There is a rising demand among BJP ministers to make Vande Mantaram mandatory in all schools of the country. Unfortunately, some of the active propagators of this agenda are themselves unable to deliver when they’re asked to “prove their nationalism” by singing the poem from Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Anandamath.

And that’s what happened during a Newsroom debate with India Today anchor Rahul Kanwal, when UP Minister of State for Minority Welfare, the BJP’s Baldev Singh Aulakh, was asked to sing four lines. A video (above) shows that Aulakh applied every tactic to get himself out of singing, though he kept insisting that every citizen of the country must sing the National Song.

The anchor even stopped the debate midway and asked the minister pointedly, several times, whether he knew the song or not. Aulakh kept deflecting the question, and made up one excuse after another to avoid singing the song, including the NDA government, Independence Day celebrations, not wanting a certificate for singing, a performance over the telephone for the anchor, and much, much more.

Elsewhere, BJP Minister Raj Purohit in Maharashtra, who had previously made a furore outside the State Assembly, was also asked to sing Vande Mataram. This is what he came up with (below):