Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has asserted that one cannot be branded as a traitor just because they refuse to sing 'Vande Mataram'.
The Union Minister, however, clarified that deliberately opposing and protesting against Vande Mataram was not called for.
"It depends on someone's choice and thinking that whether he/she sing Vande Mataram or not. But opposing Vande Mataram cannot be called as patriotism. If someone does not sing Vande Matram we can't brand them a traitor or anti national. It is a personal choice of an individual to sing Vande Mataram or not but if somebody is against Vande Mataram then that mentality is not good," Naqvi told media.
The controversy over singing the national song refuses to die down as recently Madras High Court's ruling, making its implementation compulsory in schools and colleges, triggered a political slugfest in Maharashtra.
The ruling invited a huge backlash from the Opposition parties with Samajwadi Party's Maharashtra unit chief and MLA, Abu Asim Azmi asserting that he would not sing Vande Mataram even if he was "thrown out of the country".
AIMIM MLA from Mumbai, Waris Pathan also that he would not sing the national song "even if anyone puts a revolver to my head".
Earlier, BJP MLA Eknath Khadse said that one would have to sing Vande Mataram if he/ she wished to stay in this country.