The Madras High Court on Tuesday ruled that 'Vande Mataram' must be played and sung in all schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions at least once a week, preferable on Monday or Friday.

The Madras HC also ruled that 'Vande Mataram' must be played and sung in all government offices, institutions, private companies, factories and industries at least once a month. It added that no citizen will be forced or compelled to sing the song if they provide a valid reason for the same.

Justice MV Muralidharan passed the order on a writ petition filed by K Veeramani, who sought that the court direct the Tamil Nadu Teacher's Recruitment Board to award one mark to him. TVeeramani said that he had appeared for the Teacher Eligibility Test in 2013. He answered that the national song 'Vande Mataram' was written in Bengali. However, the answer key said that it was written in Sanskrit.

The judge disposed off the petition and directed the Teacher's Recruitment Board to award one mark to Veeramani.

"Patriotism is an essential requirement for every citizen of this country. The fact that this country is our Motherland should always be remembered by every citizen of this country. Several people have sacrificed their lives and families to the independence struggle that prolonged for several decades. In these tough times, it was songs like our national song 'Vande Mataram,' which created a sense of belief and confidence in the people," Justice Muralidharan said in his order.

The court also ordered the Director of Public Information to upload and circulate the translated version of 'Vande Mataram' in Tamil and English making it available on all government websites and social media.

The Madras HC also said, "Let a copy of this order be marked to the Chief Secretary of the Government of Tamil Nadu, who shall issue appropriate instructions to the concerned authorities; In the event, any person/organisation has difficulty in singing or playing the national song, he or she shall not be compelled or forced to sing it, provided there are valid reasons for not doing so."

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