Why Everyday This Bengal Village Stands Still For 52 Seconds


Nadia: In recent times, we have witnessed several controversies over the issue of playing of national anthem. While last year, the Supreme Court asked all cinemas to play the national anthem before a film is screened “for the love of the motherland”, many still say that forcing “nationalism and patriotism” on the countrymen is against the ethos of our democracy.

Amid all these debates over the national anthem, a village in West Bengal has come up with a unique idea to ensure that the entire village in unison stands still during the playing of the song every day. Such a novel example it is.

The people of Abhainagar village in Nadia district stop all work for 52 seconds at 10.50 am every weekday to sing the National Anthem. People at home and those in moving motorbikes, auto-rickshaws, cycles and pedestrians on road stand still wherever they are and start singing.

At that particular hour, students of the state run Abhainagar Primary School sing the 52-second-long National Anthem and it is echoed to nearby areas through loudspeakers.

The school Headmaster Safikul Islam says “We thought this would instill patriotism among the students and the people. We had requested the villagers, wherever they are, to sing the national anthem along with their children at the school. They agreed and the practice continues.”

The headmaster said the school has two loudspeakers and two sound boxes. He also has a plan to fit more loudspeakers and is trying to collect funds for it. A loudspeaker has been fitted around 100 feet away from the school building and those who hear the National Anthem being sung through it, join the chorus.