Jaipur’s civic body has made it mandatory for all staff to sing the national anthem every morning and Vande Mataram every evening, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday. Mayor Ashok Lahoty also said that those who oppose the decision should “go to Pakistan”.
The order was first implemented at the headquarters of the Jaipur Municipal Corporation on Tuesday. The national anthem will be played at 9.50 am and Vande Mataram at 5.55 pm every day. After the national anthem is played, the biometric attendance system will not accept any more entries, according to India Today.
Staff at the civic body’s zonal offices and fire stations are also expected to follow the drill soon.
The decision was made to instil a sense of patriotism and love for the country, “maintain discipline” and ensure a “positive work environment”, The Indian Express quoted the order letter, which was issued on Monday, as saying. It was signed by Additional Commissioner Har Sahay Meena.
Mayor Lahoty said singing the national anthem would help “develop work culture”, and ensure that everyone comes to work with positive energy and on time. He justified the singing of Vande Mataram every evening by saying that workers should “go home with positive energy” and give quality time to family.
“We are not asking anyone to chant a religious slogan,” he said. “So if anyone opposes the national anthem and song, there are no restrictions but they should go to Pakistan.”
The state Congress said it supported the move, but criticised Lahoty for the reference to Pakistan.