‘Patriotic’ rock bands in IITs, varsities: Congress finds govt circular ‘very funny’

The Congress has also accused the BJP government of ‘subverting’ the mandate of the National Film Development Corporation by sending rock bands to play at IIT and other Central universities.

New Delhi The Congress said on Tuesday that the HRD Ministry’s circular asking Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Central universities to organise “patriotic” rock shows was an “insult” to the country’s youth.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the government seemed to have presumed that nationalism needed to be inculcated through rock bands.

“If this is the vision the government has for the young people of this country, then all that I would like to say is, ‘God help us’,” he told reporters.

“It is a very funny circular to say the least,” he added.

The Congress also accused the BJP government of “subverting” the mandate of the National Film Development Corporation.

“It does not have the mandate to hire rock bands and send them across the country. There seems to be subversion of the very remit of the National Film Development Corporation,” he said.

As part of the programme named ‘Yeh India ka Time Hai’, the government has identified certain bands which will be visiting campuses across the country and perform patriotic songs.

The programme has been organised to celebrate 70 years of India’s Independence and 75 years of the Quit India Movement this year.

Tewari said there was no problem with promoting nationalism or patriotism and that there were enough musical groups, literary societies, clubs and debating platforms available in every such institution than “subverting the mandate of NFDC to hire rock bands of allegedly spurious quality to promote patriotism and nationalism”.

Tewari said the government talked about ushering a “New India” by 2022, but India was still a democratic country and the term of this government ended in 2019.

“Till the time they have already decided to subvert democracy and not hold elections in 2019, (the time frame of) 2022 does not make any sense,” he added.

“Nobody has a monopoly over patriotism and nationalism; least of all the government and least of all the BJP. We do not think that they either have the credentials or the moral right to lecture the Congress or any other party on patriotism and nationalism,” he said.