Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Fatwa Against Vande Mataram

Islamic clerics have done it again! A fatwa has been issued against the singing of 'Vande mataram' by Muslim children.

Without indulging and succumbing to anger, outrage, revenge and retributive averments, let us attempt to make a balanced, unbiased assessment.

Beginning with the most obvious inferences before we progress to its supposedly manifold not so jejune implications.

Why now? Fifty nine years after Independence, and almost five years after the born again Muslim music Director A.R. Rahman had stylised the same in his rendition. Fishy and more than meets the eye, undoubtedly.

Does this resistance to include a National song in a school curriculum, in praise of ones motherland, come from the majority of the Muslims? Is the cleric merely the mouthpiece of these insiduous sentiments? Or, is the Islamic cleric once again trying to incite unrest by widening the chasm which originated with the British, never again returning to a status quo ?

In all probability, the work of idle minds, addicted to proving sporadically, how Muslim masses are putty in their hands.

In my humble opinion, it is time that the Muslim intelligentsia who clearly discern the irrationality behind these conflagrations, opt to speak, thus polaraising themselves from the Fundamentalists. It is imperative that the citizen of India is secure in the notion of secularism. Having said that we need to ascertain and feel assured also that our secularist tolerance is not being misconstrued. Those who second that India is their chosen land and respect for the motherland an accepted concept, ought to validify their residence by being vociferous NOW.

It is not enough that the Hindus voice outrage at this Fatwa, but Muslim brethren who have reasons to consider this their homeland, need elucidate their resentment in times such as these.

Hindus who utilise this turn of circumstance to now wage a war generically on all Muslims, with statements as 'Let them go to Pakistan, if they cannot respect our nationalistic sentiments, or adhere by them', will ignite an issue which needs to be viewed as a Fatwa and not a 'majority view point'. An over-the-top reaction can degenerate into unreasonability.

What is the 'locus standi' of a fatwa and whom does it control is a matter that the Islamists need to clarify and pontificate.

The law of the land, imho needs to be universal and supreme. Laws within laws within communities, is bound to lead to dissension and interests of people suffer in the confusion.

What this Fatwa seeks to do, prima facie is, challenge our constitution in its decision making powers while simultaneouly flagrantly exhibit the underbelly of secularism , in its consequential analysis.

While not denying that our Muslim brethren may have faced hiccups in certain areas of civilian life, yet with all the sense of fairness one can vouch that Muslims in India have enjoyed a fair deal in most spheres, political, economical, and social. They have prospered and multiplied in population and wealth, progressed shouder to shoulder with Indians as a whole.

Can our Hindu brethren in Pakistan, proclaim any of the above? Population of Hindus in Pakistan is a point in reference.

Consider this..on the one hand they demand a ban on Vande Mataram, on the other, DEMAND RESERVATION!!!


We, as a nation need to involve ourselves in issues which need public opinion to be mobilised.

"In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die."

Crosslinked DesiPundit


Anonymous said...

And what about the declarations against valentines day and "fire' and "fanaa" and all the other hindu fanaticism??

Neha said...

We keep showing tolerance and they keep talking the way this nerd above has!

puja said...

What cheek!!

Demanding reservation!
Tho I had been discussing this with my friends a few days back of the possibility.
People like Javed akhtar n all should speak up on both the issues.

Dim Poetry said...

its got stunt value- thats all i have to say. political parties won say a word for fear of losing the vote bank. if hindu leaders do, it will amount to fanaticism. n the scant muslim intelligentsia isnt paid much heed to. they aint the role models of the muslim masses. M.F.Hussain continues to enjoy a peaceful existence after painting nude hindu goddeses. the Cafe Coffee day outlet at our city (lucknow) was in shatters after the demonstrations of the muslims againt the Danish cartoons. it also sparked off riots in some remote areas.
iv turned into a fanatic of sorts when it comes to these issues. one nation- where hinduism thrives. islamic countries constitute more than one third of the world. cant we have just one nation to our own? they don feel a sense of belonging towards this nation ( the rule being set by the majority) n i , with all due respect, believe that they should take a pick from the list of very many options available to them n move on. live and let live-

Dim Poetry said...

n one more thing - a nation and a culture which they disown, they have no right to DEMAND favours like reservation from it. heights of hypocracy.

