A totally unnecessary and bound-to-create-problems, controversy has been created by the Muslim Religious Leadership of India.
I take my readers to my post on India’s National Anthem. I had clearly stated my preference for the original National Anthem called Vande Mataram, though I have whole heartedly accepted the de facto current one.
Out of the blue, the Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind (Organization of Muslim Scholars Of India) passed a resolution asking members of the Indian Muslim community not to recite ‘Vande Mataram’ on the grounds that some verses of the national song are against the tenets of Islam. What is objectionable to the Ulema is that parts of the National Song, worships Mother India. This is not really worshipping as in a religious sense, but giving it very high honour by treating it on par with one’s mother. An emotional poet’s way of expressing his love for his country. Islam forbids worship of anything other than Allah. Ergo, Vandemataram is anti Islamic.
The Hindu right ever looking for opportunities to raise the anti Muslim temperature in India has got exactly what they wanted. Could not the Ulema have seen this outcome. Why make an issue at all of it?
While not quite the same as the original, our own Oscar winning Music Director, Rehman, a Muslim composed and sang Vande Mataram, which can be seen here. Sorry I am unable to embed it here as it has been disabled. I can never hear enough of this song and everytime I see the video, and hear the song, I get goose pimples. Silly me?
The Original which is the version sung by most of us is this one.
Many noted Indian Muslims have taken objection to this totally unnecessary development, but the damage has been done. Two such statements will show the seriousness of the issue. One from a Union Minister and the other from one of India’s best known poets, filmdom’s lyricist and script writer.
The India that I am proud of to live in produces some amazing contrasts. Let me not do a job much better done by professionals. Please read this amazing story.
Sometimes I wonder whether the Muslim Ulema know what they are doing by their obscurantism! I wonder what Gaelikaa will have to say about this. She lives in one of India’s most famous cities, Lucknow,the old capital of Awadh, a Mughal Realm with a sizeable Muslim population. She is objective enough for being Irish on the one hand and married to a Hindu Indian on the other and living in such a city.