Maha House: Oppn, Maha govt spar over dropping of Marathi song stanza

PTI
Tuesday, 27 February 2018

The 'Marathi Abhimaan Geet', written by noted lilteratuer Suresh Bhat, was played in the Vidhan Bhawan premises today as part of the celebrations, but its last stanza was dropped.

MUMBAI: A day after the goof-up in translation during Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao's address to Maharashtra Legislature, a similar glitch was witnessed today as the last stanza of 'Marathi Abhimaan Geet' wasn't played, evoking the opposition's ire.

The opposition members in the state Assembly accused the government of insulting the language on the occasion of 'Marathi Bhasha Gaurav Din', which is observed every year on this day to commemorate the birth anniversary of late poet V V Shirwadkar, also known as Kusumagraj.

The 'Marathi Abhimaan Geet', written by noted lilteratuer Suresh Bhat, was played in the Vidhan Bhawan premises today as part of the celebrations, but its last stanza was dropped.

After a technical glitch led to the pre-recorded song's last stanza not being played, a performer present at the venue rushed to the microphone and completed the song.

As soon as the Lower House assembled for the day, Speaker Haribhau Bagde moved a resolution to mark the day and sought that Marathi be made a language of knowledge and its development and preservation be expedited.

The resolution, which also sought for setting up of an advisory council to draft a language policy, was passed unanimously by the House.

However, when the speaker called for the Question Hour, NCP leader Ajit Pawar raised the issue of the faulty mikes during the Marathi Bhasha Gaurav Din celebrations earlier, and the dropping of the last stanza of 'Marathi Abhimaan Geet'.

"Is this deliberate?" he asked.

It happened after yesterday's faux pas in the translation of the governor's speech into Marathi, he noted.

"The translator had come (yesterday during the Governor's address) but he was taken to the wrong place," Pawar charged.

The opposition members then entered the well of the House and started shouting slogans.

Medha Kulkarni (BJP) said the 'Gaurav Geet' (song of praise) has only six stanzas.

"Just as few paras of 'Jana gana mana'and 'Vande Mataram' have been adopted as the national anthem and national song respectively, only six stanzas of Bhat's song have been adopted as the Marathi Gaurav Geet," she said.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asked the opposition not to politicise the issue as the delayed para referred to the sorry state of Marathi language.

"Who was the chief minister when this song was written. Whose government was in power when the language was suffering?" he asked.

Later, JayantPatil (NCP) said the condition of Marathi language, highlighted in the last stanza of the song, is relevant even today during the BJP-Sena rule.

Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil demanded an apology from the government for the mikes going off and dropping of the song's last stanza.

Amid the din, the House was then adjourned for 15 minutes.

Later, when the House reassembled, the state education minister, Vinod Tawde, said the original poem features in Suresh Bhat's book 'Roopgandha'.

Tawde said it was Bhat's wish that the last stanza be omitted from the Marathi Gaurav Geet. So even in schools, the children are taught only the first six stanzas, he said.

AjitPawar then demanded that the Marathi language be made mandatory in schools till class 10.

To this, Tawde replied that at present the language is compulsory till class 8.

"We are working on whether it should be till class 10 or 12," he said.

Tawde said the sentiments of the Legislative Assembly will be conveyed to the school curriculum board.

Jayant Patil then sought to know about the demand for giving Marathi, the status of a classical language.

At that time, Tawde left the House to which the opposition members objected.

They entered the well and shouted slogans.

The Speaker then adjourned the House till the end of the Question Hour.

Earlier, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, leader of opposition in the Assembly, told reporters outside the House that there were seven stanzas in the song but only the first six were performed.

"Who gave you the permission to omit the last stanza and under what authority?. This is sheer negligence and callous approach of the state government to Marathi language," he said.

"The state had already shown its lack of seriousness in translation of the Governor's speech yesterday and today it insulted the Marathi people again," the Congress leader said.

Tawde said Bhat wrote the song when there was a movement going on for formation of states based on language.

"Bhat added a stanza almost after 20 years but maintained that the original song be used as Marathi Abhimaan Geet. So there is no question of deliberately omitting a particular stanza," he added. 

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