The Bombay High Court on Friday asked the Maharashtra government if it knows India's national anthem, while hearing a PIL seeking withdrawal of class X and XII text books in which the word 'Sindh' has been replaced by 'Sindhu'.
A division bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and S C Gupte issued notice to the state government and the Principal secretary of the Home Department and asked them to file their affidavit by August 2.
"Does the state government not know what our national anthem is? You (government) cannot start changing words in the national anthem. What do you propose to do?" Justice Chandrachud asked.
Additional government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani said nearly seven lakh text books have been printed and the government would soon decide on the issue.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Mulund resident Dakshata Shet saying the latest Class X geography textbook of Marathi medium school printed by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education mentions word 'Sindhu' in the national anthem.
Shet, who is also volunteer for education for street children, says in her petition that the same error is reflected in Class 12 text books of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics.
The PIL states that the Supreme Court, as well as the Bombay high court, have ruled that the national anthem should not be amended even if geographical changes take place in India. "These rulings are specifically in relation to the word Sindh," the petition adds.
PIL prays that all the text books should be recalled from the market and be destroyed. Shet has also sought registration of offence against the concerned persons for exhibiting disrespect towards the national anthem and towards the nation as a whole.