November 30, 2020
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Don't Equate It With Patriotism

While RSS, BJP and others go on and on about making the singing of Vande Mataram mandatory, the various maulanas and other Muslim leaders point to the song's controversial past and question the need to rake up the controversy now. Others want a prope

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Don't Equate It With Patriotism

Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Shahi Imam, Delhi Jama Masjid: Vande Mataram is against Islamic beliefs and asking Muslims to sing it would amount to suppression of the community. When it comes to worship, only Allah is given that honour. A Muslim cannot worship his or her parents, motherland and even the Prophet though they are held in high esteem. Ever since Independence, all governments at the Centre and in states have been suppressing Muslims. This proposal is yet another example. If somebody sings Vande Mataram voluntarily, I have no objections. But if people are forced to do so, it will meet with resistance.

Avtar Singh Makkar, president, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee: How can I stop Sikhs from singing Vande Mataram when I cannot even prevent SGPC-run schools. I, alone, am not powerful enough to direct all members of the community not to sing the national song. (On 5 August he had issued a directive to schools run by the SGPC not to recite Vande Mataram as it only 'spreads a particular religion and does not fulfill the aspirations of minorities, including Sikhs, Muslims and Christians. It's a conspiracy to extend communalism in the nation'.)

K.S. Sudarshan, Sarsanghachalak, RSS: Singing Vande Mataram should be compulsory in all schools and academic institutions and Indians irrespective of their religion or faith should have no objection to reciting the national song. Those who do not have faith in Bharatmata have no right to live in the country. The current bout of controversy is the manifestation of a wider conspiracy. The nation was bifurcated in similar situations in 1947.

Mufti Zulfiqar, president, Uttar Pradesh Imams Organisation: Muslims are loyal to the nation and there is no need to prove their loyalty.

Mozaha Anjar Shah Kashmiri, Darul Uloom Deoband: Vande Mataram was under controversy since 1876 as it was against the tenets of the Shariat law to worship sky and soil. But Muslims are loyal to the nation.

Shaista Amber, chairman, All-India Muslim Women Personal Law Board: I support the fatwa issued by Deoband for closure of madarsas on September 7 to avoid controversy regarding singing of Vande Mataram on that day.

Maulana Marghoob ur Rahman, director, Dar-ul Uloom, Deoband: The Dar-ul Uloom has not issued any fatwa on the singing of the national song, no appealed to Muslim children to stay away from schools on September 7. A certain section is wanting to attack Dar-ul Uloom on this without any basis, as no fatwa has been issued.

Daawat, bi-weekly of Jamaat-e-Islami: There is no consensus on how the song is viewed by the Constitution and if it does have a controversial past, why has it been raked up now? Equating Vande Mataram with patriotism is wrong and being done with an objective of dividing society and taking political advantage of the situation.

Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, vice-president, All India Muslim Personal Law Board:  According to the dictionary, ' vande' means to worship and as such it is not right for Muslims to recite it. However if ' vande' means saluting or paying respect to the country, there is nothing wrong in its recitation by Muslims. [He said he disagreed with the influential Darul Uloom seminary's advice to Muslim children not to attend school on September seven and suggested Muslim children could join the recitation of Vande Mataram but omit the word 'vande']. Eminent Sanskrit and Muslim scholars could work together to ascertain the correct Urdu translation of the word 'vande'. It is a "non-issue" created by the BJP, which is desperately looking for an issue for its survival. The BJP should restrain its Muslim leaders from issuing reckless statements on the issue. Some clerics have been harming the cause of Islam by issuing reckless fatwas at regular intervals on practically every issue and making it appear as if they were religious diktats

Mahmood A Madani, organising general secretary, Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind: It is wrong to relate reciting of  Vande Mataram with patriotism. Muslims are firm in their resolve that they cannot and should not sing Vande Mataram and they should not be forced to do so. The Centre hasn't made the recitation of the song mandatory and the states should also follow that. If forced to sing, we will protest it with peaceful means, we will take up this issue to court. Muslims do not have to prove their love for motherland to anyone. We deeply love India as our motherland but cannot worship it as 'Ibadat sirf ek Khuda ki hoti hain' (only God is worshipped). Vande Mataram is a hymnical tribute to Goddess Durga, therefore, we cannot recite it. Even R N Tagore, M N Roy had said Muslims should not be forced to recite it.

I don't want to argue with him or anyone, but his statement cannot be construed as the statement of the MPLB of which I am also a member. (On asked to comment on All-India Muslim Personal Law Board Maulana Kalbe Sadiq's contention that if  'Vande' meant salutation, respect or homage Muslims can sing the national song).

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