9.5.13

Vande Mataram can survive without our singing it...

This has become news. A BSP MP walked out of Parliament when Vande Mataram was being played at the end of the dud budget session. No one seems interested in what came out of the proceedings, but the fact that Shafiqur Rahman Barq insulted the national song.

He was even interviewed for it. He told CNN-IBN: "I won't apologise to anyone. I respect the National Anthem, not the national song Vande Mataram. Vande Mataram is an ode to motherland. Muslims like me bend only before Allah, not before any other god."

We'll get to him in a bit, but the speaker of the house Meira Kumar responded rather quickly: "One honourable member walked out when Vande Mataram was being played. I take very serious view of this. I would want to know why this was done. This should never happen again."

Has it happened before? How often?

The BJP had a nice token Muslim Shahnawaz Hussain to speak up: "Members have no right to insult the National Song especially when they have taken oath. The Speaker has taken the right move by naming the MP. He has insulted Parliament."

Say he has insulted the national song, not Parliament, for the oath does not specify what you will sing. Does the oath specify whether watching pornographic clips in the assembly is an insult to the House, and the oath taken by members?

Unfortunately, this has turned into a communal debate. I do take exception to those who take up the Muslim cause and say most Muslims are nice folks, unlike Burq. This is not about terrorism or some crime, and the community can do without this granting of certificates for good behaviour. And for those who are concerned about Muslims and ready with their “Go to Pakistan" 'anthem', let me remind them that the song that registers most even for them is “Saare jahaan se achhaa" written by Sir Mohammed Iqbal, one of the main architects of the idea of Pakistan. Enjoy!

I reproduce here some views expressed in 2006 - read it as past tense:

How many Indians know the Vande Mataram song? Are they aware it was written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee as a cry against British oppression? Does knowing it make them better patriots?

On September 7 (2006) school children in Uttar Pradesh will have to compulsorily sing the ‘national song’ to commemorate its centenary; government papers have been passed to that effect. Forget the communal colour of the controversy for a moment. What should really bother us is the dictatorial nature of such a directive.

We are making children into pawns of our divisive mindsets.

The Muslims are cribbing that bowing before anyone but Allah is un-Islamic. These clerics ought to know that people regularly bow at tombstones in dargahs. Don’t many Muslim organisations carry around pictures of religious leaders and even rebel political figures in a crass mockery of obeisance? Where is their Islam, then?

On the other hand, we have the BJP’s token symbol Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi saying, “Those who oppose our national song should better leave the country. Their opposition is a reflection of their separatist mindset.”

At a sensitive time when almost every Muslim is a target of some suspicion, the last thing anyone ought to be talking about is separatist mindsets, especially if it hinges on the singing of a song. If people of the North East refuse to sing or do not know the Vande Mataram, will they be asked to leave the country? Would you tell this to some Christian or Parsi or even a Hindu?

Our motherland has survived this last century without off-key singing. If you wish to pay tribute to a national song, then do it with dignity. Play it in the background and everyone will stand silently and respect it. Those who wish to hum along could do so. But do not force false ideas of patriotism on the minds of vulnerable children.

By doing so you are ironically conveying that we are not even a democracy.

© Farzana Versey

Postscript:

1. Rabindranath Tagore rejected Vande Mataram as the national song:

"The core of Vande Mataram is a hymn to goddess Durga: this is so plain that there can be no debate about it. Of course Bankimchandra does show Durga to be inseparably united with Bengal in the end, but no Mussulman [Muslim] can be expected patriotically to worship the ten-handed deity as 'Swadesh' [the nation]. This year many of the special [Durga] Puja numbers of our magazines have quoted verses from Vande Mataram—proof that the editors take the song to be a hymn to Durga. The novel Anandamath is a work of literature, and so the song is appropriate in it. But Parliament is a place of union for all religious groups, and there the song cannot be appropriate. When Bengali Mussulmans show signs of stubborn fanaticism, we regard these as intolerable. When we too copy them and make unreasonable demands, it will be self-defeating."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vande_Mataram#Adoption_as_.22national_song.22

2. Besides the Muslim 'problem', the song has had objections from other communities:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vande_Mataram#Sikh_view


30 comments:

  1. कांग्रेस के दुसरे कलकत्ता अधिवेशन में हेमचन्द्र बेनर्जी ने इसे गाया..जिस रविन्द्रनाथ के वन्दे मातरम विरोध के बारे में लिख रहे हैं
    कांग्रेस के बारहवे अधिवेशन मे स्वयं रविन्द्रनाथ ठाकुर ने इसे लयबद्ध किया ..

