Vande Matram and Hindi

Media, be it the print or small screen channels, go in hyperactive mode with news created by Thackrays or any religious bodies these days. How can the singing of Vande Mataram that according to Indian constitution is the national song or using of Hindi for oath taking in legislature be a subject of controversy?

One of the most famed in Bengali literature, Bankim Chandra penned ‘Vanda Matram’ and later on used in his novel, ‘Anand Muth’. But the constituent assembly that had many celebrated members of the Muslim community too, besides other communities, selected the first two paras as national song. All controversy would have ended there itself. How can any organization raise fatwa and direct against its singing by Indians to which so ever community he/she belongs? Will some person become a better Muslim by not singing it? Is there a law that penalizes one if he or she doesn’t sing while the national song is sung? Singing the national song gives enjoyment, inspiration, and attachment.

Darul Uloom seminary at Deoband may issue a fatwa and call on Muslims not to sing Vande Mataram as doing so was violative of Islam’s faith in monotheism. The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind may endorse it. But how can prohibit any one from expressing his gratitude to Mother India? Will they also object if someone quotes ‘Janani janmabhumshcha swargadapi gariyasi’?

Surprisingly, as reported, in the same state of Uttar Pradesh, Pandit Mufti Mohammed Sarwar Farooqui of Lucknow’s massive Nadwatul Ulema or Nadwa madrassa quotes the Quran and hadith (Prophet Mohammed’s sayings) with as much felicity as he does slokas from the Puranas. To him, Islam’s concept of monotheism is a reiteration of the Vedic principle ekam brahma dutia nasti (God is one and there is none except Him). “Even Prophet Mohammed once said he felt soothing breezes coming from India…” Is Farooqui a lesser Muslim? Will the Muslims who defy the fatwa become lesser Muslims or better Indians?

And a crazy Raj Thackray who calls himself ‘Marathi Manoos’ and true follower of Shivaji issues diktat that MLAs would not be allowed to take the oath in any language other than Marathi. Further his party legislators slap and kick Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi for taking the oath in Hindi on the inaugural day of the new Assembly. And the old man is worse in his reaction. Can any real Marathi take pride in this incident? If any takes either he is ignorant or one to be pitied? Will the action serve the interest of Marathi as language any better?

But the best thing is to skip these news reports. Unfortunately, these are with the boldest headlines in print media and repeatedly shown on TV channels with exciting wordings. Perhaps that is reason that the younger generations are getting totally disenchanted with both politics and the ritualistic religions?

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