Jaipur: Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh on Tuesday stoked a controversy by saying that the word 'adhinayaka' in the national anthem should be replaced with 'mangal' as it praises British rule.
"Jan-Gan-Man adhinayaka jai hey... 'adhinayaka' for whom? It praises British rule. It should be amended and replaced by word 'jan-gan-man mangal gaye'," he said at the 26th convocation ceremony of the University of Rajasthan.
"I have got respect for Rabindranath Tagore, but national anthem's 'adhinayaka' word should be replaced by 'mangal'," he said.
Soon after the poem was composed by Tagore in December, 1911, it had sparked a debate whether it contained praise of the British rule. However, Tagore himself in a letter to Pulin Behari Sen in 1937 rejected the charge.
In a similar vein, he said that the term 'Mahamahim', or his or her excellency, should be dropped as a prefix for the governor and the word 'mananiye' be used in its place since a governor is never "mahan" as used since the British period.
The comments by Singh, a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, come days after he compared Maharana Pratap with Mughal Emperor Akbar, saying that the Rajput ruler was "inspirational" to the nation with the suffix "great".
Reiterating those views today, the governor said that the education department should run courses in which Maharana Pratap's life and his struggle are specifically highlighted.
"Victoria was not great, it was Jhansi ki Rani who had fought wars. Aurangzeb was not great, it should be Shivaji," he further remarked.
Stressing on the need for rural development, he said, "Real India lives in villages where 2/3 people live. If we ensure development in villages, India will rise, society will rise."
Singh, meanwhile, approved of the change of dress code for students receiving their degrees, saying that "Rajasthan has changed the black dress code and started white dress code in convocations."