Advocate Sanjeev Bhatnagar seeking deletion of ‘SINDH’ from the national anthem is an idiot! SINDHIS REVOLT
Sindhis have revolted against Advocate Sanjeev Bhatnagar’s petition in the Supreme Court of India in which he has sought to have ‘Sindh’ deleted from the national anthem. The patriotism of the Sindhis towards their motherland, mother tongue and culture has always been unparalleled in ever-secular India. Today ‘Sindh’ means culture, tradition, lifestyle of tolerance and brotherhood. SINDHISHAAN talks to the lading personalities of the Sindhi community who find this as a do-or-die situation and insist that Sindhis will not tolerate such nonsense. The Community is all geared up to voice their concern even in the Supreme Court as and when the petition comes up for hearing. Member of Parliament and the former Law Minister Ram Jethmalani who is going to lead the reprsentatives of various Sindhi organizations in the Supreme Court when asked to react said, “he (Advocate Sanjeev Bhatnagar) is an idiot!”, even as noted educationist, philanthropist and builder Niranjan Hiranandani has revived the demand for a separate homeland for the community at a Press meet in Mumbai.
L. K. ADVANI
(BJP leader and former Deputy Prime Minister of India whose birth place is Sindh) :
The petition had the potential of generating “pulls and pressures by narrow-minded forces that can seriously undermine India’s unity and integrity.” The word ‘Sindh’ was a sacred inheritance, bequeathed to independent India by our freedom struggle. On August 25, 1948, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in his address to the Constitution Assembly had firmly observed that “Vande Mataram should continue to be the National song par excellence in India, (while) the National Anthem tune should be that of Jana Gana Mana.” Retention of the word ‘Sindh’ in our National Anthem is a proof of our protective role towards our civilization and culture. Even on behalf of the Bharatiya Janta Party, I express deep concern by the PIL.
(Criminal Lawyer) :
Being a prosperous community, we have more to offer than take. This controversy has created a Sindhi consciousness. The late Rabindranath Tagore composed the national anthem, for which he has a copyright. There is no logic in seeking to drop a word from the national anthem. Why should anyone tamper with it? The national anthem symbolizes people and culture, not a piece of land. It is unnecessary and petty. It has outraged the Sindhis and has united us as never before since independence, but I hope it is not in a parochial way. All we need is the recognition of our contribution towards the welfare of the Indian state. I am sure the Supreme Court will throw out the petition.
(Dubai based business tycoon and founder of ASEEN SINDHI) :
The Sindhi community in the UAE has taken a strong exception to the PIL admitted in the Supreme Court of India seeking the deletion of the word ‘Sindh’ from the national anthem. Tagore when he wrote the lines in 1911, there was no Sindh or Gujarat state in existence! Both the states were part of Bombay Presidency state. Tagore was only referring to the cultures in his song and couldn’t be the Sindh state as it was not independent state at all. The fact that Sindhi is one of the languages adopted by the Indian Constitution and any Member of the Parliament can ask a question in Sindhi, then where is the question of deleting Sindh from the anthem.
(Hotelier and member of Sindhi Action Committee) :
‘Sindh’ is the culture and birthright of every member of the Sindhi community living on the face of this earth. In India, Sindhi language has already been included in the VIII Schedule of the Parliament by the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Surely Manmohan Singh won’t try to antagonize and humiliate the same Sindhi community which his party had given a place in the Constitution. In secular India all members of the Sindhi community are equal Indians before the Constitution. Any attempt to get it deleted is an act of perverted mind and we shall not tolerate it. ‘Sindh’ will remain in the anthem forever.
(Advocate, Bombay High Court) :
Sindhis have made some of the largest sacrifices in the freedom struggle of India. Most of the communities got their bit, but we gave in with a smile sans any grudges. The Sindhi community’s sacrifices during the independence struggle and patriotism towards India are mirrored in the word ‘Sindh’ in the national anthem. And, now if someone attempts to question our patriotism, we shall not remain silent.
