Mumbai: A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from the party’s Mumbai unit has filed a complaint against Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee for “showing utter disrespect to the national anthem” by allegedly singing it while in sitting position and then “abruptly stopping after 4 or 5 verses”, during her visit to the city on Wednesday.
BJP Mumbai Secretary Vivekanand Gupta, who filed a police complaint via email to Mumbai Police Commissioner on Wednesday, in a video message said, “Mamata Banerjee has insulted the national anthem. She started the national anthem while sitting, stood up midway and left the verses incomplete.”
“She has intentionally insulted the national anthem. India’s national anthem was written by Rabindranath Tagore, who belonged to West Bengal. Mamata Banerjee hails from the same land. She has not only insulted the people of the state but the whole country. Thus, I have urged Mumbai Police Commissioner to register an FIR immediately and initiate an investigation on Mamata Banerjee,” he added.
Gupta’s complaint to the police read: “Mamata Banerjee, who, during her visit to Mumbai in a program, started to sing the national anthem while in the sitting position, and thereafter stood up, and after four or five verses abruptly stopped the national anthem.”
The BJP leader said that Mamata committed an offense under Section 3 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.
“Her act also goes against the order of the Home Ministry of 2015,” he said.
Citing the order, Gupta said, “whenever the anthem is sung or played, the audience shall stand to attention.”
The BJP leader accused her of “intentionally” violating the order. “A person on such a high post has deliberately, intentionally shown utter disrespect to the national anthem. The Home Ministry order relating to the national anthem of India clearly,” his complaint read.
Minutes after the conference in Mumbai, several political leaders slammed Banerjee for this gesture.
“Mamata Banerjee was sitting down at first then stood up and stopped singing halfway the national anthem of India. Today, as a Chief Minister, she has insulted the culture of Bengal, the national anthem and the country, and Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore!” tweeted the West Bengal BJP unit on Wednesday.
BJP leader Amit Malviya tweeted, “Our national anthem is one of the most powerful manifestations of our national identity. The least people holding public office can do is not demean it. Here is a mutilated version of our national anthem sung by Bengal CM. Is India’s opposition so bereft of pride and patriotism?”
Amongst others who criticized Mamata include BJP West Bengal President Dr Sukanta Majumdar, Maharashtra BJP leader Pratik Karpe, BJP MP from Darjeeling Parliamentary Constituency Raju Bista and National President of BJP Yuva Morcha, Tejasvi Surya.