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  2. FV

    QUOTE: "... the song that registers most even for them is “Saare jahaan se achhaa..."

    Who is now dishing out certificates here?

    -----

    QUOTE: "..Vande Mataram can survive without our singing it.."

    Islam has done pretty well for itself without Babri Mosque being rebuilt, J&K being liberated, Palestine becoming a nation or religious reservations being granted to Indian Muslims. Time to end the myriad Jihads?

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  3. Being Hindu:

    Woh link humne diya hai. Usme yeh mudda bhi hai. Sawaal hai ki Tagore ne yeh kahaa tha. Iss lekh mein aapko kahaan nazar aaya ke maine uss BSP bandey ki tarafdari ki? Thode shanti se sochiye.

    (Tr: Wrt Tagore himself singing the song, I know it's in the link I provided. But the fact is he also said what I quoted. In this post, where have I taken up for the BSP guy? Think calmly.)

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  4. F&F:

    The fact is that Saare jahaan se achcha has more recall value. Recall Rakesh Sharma, our first man in space? I don't need to hand over certificates. But if some people feel stamped by what I say, I can't help it,

    The Vande Mataram & struggles of the nation is so disingenuous. As regards reservations for Muslims, Babri being rebuilt, J&K being liberated (from whom? Isn't it in India?), I am mildly amused how you even use a song for ulterior motives.

    “Time to end the myriad Jihads?"

    Uh, what happens to the uniform Muslim are like that? Where did variety come in? I suppose inspired by the fork tongue of the saffron terror networks that play hide and seek in the name of culture.

    I notice that in your excitement you missed out on what I said about Muslims, so here again:

    “The Muslims are cribbing that bowing before anyone but Allah is un-Islamic. These clerics ought to know that people regularly bow at tombstones in dargahs. Don’t many Muslim organisations carry around pictures of religious leaders and even rebel political figures in a crass mockery of obeisance? Where is their Islam, then?"






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  5. I agree with your post.

    I myself do not know Vande Mataram. It does not mean I do not care about India any less than those who know it. I think it should be a matter of individual choice.

    I've never been a fan of symbolism of any sort but if at all we are going to use symbolism, I'd rather have something that is TRULY - and naturally - unifying for EVERY Indian.

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  6. Farzana Ji,

    This post sums up the whole hue and cry about Vande Matarm pretty well. It's no longer a rocket science theory to understand that all these controversies are either used to gain petty political mileage or subvert other concerning issues.

    But I don't agree with your argument that "How many Indians know the Vande Mataram song ?". Let's forget about this song issue for a moment. I dont know Bhagwat Gita or Quran for that matter. Or let's say I dont know the technical nuances of our constitution. Does that mean I should stay neutral or passive to any insult to all these ?
    I agree with you that singing can't be forced upon someone to show patriotism. At the same time it can't be insulted which you have rightly hinted. The MP could have maintained silence till the song was over. By walking out and later on by giving some unapologetic sound bytes, he worsened it.

    If one has the freedom of belief in anything, one has to respect the belief of others..that is the whole idea of India.

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    Replies
    1. You wrote my mind! Disagreement should not be shown via insult. Such acts cause people to loose focus from the pertinent issues and spend time and effort on needless crap

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  7. “Vande Mataram” – Only Ishwar, Allah, or GOD true mother-father

    From the true sense only the creator (call thy Ishwar, Allah, or GOD) can be anyone’s mother, father or, parent… because only the creator actually started this universe and everything that we see? The parents who physically gave us birth are not aware how a human birth happens and they were one important medium but not our creator? No scientist till date is aware of how from nothingness an individual is born? In that sense the creator is also the mother of everyone because thy gave birth to us. So how come telling “Vande Mataram” “I bow down to thy mother” should be objectionable at all?

    Isn’t Ishwar, Allah, or GOD everyone’s mother-father as well? Isn’t it only showing the ignorance of the MP, and all those who are objecting? So how’s bowing down to creator (true mother-father) a shirk?

