A scuffle is said to have broken out between the BJP and the BSP councillors in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, on Monday after a few BSP councillors refused to stand and sing Vande Mataram.
Even in December 2017, a controversy erupted over Vande Mataram in Meerut after newly-elected Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) mayor Sunita Verma was sitting while Vande Mataram was being recited at the swearing-in ceremony.
According to reports, some persons said to be Muslims, refused to stand up while the Vande Mataram was being played at a Nagar Panchayat meeting in Muzaffarnagar on January 7. Bajrang Dal members, who were also present at the event, then forced the Muslims leaders to stand up for Vande Mataram and also sing. The Muslims agreed to stand up for the song but refused to sing it.
It has been a while we have been witnessing several 'political' controversies over the national song, Vande Mataram. While right-wing groups and political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), want Vande Mataram to be accorded the same position and respect as the national anthem, Jana Gana Mana, others, especially the Muslim organisations, feel that the song goes against the tenets of Islam.
Last year in March, the Meerut Municipal Corporation has declared that it would not let councillors unwilling to sing the patriotic song 'Vande Mataram' to attend its meetings. This led to a protest by seven corporators who cited a Supreme Court order that says singing of Vande Mataram is not mandatory.