Mumbai: Observing that if there is a mistake in the usage of the word `Sindh` in the National Anthem `Jana Gana Mana` it should be corrected; the Bombay High Court today directed three Union ministries to file their replies within three weeks on a PIL challenging the usage of the word.
A division bench of Justices Ranjana Desai and R G Ketkar was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a retired professor Shreekanth Malushte, seeking the word `Sindh` to be replaced by the word `Sindhu`.
According to the petitioner, the word `Sindh` in the anthem was replaced by the word `Sindhu` by the government in January 1950.
"However, the national anthem continues to be sung and broadcast in a wrong manner by using incorrect words," the petition states.
The petitioner has relied on an RTI reply given by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which states that the correct version of the anthem is with the word `Sindhu`.
"If the MHA says that it is `Sindhu`, then why is it not corrected? It seems like a mistake that has been continuing since several years. If it is, then it should be corrected immediately. In fact, it should have been done before August 15," Justice Desai remarked.
The bench observed that it might be a simple mistake and not a deliberate act on the part of the government to insult the country or the anthem.
The court has directed the MHA, Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Information and Broadcast to file their replies within three weeks.
Advocate Niranjan Mogre, appearing for the petitioner, told the court that when the anthem was composed, Sindh was a part of India, but is now in Pakistan and hence it was replaced with the word `Sindhu`, which is a river flowing in India.
The petition seeks directions to be issued to the three Union ministries to clarify and use the correct word.