LUCKNOW: The Vande Mataram controversy never seems to go away.
The controversy is back again in the news after some Muslims in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar refused to stand up for national song Vande Mataram.
The incident took place on Saturday when Nagar Panchayat Muslim leaders refused to stand during national song Vande Mataram citing religious compulsion.
However, the refusal of Muslims leaders to show respect to the national song angered Bajrang Dal activists.
A report claimed that activists of the right-wing outfit, Bajrang Dal, forced Muslims leaders to stand for Vande Mataram and asked them to sing the song.
The Muslims though agreed to stand for the song but refused to sing it.
Recently, a proposal to terminate the membership of a group of Muslim councillors was passed in the Meerut Municipal Corporation House after the leaders staged a walkout during the singing of the national song.
On the morning of December 12, all civic bodies across the Uttar Pradesh held oath ceremonies for the new representatives. However, a trouble broke out in Meerut corporation, after the BJP members stood up and started singing the national song after the oath-taking process. Guests -- assembled politicians and government and civic officials -- followed suit.
However, at least seven Muslim corporators refused to sing along following which they faced expulsion.
Despite the move, the Muslim members said they will continue to boycott Vande Mataram 'as the Sharia law does not allow them to sing it and that they will move court over the issue if necessary' while terming the mayor's proposal to terminate their membership as a 'Tughlaqi diktat'.
Singing of Vande Mataram at all civic bodies across Uttar Pradesh was made compulsory in March last year, after the Yogi Adityanath government came to power in the state.