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  8. if vande matram is not acceptable then jan gad mann is totally unacceptable it is stuti of englands king Georje-5 .
    after hearing this song king became very happy on tagore so hi decided to give him noble prize but tagore knows that this song is not good so he said give noble for gitanjali. so angrej given promotion to jana gana mana made this controversy of vande matram becoz in those day vande matram was inspiration for all patriots .Gandhi ji also realised jana mana gana is not good so he said to nehru but nehru was not convinced so a new song have been created vijayi viswa tiranga pyara but we knows it as jhanda gaan but nehru rejected it also and at last accepted jana gana mana as national anthem and vande matram as national song .

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  9. FV

    I did not miss anything. I do not have the sekulaar habit of selective reading. :)

    That was good..!

    I noted your "hard" questions to Muslims. What you did not ask is why the dickens are these guys living in India. Do I have the liberty to go around wearing a Tshirt with a Prophet cartoon? Does this constitution-loving MP support me?

    We will never know because the sekulaar cabal will never ask him.

    The recall value argument is amusing. And I am sure you know it. Vande Mataram is the official national song. And Munni Badnam Hui has even higher recall value. Hope you won't accuse me of being unpatriotic by comparing the incomparables!

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  10. I' a muslim, but I'm an Indian first. I'm ready to leave my religion if it stops me from respecting my nation or the national song. Fortunately, Islam does not stop me from respecting the holy song of this nation.
    For me nation is much much much important than the religion.

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  11. Vande Mataram is a national song.

    It should be sung every day every place (in front of masjids too)

    If people have problem with it, quickly pack your bags and leave for pakistan or bangladesh.

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  12. If a muslims can think like Shahzad said... we are strongest country in world..

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  13. Raja S:

    {I've never been a fan of symbolism of any sort but if at all we are going to use symbolism, I'd rather have something that is TRULY - and naturally - unifying for EVERY Indian.}

    Perfectly conveyed, and echoes my sentiments.

    Thanks.

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  14. Nihar:

    True that many controversies are politically-driven.

    - - -
    {But I don't agree with your argument that "How many Indians know the Vande Mataram song ?". Let's forget about this song issue for a moment. I dont know Bhagwat Gita or Quran for that matter. Or let's say I dont know the technical nuances of our constitution. Does that mean I should stay neutral or passive to any insult to all these ?}

    - - -
    Let me ask you a counter-query: If you do not know about these - as many of us indeed are unaware - then how does one recognise an insult? Of course, one cannot stay neutral. We uphold the Constitution, and if some are religious then they will stand by their religion, or at least how it has been imparted to them. But one person's passion can become another's insult, and religion unfortunately is what sustains a lot of people.

    The question is how we define respect. I question the faith I was born in a lot. I question my country. I do not think these are disrespectful.

    Glad to have this exchange.

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    Replies
    1. Farzana Ji,

      Questioning can never be regarded as disrespectful at least not in India. I fully second your opinion about this.

      As far as recognizing insult is concerned, I agree that there are topics and some complex scenarios where one has to be aware of the minute aspects before coming to a conclusion. But there are simple scenarios as this one where one doesn't have to do a research before recognising an insult. If 100 other MPs are singing the National song, and one just abruptly walks out at the very moment what do we conclude out of it ? He has the complete freedom of not singing the song if it hurts his religious sentiments, but walking out of the Parliament is just taking it little forward and will obviously be seen as disrespectful.

      As long as we keep our passion to ourselves and not thrust upon others it is harmless.

      Cheers.

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  15. Ganeshjacharya:

    I'm afraid but I think parents know how babies are born. A mother sustains the foetus inside her and I think she is not unlike a creator.

    {No scientist till date is aware of how from nothingness an individual is born? In that sense the creator is also the mother of everyone because thy gave birth to us. So how come telling “Vande Mataram” “I bow down to thy mother” should be objectionable at all?}

    Well, we have the Big Bang Theory and we have Darwin. There is no problem in thinking of a creator as a parent, and respecting her. But, there is no one set of parents for the whole world.

    The MP brought the issue to the fore once again, beyond that he is not important. It is a subject that has caused people to question. Do read the links.

