with Jana Gana Mana, how can he object to Vande Matram?
Celebrating one’s country is a civic virtue and part of civil nationalism which has no theocratic basis and is consistent with rationalism and liberalism which are the most potent unifying forces in our country.