Jaipur Mayor Orders National Anthem, Vande Mataram Daily. Attendance Must

The anthem will be sung at 9.50 am each day and biometric attendance will close after that.

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Jaipur civic body has ordered its employees to sing national anthem in the morning.

JAIPUR:  The civic body in Rajasthan's Jaipur has ordered that all its employees will sing the national anthem in the morning and Vande Mataram in the evening. Attendance is compulsory.

The anthem will be sung at 9.50 am each day starting Tuesday and the biometric attendance will close after that. This means that any worker who clocks in has to be present. Employees are meant to report to work at 9.30 am in the municipal corporation.

Around 5.55 pm, when it is closing time, all employees have to sing the national song Vande Mataram. "Nothing has more positive energy than the national song. One should go home with the positive energy of the national song and give quality time to his family," said city Mayor Ashok Lahoty.

"It has many benefits. This will develop a work culture, there will be positive energy. This will increase workmanship."

But the initiative ran into a bit of a controversy after reports quoting Mr Lahoty saying that those against the decision could go to Pakistan.

"No, I did not mean to say go to Pakistan. That was just friendly banter... Someone asked what if someone opposes singing the national anthem. I said this is not Pakistan (that someone will oppose)"

The new rule debuts in the middle of a debate over the singing of the anthem in movie halls.

Since a Supreme Court decision last year, movie-goers are required to stand for the anthem before every show. It would "instill committed patriotism and nationalism", the court said.

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Last week, the Supreme Court said the government should consider regulating the playing of the anthem while noting that "we don't have to wear patriotism on our sleeves."

The government has argued that India is a diverse country and the national anthem can be a unifying force.

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