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  16. F&F:

    I don't see why the MP cannot live in India because of his act. He may be questioned, or even tried in court. About wearing a T-shirt with the Prophet's cartoon, I hope to recall the hue and cry when images of deities were used or when Madonna sang shlokas.

    Will the Sanghi cabal have answers?

    PS: Munni, badnaam or not, could well be somebody's mother. If she has recall value, then we truly are a nation of good sons!

    ---

    Abhishek:

    Thanks for the information. I did not understand much of it, but fortunately I know about many of these details.

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  17. Shahzad:

    Appreciate your views. But the fact you have to state that the "nation is much much much important than the religion" bothers me. They are TWO different entities.

    ---

    Anon:

    {If a muslims can think like Shahzad said... we are strongest country in world..}

    The tragedy is that a Muslim has to even say it. I'd like a Hindu to say this, too. I think a country is strong when its people are fruitfully occupied and have fair opportunities to realise their potential and not when they publicly need to owe allegiance to what is theirs.

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  18. Joshi:

    {Vande Mataram is a national song...It should be sung every day every place (in front of masjids too) If people have problem with it, quickly pack your bags and leave for pakistan or bangladesh.}

    I hope you do so; it might keep you busy. But there might be complaints about noise pollution.

    Whoever you are, you have no business to tell anybody to leave this country - especially if they are contributing to it.

    If you cannot handle one stray MP's 'insult', then why don;t you pack your bags and go to Nepal?

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  19. An interesting comparison here...

    A.R. Rahman's lyrics for his version of Vande Mataram— 'Maa Tujhe Salaam':

    Yahan vahan sara jahan dekh liya
    Ab tak bhi tere jaisa koi nahin

    Main assi nahin, sau din duniya ghooma hai
    Naahi kahe tere jaisa koi nahin

    Main gaya jahan bhi, bas teri yaad thi
    Jo mere sath thi mujhko tadpaati rulaati

    Sab se pyari teri soorat
    Pyaar hai bas tera, pyaar hiii

    Maa tujhe salam, maa tujhe salam

    Amma tujhe salaam Vande mataram, vande mataram (3)

    Janam janam tera hoon deewana main
    Jhoomoon naachoon gaaoon tere pyaar ka taraana

    Main jeena nahin soch nahin duniya ki daulat nahin
    Bas lootunga tere pyaar ka khazaana

    Ek nazar jab teri hoti hai pyaar ki
    Duniya tab to meri chamke damke maheke re
    Tera chehra sooraj jaisa chand si thand hai pyar mein

    Vande mataram, vande mataram (3)

    Tere paas hi main aa raha hoon
    Apni baahein khol de
    Zor se mujhko gale laga le
    Mujhko phir voh pyaar de
    Tu hi zindagi hai, tu hi meri mohabat hai
    Tere hi pairon mein jannat hai
    Tu hi dil, tu jaan, amma Maa tujhe salam, maa tujhe salam
    Amma tujhe salaam, maa tujhe salaam

    Vande mataram, vande mataram (4)

    and these words

    1. The Prophet said, "Your Heaven lies under the feet of your mother"

    2. A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship? The Prophet said: Your mother. The man said, ‘Then who?' The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man further asked, ‘Then who?' The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man asked again, ‘Then who?' The Prophet said: Then your father. (Bukhari, Muslim).

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  20. It all boils down to a question of identity. A Muslim would have an identity due to his/her religion label, any Indian would also wear a geography label – for most (Indian Muslim) individuals, there is no conflict between the two identities as long as they do not hug one (or other) label too close. A person who wishes to hug any one label too tight – to the exclusion of his/her all other labels – will have a problem, if he/she is too beholden to the core of the religion and the core requires absolute adherence to prescribed conducts, so sooner or later they will have to trample upon other modes of conduct which run counter to the prescribed conduct.

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  21. muslims are most hypocrite people....
    muslims can never be progressive,rational,pragmatic,atheist,humanist,or natioalist.they are not comfortable with secular society,or democratic society,they need sharia law...they donot have any sense of justice for them revenge is the only justice...they will keep their women in tent...they cannot read quran in liberal manner that's the reason they are so reluctant to any change...they need islamic banking,sharia law,islamic housing,islamic madarsa education....i have only one advice pack your bag go to saudi arabia and i will see if they give you citizenship,right to worship dargah,freedom to marry their son...