(Special Executive Officer and Tresurer BJP Women’s cell) :
National anthem without Sindh is incomplete and will always remain incomplete. After partition we were denied a state or a land for our community and now if ‘Sindh’ is deleted from the anthem it will be gross injustice to us. Rabindranath Tagore penned the anthem in 1911 and it referred to the cultures that were part of India at that time. Who can deny that Sindhis and their culture are not part of India anymore? We shall never allow ‘Sindh’ to be deleted from the national anthem.
(Sadhu Vaswani Mission activist) :
The petition of Sanjeev Bhatnagar is foolish and unwarranted. It has hurt the Sindhi community worldwide. Today he wants Sindh out of the national anthem and tomorrow h may want Bhatnagar in it! Ram Jethmalani, our leader who is leading our battle in the Supreme Court will ensure that the court gives a fitting reply to Bhatnagar’s petition.
(Principal, Kamla High School, Mumbai) :
In national anthem the Sindh word is basically not a land it’s a culture and feeling. If the word Sindh is deleted the essence of the national anthem will be lost. People should respect the feeling and meaning of the national anthem and also the person who composed the national anthem.
(Principal, K. C. College, Mumbai) :
It is shocking to know that a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking to delete “Sindh” from the National Anthem. The word “Sindh” in this context speaks about the culture of the people and not the geographical territory. Sindhis since partition have been an integral part of the Indian Society giving their best in every field whether it is Education, Medical, Charitable Trusts, Construction, publishing and so on. Deleting the word would hurt the sentiments of the Sindhi community, which is known for its tolerance and adaptation. We hope that better sense will prevail.
K. N. VASWANI
(Criminal Lawyer) :
This is all only a publicity stunt, just to politicize the issue. The petitioner who is also an advocate should have known that the constitutional authority, in this case the Indian Parliament, can only effect such a change and shouldn’t have filed the petition which has also wasted the time of the Supreme Court. When we came to India after the partition, we came with the culture, moral values and tolerance, which was symbolically included in the anthem by Sindh. Deleting the Sindh from the anthem is like destroying the very culture and values that the Sindhis stand for.
(President, Indian Merchants Chamber) :
That fellow just wants cheap publicity. When Tagore wrote the anthem, he knew that it was the cultures of India that he was referring to and not the territories. The sacrifices made by the Sindhi community can’t be ignored. Politicians at the time of partition didn’t consider Sindhis for a territory of their own because Sindhis were few in numbers. The Sindhis weren’t a votebank at that time for the political leaders. The Supreme Court cannot and will not delete Sindh from the national anthem.
(Photo Editor, Mid-Day, Mumbai) :
The ‘Sindh’ controversy is a non-issue and the Sindhis should not be worried at all. I definitely want ‘Sindh’ to remain in the national anthem but I feel that a few of our community leaders and legal luminaries can convince the Government and the people in power that his issue should be set aside and let it die its natural death.
DR. S. S. ANAND
(Principal, National College, Mumbai) :
You know, that frankly I find it such a laughable matter. The fellow must have one fine day looked at the map of India and somewhere the national anthem must have been playing and he must have thought, ‘oh, Sindh is a territory of Pakistan, so why have it in our National Anthem?’ And he must have field this petition. ‘Sindh’ has to remain in our anthem and there are not two ways about it. It is the height of ignorance on part of that Bhatnagar.
DR. ASHOK KHEMANI
(President of the Khar Medical Association) :
The sentiments of our Sindhi community are badly hurt over this row. ‘Sindh’, in the national anthem doesn’t symbolize only the community but the civilization and culture of the Sindhi community, their sacrifices and feelings. The Constitution of India has adopted the anthem and now why should there be any issue for changing the national anthem and deleting ‘Sindh’?
(Producer, director and writer of Sindhi plays and serials) :
I want to say that ‘Sindh’ in the national anthem is not only the name of a piece of land it is a symbolic of the Sindhi as well as the Hindu culture. It is on the banks of the river Sindhu where Vedas and Puranas were authored. It is there that the Hindu religion was born. From Sindhu the word Hindu was born and from Hindu the name Hind got evolved. If someone wants to remove ‘Sindh’ from the national anthem, the he is insulting not only the Sindhi community but also the identity of Hindustan, which is a matter of shame for all the Indians.
