Mumbai: The Centre has sought to put a lid on
the controversy over the words "Sindh" and "Sindhu" in the
national anthem and told the Bombay High Court that both the
usages were correct.
The Union Home Ministry submitted an affidavit before
the High Court saying both the versions of national anthem
with the word ‘Sindhu’ used for playing or singing and the
version in the text which uses the word ‘Sindh’ are correct.
The case will come up for hearing tomorrow after the
Court pulled up the Centre for not giving the correct
The affidavit was filed by the Union Ministry in reply to
a public interest litigation filed by retired professor
Shreekanth Malushte challenging use of the word ‘Sindh’ in the
The MHA in its affidavit has however claimed that the
word ‘Sindh’ and ‘Sindhu’ mean the same and may be referred to
either the river or the Sindhi community.
"The word ‘Sindh’ and ‘Sindhu’ both refer to either the
river or the Sindhi community. The anthem is not a chronicle
which defines territory of the nation and does not enlist the
states or regional areas which was part of India at the point
of time when it was written," the affidavit states.
The Home Ministry affidavit referred to a judgment given
by the Supreme Court in May 2005 dismissing a petition filed
seeking deletion of the word ‘Sindh’ and replacing it with
Claiming that it is not necessary that the anthem has to
be modified every time there is a territorial change in the
country, the Government stated that deletion of the word
‘Sindh’ will be against the circular issued by the ministry
and would also amount to contempt of apex court judgment.
"The national anthem is sung and broadcast as per
instructions issued by MHA through a circular in November 1953
which mentions the word ‘Sindh’.
"The anthem is also given in the booklet titled ‘Our
National Song’ published by the Ministry of Information and
Broadcasting in November 1951 which mentions the word
‘Sindhu’," the affidavit filed by Pradeep Kumar Pandey, undersecretary of Home Ministry, said.
It claims that the use of the word ‘Sindh’ in the
national anthem appearing in the website of the government of
India is not wrong and that the booklet issued by the
Information and Broadcasting ministry is also correct.
The PIL had claimed that when the anthem was composed in
1917 ‘Sindh’ was a part of India but now it is not and hence
it was replaced with the word ‘Sindhu’ referring to the river
flowing in India.
Malushte`s lawyer Niranjan Mogre, however, claimed that
the apex court was not informed at the time of passing
judgment that the word ‘Sindh’ was replaced long back by the
government and that the correct word is ‘Sindhu’.
"The union government is confused and one ministry
claims the correct word is ‘Sindh’ while another ministry
has published the word ‘Sindhu’," Mogre said.