The Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson from Bihar Navin Kumar Singh embarrassed the party after he struggled to recite Vande Mataram in a recent television debate. Sources in the party said that he has been reprimanded for his poor knowledge and lack of alertness while talking on sensitive subjects. Singh, however, refused to respond to THE WEEK when we called him.
Said the BJP’s national spokesperson Bizay Sonkar Shastri to THE WEEK, “Vande Mataram should be sung properly. The BJP is the largest political party in the world. There are so many party workers we have all over the country. It is difficult to monitor each one of them strictly. Singing Vande Mataram wrongly is not only an insult to our party, but also an insult to the country. It cannot be tolerated. We expect our party workers to know Vande Mataram and they should sing it properly.”
It is for our national president to decide whether action should be taken against Singh or not, said Union minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda to THE WEEK. “No leader should embarrass the party. But, in this case, I don’t know if he has really embarrassed us. Let our party president decide,” he said.
In the TV debate Singh was challenged to chant Vande Mataram by a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, to prove his patriotism. Singh took up the challenge but messed it up even as he read it on his mobile phone. Soon, a series of memes conquered the social media. Singh had spelled the phrase Pulakit yaaminiim in Vande Mataram as Pulkistan, and it became viral. Read one tweet, “Pulkistan enters into top trends within hours. At the stroke of midnight hour, when the world sleeps, Pulkistan will awake to life and freedom.”
Said B.K. Hariprasad, national general secretary, Congress, to THE WEEK, “The BJP has no real love for Vande Mataram. It is the Congress which has always promoted Vande Mataram. The BJP has, unfortunately, hijacked it now. Such pseudo-nationalism will not work in the long run.”