The Madras High Court on Tuesday ruled that Vande Mataram must be played in all schools, colleges and universities in the state at least once a week, preferably on Mondays or Fridays, reported ANI.

The High Court said it must also be played in all government offices and institutions, private offices as well as factories and industries once a month. If there is a valid reason, those who are unable to sing it must not be forced or compelled, it added.

It also 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.

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.

The 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.

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.

‘No national song’

The Indian Constitution does not have the concept of a national song, the Supreme Court had earlier said in February 2017. “Article 51A [fundamental duties] of the Constitution does not refer to National Song,” the apex court said. “It only refers to the National Flag and National Anthem. Therefore, we do not intend to enter into any debate as far as the National Song is concerned.”