To “evoke” nationalism in students, state department of social justice and empowerment (SJE) has issued a directive to all 789 hostels for OBC, SC and ST students under its aegis in Rajasthan to ensure that all inmates gather to sing the national anthem at 7am daily. A statement released on Monday by the government said that while the national anthem is recited in all residential schools, the tradition will now have to be followed in hostels too. Incidentally, the directive was already effective from Sunday.
SJE principal secretary Samit Sharma, however, claimed that singing the national anthem was already part of the daily routine in hostels. “Hostel inmates gather for a daily prayer in the morning. The directive on national anthem was not being followed because of staff shortage. The directive has been issued to ensure national anthem is also sung on a daily basis,” he said.
Explaining the reason for re-issuing the directive, Sharma said that due to the absence of wardens in some hostels and schools the practice was not being followed on a regular basis. “We have just asked the national anthem to be sung regularly like it is being done in any other school,” said Sharma. The department has nearly 800 hostels across the state with 40,000 students.