Chameleon's Karma said...

Personally, I think its just a disgruntled and marginalised mullah seeking his 10 seconds of fame, who gave this fatwa. Sadly, its the war for TV news that allows him that fame / notoriety. In their quest for grabbing eyeballs, the tv channels will let anyone say anything scandalous so long as it makes a great soundbyte. Their obsession with TAM ratings is borne out from the way Rajdeep Sardesai and the entire team at CNN-IBN went into a patting-their-own-backs mode when they achieved the number one rating on TAM in 4+ category. For the uninitiated what it means is that CNN IBN is the most watched English News Channel amongst audiences of 4 (yes 4!!) years and above!! Anyways, I digress. Coming back to the fatwa, fortunately most news channels avoided that story except for CNN IBN which also covered it on the ticker and didn't allow it to be featured on the bulletins. Its another matter, that the news channels had a juicier story to cover that day - the Rakhi Sawant / Mika lip lock!!
Most of the newspapers feautred it as a 4 column cm story on page 8 or 9! Thereby denying those clerics the publicity they had sought by issuing this fatwa.

However, it is a sad fact, Puja, that muslim intelligentsia is for some reasons, extremely reluctant to take on the Muslim clergy on matters of religion. Having said that, I must also congratulate Dr Syed Shahbuddin for, perhaps, offering the most intelligent take on Reservations amongst all the politicians and the intellectuals who appeared on the TV program - The Big Fight!!

Once again, I reiterate that the only way to silence these fatwa issuing Mullahs and the moral police of Shiv Sena / BJP /VHP is by denying them the oxygen they seek - publicity!!

Chameleon's Karma said...

And while I was typing mine, Dim poetry posted hers... Brings to mind an old song:
"Imagine there are no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one!!"

John Lennon - RIP!!

Velu said...

A very nice write up. I liked it. Alarming really the trend of fatwas.

Nitin said...


I'm surprised you brought in the issue of how Pakistan treats its religious minorities. There can be absolutely no comparison on the rights of Muslims in a secular India with those of Hindus, Christians or Sikhs in Islamic Pakistan.

We should hold ourselves to higher standards, don't you think?

Chameleon's Karma said...

I agree with Nitin. As a society, we need to set the standards for human rights and communal harmony. Not merely revel in the fact that we are better off than 90% of the rest of the world. As said Rabindra Nath Tagore:

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;

Where knowledge is free;

Where the world has not been broken up
into fragments by narrow domestic walls;

Where words come out from the depth of truth;

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;

Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;

Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action---

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Anonymous said...

See the later comments here for a muslim perspective :

Kaveetaa Kaul said...

From a news item at Indianpad:
The only Hindu temple at Lahore demolished.

Kaveetaa Kaul said...


You say that People like Javed akhtar should speak on the issue.

Hoping this is limited to being a storm in a teacup, despite the insiduous reflection of mentality of the clerics,maybe those who be will not come out in the open.

The fact of the matter is that while the clergy is well organised and represented, the intelligentsia have failed to present a 'face' embodying the voice of anti-fundamentalists, which proves to be a cogent force. Just as you have , the only name that comes to the fore is Javed akhtar. A unified, cohesive and unitary organisation will make a difference when the need for an alternative view point emerges. For or against.

Swapna said...

Well said, Kaveetaa.

Kaveetaa Kaul said...

Dim poetry

I guess we have to learn our lessons from history.
Giving as good as we get, may sound comforting but is not a long term solution to the problem.Muslims constitute a major part of our minority population.Our focus of intention should be to find ways to co-exist peacefully, with respect and tolerance MUTUALLY..which is the key word here. hurting the sentiments of the average citizen, over a song is hardly something that can be applauded, I agree. Not even in the name of personal freedom.


