Lucknow, Jan 11: Ask anyone randomly whether he/she could recite the national anthem fully, probably in most of the cases the answer would be a no.
On Wednesday, when reporters asked new Aligarh Mayor Mohammad Furkan to recite the national anthem after a press conference, he expressed inability to do so.
"I don't remember the national anthem completely. Why are you asking such questions?" he said in his defence.
However, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader from Uttar Pradesh said that he respects the national anthem.
I don't remember the national anthem completely. Why are you asking such questions? I respect the national anthem: Aligarh MayorMohammad Furkan when asked to recite the national anthem post addressing his first press conference after assuming charge as Mayor pic.twitter.com/lip3uION5j— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) January 10, 2018
Furkan is not new to controversy. Almost a month ago, a political uproar was witnessed in the state when the BSP corporator decided to take his oath of secrecy in Urdu. In fact, workers of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the BSP were involved in a scuffle over the incident.
Furkan holds the record of being the first Muslim candidate to become Mayor of Aligarh after defeating BJP candidate Rajiv Agarwal by a margin of 11,990 votes in the civic polls held in the state in November last year.
If Furkan can't recite the national anthem, his party colleague and Mayor of Meerut Sunita Verma in December last year reversed an earlier order which made it mandatory to sing the national song Vande Mataram ahead of board meetings. Instead, she asked all to sing the national anthem, Jana Gana Mana.
If you are thinking Furkan is a "rare breed" of politician who can't even sing Jana Gana Mana and thus for many a disgrace as the national anthem is something every Indian must know, then you should look toward America.
A controversy has erupted in the United States (US) after several television show hosts pointed out that President Donald Trump does not know the country's national anthem--The Star-Spangled Banner--fully.
Recently, Trump attended the NCAA championship football game held at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, where he stood along with others to sing the national anthem.
Trump was caught on camera singing only parts of the anthem and staying silent through several portions.