(NCP Sindhi Cell Chief, Mumbai, and V. P. International Sindhi Forum) :
Firstly, it is not easy to change the name of India or Bharat, or the colours of the Indian National Flag, then likewise it is impossible for anyone including the Supreme Court to change the original national anthem by deleting ‘Sindh’. This issue has shown the country and the world that Sindhis can unite and rise like one force whenever their community will face any challenge or humiliation. We will not tolerate the deletion of ‘Sindh’ from the national anthem and Sindhis are prepared to oppose the proposal with all our might, even lay down our lives for the cause.
The very suggestion that ‘Sindh’ is to be deleted from the National Anthem, which we have been hearing all our lives and from 55 years since Indian became a Republic brings Tsunami-like tidal wave in the whole system of my existence, the sea of my emotions and waves of my thoughts.
I am a resident of Mumbai but still proud of having being born in Sukkur in Sindh, on the banks of the river Sindhu, a great river, having Sadhubella Temple in mid river, and to which we used to go by boat. I had my education in Sindh and in Punjab. All these years hearing the National Anthem, I was conscious and proud that it includes Sindh, and the rhythm and beat is beautiful. The architects of our new free Nation and wise sages in their wisdom absorbed us Sindhis from Sindh, recognizing us as their own in the present India and admitted our existence and gave us space, wherever we wished to live, without naming it and bounding it and thereby not depriving other states of their land, but not hurting us by deleting ‘Sindh’ and confirming us without confining us. Our Sindh is very much here in India, where we Sindhis are. ‘Sindh’ has to be there in the National Anthem. I appreciate the role of other Nations in not interfering in our affairs in this respect.
DR. MANU RAJNANI
(Eye surgeon and pioneer of laser surgery, Mumbai) :
‘Sindh’ shall not be allowed to be removed from the Indian national anthem ever. The anthem is not a personal property of Advocate Bhatnagar that he can assert his right in a court of law and demand that ‘Sindh’ be deleted from the anthem. He seems to have lost his balance and needs a lesson or two in patriotism. His petition should not merely be dismissed, but he should be penalized for challenging the integrity of the Indian communities and that of the nation by this petition. Would anyone dare file such a petition against their country’s anthem in Pakistan, UAE or even the USA and not face the consequences of it? I hope the Supreme Court by its judgement, sets a deterrent example so that no one else should dare to misuse the judicial system and the definition of democracy to question the patriotism of other communities in India.
DR. N. L. BUTANI
(Principal, M. M. K. College, Mumbai) :
‘Sindh’ is the original name of the place where the civilizing process first began independently and this became the cradle of the first human civilization popularly known as the Sindhu Valley Civilization, which is universally regarded as the origin of the Indian Civilization in the true sense of the term, as most culture elements of today are deeply rooted to the Indus Valley Civilization. Therefore, to obliterate the word ‘Sindh’ form National Anthem would amount to obliterating the very roots of the Indian Civilization. Such an act can be expected only from an anti-national, unpatriotic, divisive and negative forces which deserve to be condemned in the most vehement manner.
(Well known – Popular Film Producer) :
If the word ‘Sindh’ is deleted from national anthem the identity of Sindhis will be wiped out. This word represents not only Sindhis but the rich Sindh culture and should not be deleted at any cost.
(Editor, Sipoon Literary Sindhi Magazine) :
Some individual has filed a petition in the Supreme Court, to remove the word ‘Sindh’ from the National Anthem, since SINDH is no longer a part of India.
I strongly protest and wish to clarify that the word ‘Sindh’ represents the culture of Sindhis, who were compelled to migrate to India, by sacrificing their homes, property and established business over there and deleting the word would hurt the sentiment of nearly a crore Sindhis staying in India. Furthermore national anthem is written by Nobel Prize winner Gurudev Tagore at the time when Sindh was not part of India and it was already settled by Shri Jawaharlal Nehru by declaring that the word ‘Sindh’ represents the Sindhi language which is recognized by the Indian constitution and hence any member of Indian Parliament can ask any question or reply in SINDHI.