The Rajasthan government has decided to make more than 50,000 people sing the national song and the national anthem at an event in Jaipur on November 8, The Times of India reported on Saturday. The event will be held to celebrate the first anniversary of the demonetisation exercise.
The event will be organised in association with the Rajasthan Youth Board, a body under the department of youth and sports, and the RSS-backed Hindu Spiritual and Service Foundation, the report said.
Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is expected to be the chief guest of the event, which aims to “evoke love for family, environment and nation”. Such events are important for the “youth as it connects them with our culture and values”, the Rajasthan Youth Board Vice President, Sandeep Yadav, said.
The opposition has criticised the move and said that the Bharatiya Janata Party is resorting to “hyper-nationalism to hide its failures on demonetisation”. Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot was quoted as saying, “[The] BJP has made it a habit to resort to religion-based politics and hyper-nationalism to avoid answering questions.”
The decision comes just days after Jaipur’s civic body had made it mandatory for all staff to sing the national anthem every morning and Vande Mataram every evening. Jaipur mayor Ashok Lahoty had said that those who oppose the decision should “go to Pakistan”.