If you read the article, it says that Muslim parents had gone to the cleric with the request.If anything it goes to prove that embers burn low and deep. which is unhealthy. It is for this sole purpose that I have been espousing the cause of their own clan coming forward and playing a role to educate, advise and moderate.

Without intellectualising the debate, since to me it seems fruitless, as the origins were from lack of proper understanding of citzen responsibilities in the first place,it is important to judge where we are going. Largesse stemming from goodness within can come unbound to propensate a situation which perhaps required a firm hand and a disciplined approach. Some areas of nationalistic duties have to be above reproach or discussion.Or there can be no end to the sea of dissident voices.

Hi Velu, Thanks..Merchant navy eh? Know a few ..quite a few actually.


comparisons are odious and that was not the intention at all. It was only hammering a point. In any case i have commented on your blog too.


There is a time and place for everything. Nobility of sentiments have to be the guiding force, but not necessarily to be worn like a badge on the shirtsleeve, for danger of beinh misunderstood. Tagore will have to wait:)

Anonymous ,

I went to the link and read the views put forth. Hopefully others must have done it as well. Quite an eye opener.

Hope you guys have gone to the link I had pasted.The demolishing of the Krishna temple at Lahore needs to be condemned. Really now!!

:) Thanks a ton.

Kaveetaa Kaul said...

Felt the need to add this.

Citzens of India are Indians first..however cliched that may sound. My point is that communities within India are religion based as well, apart from cultral, language etc. None of these divisive elements need be a peg to hang out ones dissident ideologies.What contributes to making Muslims apart from the other minorities are their behavioural tendencies .. their repugnance to anything Hindu.Repeated attempts at separatism on these lines especially in a predominantly Hindu nation is bound to have a ripple effect, not desirable in nature and consequence. Without meaning to deprive them of any of the rights accorded to them by our Constitution, it is advisable that they would tone down their religion based divisive ways and focus more on the Indianness of being Indian citizens, in the spirit of the term.

sanjay said...

What continues to befuddle is what you have mentioned about the timing of this drastic fatwa-60 years into independent India. The parents are ready to withdraw the children from the school!! Surely they knew of the school and its rules and only then enrolled the kid..why the sudden furore?

Kaveetaa Kaul said...


The scene which actually unfolds is the look of amazement and confusion on the faces of these children, while the parents and authorities go crazy over a song.

What is really occurring is an ensuring of perpetuation of animosty between the the two communities. The gen next has been introduced to it in no uncertain terms.. Through Practicals..not Theory(pun intended).A lesson they will not forget in a hurry. We are Muslims, 'they' are Indians.

ARajpal said...

I dont understand why there is such a fuss among our muslim friends to sing Vande matram. It has such a beautiful melody and lyrics. The justification given by clericks that they cannot praise "land" is false. If you see "pakistans national anthem" it only talks about praising their country and land.
It is all hippocracy.

Pakistans anthem:
Pak sar zamin shad bad
Kisware haseen shad bad
Tu nishane azmealishan
arze Pakistan
Markaz e yaqin shadbad.
Pak sarzamin ka nizam,
quwat e akhuwat e awam
Qaum, mulk, sultanat
Painda tabinda bad,
shad bad manzal e murad.
Parcham e sitara o hilal
Rahbar e tarraqi o kamal
Tarjuman e mazi shan e hal
jane istaqbal
Sayyai, Khudae zul jalal.

English Translation

Blessed be sacred land,
Happy be bounteous relam,
Symbol of high resolve,
Land of Pakistan.
Blessed be thou citadel of faith.
The Order of this Scared Land
Is the might of the brotherhood of the people.
May the nation, the country, and the State
Shine in glory everlasting.
Blessed be the goal of our ambition.
This flag of the Cresent and the Star
Leads the way to progress and perfection,
Interpreter of our past,
glory of our present,
Inspiration of our future,
Symbol of Almightys protection