Slamming RSS leader Bhaiyyajji Joshi for his purported remark that 'Vande Mataram', and not 'Jana Gana Mana', is the "real national anthem", Congress on Sunday asked the Narendra Modi government to take action against him under the law for protecting "national honour".
Terming RSS general sceretary Joshi's remark as an "insult" to 125 crore Indians, AICC communication department chief Randeep Surjewala asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to explain his position on it.
Alleging that Joshi's views show "RSS is still engaged in negating the golden history of the freedom struggle", he asked the BJP-led central government to take action against him under the provisions of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.
"Joshi has said that the feeling of patriotism that one gets while singing Vande Mataram does not arise from the singing of the national anthem. This is one more conspiracy to distort the history of the freedom struggle," he said.
Joshi had on Friday said in Mumbai that "Jana Gana Mana is today our national anthem. It has to be respected. There is no reason why it should evoke any other sentiment... but it is the national anthem as decided by the Constitution. If one considers the true meaning, then Vande Mataram is the national anthem."
Surjewala said, "Congress and Vande Mataram became synonymous with each other" after the party "adopted" the slogan after the division of Bengal in 1905, much before the RSS's birth in 1925.
Targeting RSS, the Congress spokesperson alleged that two heads of the organisation, KB Hedgewar and MS Golwalkar, were "biased against" the national flag.