A controversy broke out in Tamil Nadu on Monday after a rendition of a Sanskrit invocation song was played at an event in Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, PTI reported. Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari and Union Minister of State for Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan participated in the function.

Sanskrit song Maha Ganapathim Manasa Smarami was sung instead of Tamil Nadu’s state song Tamil Thaai Vazhthu at the foundation stone laying ceremony of National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts. IIT-Madras Director Bhaskar Ramamoorthy clarified that the students had selected the song and not the varsity administration.

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Vaiko claimed that it was a usual practice to sing the Tamil anthem at the beginning of every state function. He called for action against those responsible for the incident and said that Gadkari and Radhakrishnan must apologise.

“It is hurting Tamil pride that the Tamil anthem was not played and instead a prayer song was sung,” he told the Hindustan Times. “It is nothing but imposition of Hindi through Sanskrit.”

Other Opposition parties, including the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Pattali Makkal Katchi, also demanded an apology from IIT Madras. “It should be made mandatory that only Tamil Thaai Vaazhthu is played in functions held within its [IIT Madras] premises,” PMK Leader S Ramadoss said.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy said since IIT-Madras is a central government institute, it is their prerogative what songs to sing, the Hindustan Times reported.