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Are those opposing Vande Mataram, in fact speaking Jinnah's language?
In a fresh controversy on 'Vande Mataram', as per reports, some Muslim Municipal Councillors in Meerut walked out when Vande Mataram was being sung as a mark of protest. Muslim Councillors have said that 'as the Sharia law doesn't allow them to sing it, they will continue to boycott Vande Mataram and if required, they will approach the court'.

According to the Mayor of Meerut, membership of all Muslim Councillors who insulted Vande Mataram has been terminated through a resolution.

However, there has been some uproar from the 'Indian secular industry' as well as from antillectuals that such action by the Mayor in Meerut is nothing but an attempt towards imposing Hindutwa agenda of the RSS in BJP's palpable ploy of transforming India into a Hindu Rashtra. Muslim clerics have cited Islam as the main reason for not singing Vande Mataram, although they express willingness to say 'Jai Hind' and 'Hindustan Zindabad'.

But, in reality, is Vande Mataram an identity of Hindutwa? Can 'Jai Hind' replace Vande Mataram? The fact is, Vande Mataram is the most secular song and it can't be replaced by Jai Hind. I will prove it in following paragraphs citing historical facts as well as referring to the true secular icons of India. I don't think the present day's secular brigade is any match for those icons of secularism that I shall be talking about.

But before that, let me make it clear from my side that nobody should be forced to sing Vande Mataram or Janaganamana etc. It's an individual's choice whether one wants to sing or not. Those who say that the one who doesn't sing Vande Mataram should leave this country, must realise that neither the pro-Vande Mataram singing groups are owners of this country nor the opposers of singing Vande Mataram living as tenants in this nation. In fact, people of both groups are citizens of the nation having equal rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.

But, what happened in Meerut was unacceptable. You may not feel like singing Vande Mataram, but you shouldn't boycott it either. You need to stand silently at least to respect the sentiments of the majority population. Not to forget, Narendra Modi's or Amit Shah's election rallies. They used to pause their speeches and take breaks when it was time for Namaz. This is called decency and respecting religious sentiments of other communities. Although the BJP is not getting Muslim votes yet it respects their sentiments. Vande Mataram is not a Hindu-centric song. It's a national song and no one should be allowed to intentionally insult national sentiments

Now coming back to the history of Vande Mataram. In 1896, at Indian National Congress' Calcutta session, Rabindranath Tagore sang Vande Mataram, written by Bankim Chandra Chottopodhyaya (written in 1870 in Sanskrit and Bengali and later included in his novel Anand Math in 1881) for the very first time. The erstwhile Congress President was Rahimtulla M Sayani, a Muslim who never found this song contravening to Islamic religion. This song, in fact motivated all during the partition of Bengal in 1905. Later on, it became one song that motivated large sections of people for the freedom struggle.

Jinnah objected to the song in 1923, citing that it hurt Muslim sentiments. Now, everyone knows, how religious Muhammad Ali Jinnah was? The objection was raised purely for political reasons because of his intent to divide India on the basis of Muslims and non-Muslims. Although initially, due to Jinnah's objections, Vande Mataram was stopped being sung in Congress sessions, but later, when it became clear that Jinnah wanted Pakistan, Congress in 1937 adopted Vande Mataram (first two verses only) as national song as it started its independence movement.

After Independence, these first two verses of Vande Mataram were recognised as the national song in the Constituent Assembly and made at par with the national anthem 'Jana Gana Mana Adhinayak'. Now, if people say that the members of the Constituent Assembly were in fact trying to make India a Hindu Rashtra, then those people must be Pakistanis or their agents. Because Pakistan was also of the opinion that post-partition India will become a Hindu Rashtra (like Pakistan will be a Muslim nation), but the makers of the Constitution ensured that India remained a secular country.

I think that the makers of our Constitution were indeed true seculars and great intellectuals. Thus, I rest my case after proving that Vande Mataram is not synonymous with Hindutwa ideology. Neither does it have a direct relation to Hindusim nor in anyway it either contradicts or refutes the tenets to Islam. Had it been such a bad thing, why would have great and eminent Muslim MPs and members of Constitution Assembly ever incorporated and recognised it as a national song?

Now some say that we are ready to say 'Jai Hind' but not 'Vande Mataram'. In 1936, Mahatma Gandhi had said that he appreciated the slogan 'Jai Hind' but Jai Hind can't replace 'Vande Mataram'. According to Gandhi ji, while Vande Mataram is about pure patriotism, Jai Hind is a bit more arrogant in its tone. He always preferred Vande Mataram for infusing pure nationalism in the hearts of people than any other national song. Now, please don't say that Gandhi ji was an advocator of Hindutwa! If you now cite reasons to shun singing Vande Mataram, then you are against Gandhi ji's secularian school of thought, and in all probability your secularism is fake.

Now coming to another point. Secularism means no relation to religion. So, if Muslim people occupy Constitutional posts then they should remain secular. How can they raise that objections that something violets their religious concerns? The Constitution gives you the right to practice religion in your own private space and in your personal capacity. Thus, if you put religion above everything then better resign from the Constitutional post and practice your religion.

My friend said that those who are raising objections against Vande Mataram are in fact speaking Jinnah's language. I don't agree with him but factually, I couldn't disagree either? What do you think?

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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