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Maharashtra urges officials to say “Vande Mataram” instead of Hello in new campaign

Maharashtra urges officials to say 'Vande Mataram' instead of Hello in new campaign

Cultural Affairs Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar was on his way to a rally in Wardha.

Mumbai:

The Maharashtra government on Sunday launched a campaign to get people to say “Vande Mataram” while receiving phone calls instead of “Hello”.

“Vande Mataram means we bow down to our mother. Therefore, we call on people to say Vande Mataram instead of Hello,” state Minister of Cultural Affairs Sudhir Mungantiwar told a rally in the Wardha district on the anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi. .

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A Government Resolution (GR) issued on Saturday called on Maharashtra government employees and officials to greet people by saying “Vande Mataram” instead of “Hello” during official or personal phone calls.

It is not mandatory, but department heads should encourage their staff to do so, the GR said.

Saying ‘Hello’ represented Western culture and the word did not have any specific meaning. “The word is just a formality that does not arouse any emotion,” said the GR.

Greeting people by saying “Vande Mataram” will create a feeling of affection, he said, adding that an awareness campaign should be carried out to promote it.

At the event in Wadha on Sunday, Mr Mungantiwar said: “If people want to say ‘Jai Bhim’ or ‘Jai Shri Ram’, or even mention their parents’ names while answering a phone call… all the ways are fine with us. Our appeal is to avoid saying hello when receiving a call.” During the independence movement, British rulers banned a slogan like “Inquilab Zindabad” (long live the revolution), he said.

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“But it inspired many people to join the (freedom) movement and eventually we got independence. Even Mahatma Gandhi had supported (songs of) Vande Mataram and wrote about it in a column published at the time,” he said.

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Mungantiwar also said that the state government will introduce an audio book on 850 key personalities of Maharashtra who played an important role in the formation of the state.

“Similar to the audio book, we will also create MaharashtraTel, where stories and information about key personalities and their contribution will be available in audio format. People can also listen to it on the go,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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