Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Pioneer > Going back to square one

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    • A Surya Prakash
    • The resolution adopted by Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind at its annual conference at Deoband endorsing the fatwa of the Darul Uloom Islamic Seminary that Muslims should not recite Vande Mataram because it is against the religious principles of Islam, has once again reminded us of how some people can disturb the secular rhythm of India by raking up issues which were settled long years ago when we adopted our Constitution and chose to become a democratic republic.

      Even more annoying is the fact that the arguments that are now being advanced against the National Song by Muslim leaders, is a rehash of the arguments that were put forth by the Muslim League when it demanded the country’s partition. Mohammed Ali Jinnah raised a dispute over the National Flag, Vande Mataram and Hindi while addressing delegates at the Muslim League Conference in 1937. He argued that the flag, the song and the language were all Hindu symbols and that, therefore, they were unacceptable to the Muslims. Anxious to avert partition, India’s political leaders offered to treat only the first two stanzas of Vande Mataram — which describes the bounteous gifts that nature has showered on India — as the National Song. But, despite this and many other concessions offered to him, Jinnah achieved his ambition of vivisecting the country and carving out an Islamic state a decade after he announced his opposition to Vande Mataram, the tricolour and Hindi.