Maharashtra CM Shinde's bid to hold mass singing of national anthem comes a cropper

Senior officials remained clueless about the Maharashtra govt’s decision to hold such an event since the order reached their offices late, and people were in no mood to abide by such an order

Eknath Shinde (File image)
Eknath Shinde (File image)

Santoshee Gulabkali Mishra

Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde’s bid to hold collective singing of the national anthem across the state a day after the 75th Independence Day was celebrated came a cropper, much to the embarrassment of the new government.

The Maharashtra Government had on Tuesday announced a collective singing of the national anthem across the state for one minute at 11 am on August 17 as part of celebrations of Swarajya Mahotsav. The resolution to this effect was issued by Tourism and Cultural Affairs secretary Saurabh Vijay on Monday.

A senior official told National Herald on the condition of anonymity that the government's circular in question reached their office late evening on August 16.

“In fact, CM Shinde held a press conference and announced there would be collective singing of the national anthem. Later, I received phone calls from media houses on celebration of Swarajya Mahotsav. I was clueless and when I enquired with others, I realised that the govt has announced this for August 17. The office received the circular late evening and eventually we had to stretch ourselves to ensure the orders are followed," he said.

Questioned about the two-day delay in holding the event, Anirudha Ashtaputre from the Chief Minister’s Office said, “It is part of Swarajya Mahotsav and I will phone you later to reply on this”. He never called back.

The state government circular on Swarajya Mahotsav was sent to govt offices, schools and colleges and other institutions including private schools and colleges, and private office and factories.

The circular, a copy of which was accessed by National Herald shows that it was issued on August 10.

After five days of consecutive holidays, including Raksha Bandhan and Nariyal Purnima on Thursday and Friday, a second Saturday which is usually a holiday, Sunday, Independence Day and Pateti (Parsi New Year) on Tuesday, people on Wednesday were in a rush to resume business and get out of the celebratory mood.

“All of a sudden, how does the state government announce a collective singing of national anthem? On the 75th Independence Day, we hoisted flags with children, citizens and police and collectively sang the national anthem. Now, how can the government expect people to do the same just two days later on August 17? The kind of things these politicians are coming up with is more than weird. I am hearing for the first time that a government is asking people post-Independence Day to collectively celebrate the event and sing the national anthem,” Farid Shaikh, president of Aman Committee said.

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