The Madras High Court has made it clear that the national anthem should be sung in all private schools in Tamil Nadu during the morning assembly.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh gave the direction on a petition seeking that singing of national anthem be made mandatory in schools.
"Private schools must follow such singing of national anthem as part of their curriculum," the bench said disposing a PIL by N Selvathirumal, an ex-service man, seeking a direction to authorities to make it mandatory for all private schools in the state to sing the national anthem during the assembly.
The bench while recording the stand of the authorities including Union of India that national anthem ought to be sung, in its order directed Central and State Departments of Secondary Education and the Union Human Resources Department to make endeavours to verify weather national anthem was sung in all private schools in the state.
Selvathiurumal submitted that national anthem was not sung in various private schools in Tamil Nadu while it was sung in central Government Schools such as Kendriya Vidyalaya and all the state government schools daily during the morning assembly.
A citizen should have adequate knowledge of the national anthem and the national flag, the petitioner submitted.
"In pursuance to a RTI reply, I was informed that the Government of India has released an advisory for all the schools that the day's work may start with with community singing of the national anthem and adequate provisions should be made in the programmes for popularising the singing of the anthem and promoting respect for the national flag," he said.
The CBSE submitted that "a circular was issued to schools on November 10, 2015, stating that the second descriptor out of the 10 principles entails singing of national anthem with decorum, where as the first one is to abide by constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and National Anthem in compliance of the direction given by the Hon'ble High Court of Calcutta on 22.09.2014. It is notified that the schools must strictly comply the orders", it said.
"We would expect that keeping in mind the mandate of the Constitution of India, the respect for the National Anthem and the National Flag, the circular issued by the CBSE and other authorities, singing of the national anthem would be taking place in various institutions", the bench said.