Chennai: The Madras high court on Tuesday directed that the national song Vande Mataram be made compulsory in all educational institutions and government or private organisations in Tamil Nadu.

Justice M.V. Muralidharan said that the national song be played and sung in all schools, colleges and universities at least once a week, preferably on Monday or Friday and in government offices, private companies, factories and industries at least once a month.

The high court said that no individual or organisation should be forced to play or sing Vande Mataram. It also observed that steps can be taken to translate the song in Tamil, if people find it difficult to sing it in Bengali or Sanskrit.

The court was hearing a plea of K. Veeramani who had lost the minimum eligibility mark of 90, by a single mark in an examination conducted by the Teachers Recruitment Board (TRB). While Veeramani had answered that the song written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee was in Bengali, the TRB’s answer key had mentioned it as Sanskrit.

Earlier this month, the government lawyer had argued that the song was first written in Sanskrit and later translated into Bengali. The attorney general of Tamil Nadu later clarified that the song was in Sanskrit but was written in Bengali script.