Volume - 4 : Issue - 1

Published : Jan. - Mar. 2005

Group : Issues


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Appeal for Intervention to Shri Ram Jethmalani . . . .


My dear Ram Jethmalani,

I express my distress over Notice by the Supreme Court of India to Government of India in respect of the petition to delete ‘Sindh’ from the National Anthem. On the flimsy ground of the territory of Sindh being a part of Pakistan and to substitute it possibly with ‘Kashmir’ or other words. I request that you may kindly consider intervening and appear in the Supreme Court on behalf of the Sindhi community to contest the Notice and all such associated proceedings. . . .

We must contend with the situation that if Sindh is dropped from the national anthem, Sindhis may not readily rise to respect or honour the national anthem whenever and wherever it is sung or played. The need to include Sindh in the National Anthem was clearly understood and appreciated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and all National leaders when the Constituent Assembly adopted it in 1950, long after the territory of Sindh was absorbed in Pakistan. If the issue is properly addressed, I refuse to believe that the Supreme Court can ever take a decision to delete Sindh from the National Anthem as such a decision would militate against the unity and integrity of the Indian nation itself.

I must also question the authority or jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to interfere with the decision of the Constituent Assembly and the Parliament of India. Any such interference by the Supreme Court is not warranted by the system of the Separaiton of Powers enshrined in the Constitution of India. It is not enough that the Notice by Supreme Court is served only on Government of India. The Sindhi community in India and elsewhere is directly concerned. The community must therefore be given the right and opportunity to intervene before the Supreme Corut and to present its case on the issue.

The Petition ab initio is inadmissible as the petitioner has failed to show any loss, damage or grievance suffered by him or anyone in this behalf by the retention of Sindh in the National Anthem. Approach to the Supreme Court cannot be permitted simply on the basis of personal beliefs, individual theories, ‘semantics’ or a general desire to improve, abridge or enlarge the National Anthem when not hurt or harm is evidenced. If such pleas without showing hurt, harm or prejudice could be permitted, surely any atheist, purist or a seeker of ‘separation of god and Nation’ or anyone wishing to attract publicity could on ground of spurious and specious considerations of logical construction be permitted to occupy the time of Supreme Court to seek further amendments to the National Anthem.

The petitioner has quoted Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore selectively and irrelevantly without understanding the broad approach with which Gurudev was concerned. The burden of proof lies with the petitioner to show that Gurudev had sought to delete Sindh and had in fact deleted Sindh from the National Anthem; but even assuming for the sake of argument that Gurudev had wished to delete Sindh or had gone to the extent of deleting Sindh from the National Anthem, the decision of the Constituent Assembly, the Parliament of India, national leadership and popular will would negate any such reservations or actions by the revered author of the National Anthem.

If the Supreme Court were erroneously to arrogate to itself the right to “reconstruct” the National Anthem, obviously, the issue cannot end with the mere deletion of Sindh. This exercise in futility will have to pursued with greater and more ambitious games of how to “reconstruct” the National Anthem to fit all the creation of Pakistan brought about. How should we refer to truncated provinces of Bengal and Punjab? Do we redesignate them as “Bengal without Bangla Desh” and “Punjab but without what was surrendered to Pakistan”. Then there is also the question of certain territories of India and even rivers that flow in India which do not find a mention in the National Anthem. Do we put them in the revised national anthem? Indeed the effort would then be a soulless geographical directory instead of a soulful National Anthem that Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore created and the people of India accepted. And who will be in charge of crating such a geographical directory to replace the present National Anthem? The Supreme Court? Nowhere in the world has this task been performed by its courts and the Supreme Court of India would be the first to do so – and I cannot believe that the highest legal body in India would engage in such an act of lawlessness.

I have raise only Preliminary Objections to the Petition as I do not wish to go into its merits at this stage. The merits of the case, along with these Preliminary Objections, must be left toyou as you alone can deal with them ably and effectively. All I can say is that the Supreme Court, in entertaining the Petition to delete Sindh from the National Anthem, will be ignoring history and constitutionality along with the inherent rights of Sindhi community. More so, it will be ignoring the sacrifice of Sindhis in the cause of India’s freedom in 1947 and the glorious role played by Sindhis right from the dawn of history even prior to 8,000 BCE when the ancient order of Sanatanah and Sanatana Dharma were formed prior to 8,000 BCE leading to the roots of Hinduism, and later when on the banks of our rivers of Sindh – Sindhu and Saraswati, - the Vedas were composed and OM mantra was first uttered – and Sindhis were in forefront in the formation of Bharat Varsha – and later Arya Varsha. Also note please that Sindh was amongst the home-ground and cradle-grounds of Aryans of Bharat Varsha when they moved out to distant lands such as Iran, Sumeria, Egypt, Russian lands & Scythia, Lithuania, Turkey, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Greece and Germany, and finally returned to their hometown and heritage of Sindh and the rest of Bharat Varsha. We are the survivors and inheritors of that glorious heritage and tradition. And to contemplate the removal of ‘Sindh’ from the National Anthem would amount to robbing us, our children and their children to whom this legacy left to us by our ancestors, rightfully belongs.

I must reiterate that Creation and continuance of Pakistan is ordained neither by heavenly forces nor by a rational historical process. Pakistan came about simply as the result of Indian leadership growing old and weary and worried that they will not be able to secure power for themselves in their own life-time. Those leaders had at one time sacrificed much, remaining true to Gandhian ideals, but in the end they betrayed Gandhiji, their own ideals, and could tolerate no more delays in protracted negotiations; nor could they resist the charm and guile of Mountebattens, and quickly agreed to partition the country, so that power comes into their hands for themselves and for benefit of their own children. Sacrificing Sindh and Sindhis meant nothing to them unlike Kashmir which was personal and emotional, and near to their heart. Everyone realizes that the “Two Nation Theory” on which Pakistan was founded was false and frivolous, and has been eroded by realities on the ground. It must be understood clearly and without any doubt and ambiguity, that Sindhis will not react kindly to any attempt to so “reconstruct” the National Anthem in order to exclude Sindh . . . .

Dear Ram Jethmalani! I therefore appeal to you to intervene on this case before the Supreme Court. Ram, your love for Sindhis is inexhaustible. Also your quest for justice is well known. Equally well-known is your spirit of independence that will bow only to truth but to no individual, howsoever high and mighty. You need none to assist you in this case but should you constitute a team of legal and other assistants for this case to serve under you, I shall deem it a privilege to serve on that team.

With respect,

Bhagwan S. Gidwani.