The Madras High Court made it mandatory for all schools, colleges and universities in Tamil Nadu to play Vande Mataram at least once a week, preferably on Mondays or Fridays.
The High Court ruled that Vande Mataram must also be played in all government offices and institutions, private offices as well as factories and industries at least once a month. It added that those who are unable to sing it shouldn't be compelled to do it, if there is a valid reason. However the order by judge M V Muralidharan did not elaborate what the "valid reasons" could be. (newindianexpress.com)
To make things simpler and the decision's implementation systematic , the High Court directed the Director of Public Information to upload a translated version of the song in Tamil and English on government websites and on social media accounts. (scroll.in)
Justice MV Muralidharan of the Madras High Court, who passed the order, said it was important to instill patriotism in the youth. "The fact that this country is our Motherland should always be remembered by every citizen of this country," the court order said. He added that many have sacrificed their lives for the country and in such times, it was songs like Vande Mataram that instilled confidence in people, the order said. (scroll.in)
While the rulings of the high courts generally apply across the country, this particular order directed that the judgement copy be marked only to the chief secretary of Tamil Nadu, who shall issue appropriate instructions to the concerned authorities. (newindianexpress.com)
Interestingly, the Supreme Court had earlier said in February 2017 that the Indian Constitution does not have the concept of a national song. The apex court mentioned that Article 51A [fundamental duties] of the Constitution does not refer to National Song but only refers to the National Flag and National Anthem. (scroll.in)
How it all began
The Madras High Court was hearing a plea by aspiring teacher K Veeramani, who lost marks for answering that the song was penned in Bengali in the Teacher's Recruitment Board examination. He had approached the High Court as the Tamil Nadu government had wrongly assumed it was in Sanskrit. The government then told the Madras High Court that the song it was of Sanskrit origin but was penned in Bengali. (scroll.in)
In April 2017, the Supreme Court had issued a notice to the central government asking for its response to a petition that sought to make singing Vande Mataram mandatory at all educational institutions. (scroll.in)
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had already mandated playing of the national anthem in cinema theatres and compulsory standing in silence by all the movie watchers before each show.