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    Replies
    1. Do not generalize an entire community! Such immature thoughts are dangerous for the integrity of the country

      Delete
  22. Anonymous, you need to read more on a subject. Insulting a community is wrong, as SM says.

    FV, ma'am your piece of 2006 is crucial to understand the needless controversy. I did not know about the UP directive. Thanks for the quotes from Tagore and Rehman.

    I think the BSP minister is MP.

    Regards, Akanksha

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  23. I wish the aions would append initials or a nickname...I am getting confused ...

    Anon:

    {A person who wishes to hug any one label too tight – to the exclusion of his/her all other labels – will have a problem...}

    I agree with the spirit of your comment, but we all have labels. Why do we make religion into a bogey. What about other rules that may not conform with other societal norms? What about dissent?

    There are several beliefs that contradict a system. It should be able to withstand it, unless it goes against civilised behaviour and harms others.

    ---

    Akanksha:

    I was glad I had written about that earlier. These things do offer us a better perspective, for we can look back and see how much has changed, or not at all.

    Thanks for pointing out the MLA error. I had mentioned MP elsewhere. Anyhow, made the change.

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  24. SM:

    We either concentrate on the insult or how they insult is perceived, and then it snowballs. It is always a tough call to take whether one ought to write about such things or not, and then one sees it all over and one has an opinion that may have some merit, even for argument, so one adds to it.

    ---

    Anon:

    Now that you have got it out of your system, I do hope you had a good day.

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  25. Farzana Versey ji, you wrote "I'm afraid but I think parents know how babies are born"....

    In that case:-
    1. Can you then please explain me how from nothingness a male sperms arise? how from nothing nothingness a female ovaries arise? Do you really know how ovaries are produced in your body? Parents really know about all that? Parents are an important medium for birth. But they are not the ones knowing the scientific principles behind all this.

    2. Which Darwin's theory Madam. Be specific.

    3. Can you explain me how and why from nothingness gases started expanding (big bang)? Can you show me in a controlled environment with absolute vacuum with nothing in it gases suddenly arising and expanding etc. Is that possible? Does it not sound like "abracadabra"? Nothing 2 mins before and afterwards mins gases start expanding in a close environment.

    Please don't fall for systematic brainwashing. Please think and then tell me. Big Bang (a pejorative term used as a tease by Fred Hoyle) is an unproven theory. You are quoting it as thought it is a proof. If there were gases, rationally those gases should have a beginning, what was that beginning? Do question infinitely. Truth will appear.

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  26. Science, religion and superstition all can and must be questioned. Those who talk about being brainwashed by science will willingly accept 'other' non-provable ideas. Not everything can be interpreted individually.

    Anyhow, this post was about something else. All theories are available by researching, and then it is upto us to delve deeper.

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  27. "willingly accept 'other' non-provable ideas"

    How do we go ahead with this... I have just recorded the following

    1. As of 2013 I see "Farzana Versey ji", her photo, her blog post and have recorded this message.

    2. I will tell next generation about "Farzana Versey ji" and her blog post. The next generation carry on this message generations after generations. Now as time passes some 10x100000000 years ahead, nothing will be around... Traces of "Farzana Versey ji" will be not found at all. Now, on such a situation some devoted followers take all the pain and repeatedly carry on this message. Now suddenly a skeptic who starts to disbelieve for no good reason argues... "Those who talk about being brainwashed by science will willingly accept 'other' non-provable ideas"

    Madam... what are the future generations to answer skeptics... "Farzana Versey ji" is present or absent?

    3. "Science, religion and superstition all can and must be questioned" No madam. Everything stands very much on "belief". It is a systematic teaching both from the social and pre-programmed genetic information getting carried forward to believe that the child born is the one who gives birth to it. Or otherwise there are many living species who just give birth and do nothing later about the child. Their attachments are not as deep as a humans. And some cannot look after their child, but even then these species very much survive.

    The true parent is only the one who originally started this.... everything else is an illusion that we are systematically taught or have been brought up with.

    If you ask me to prove it, I would quote "It has been told historically". So, it is very much correct. As in the case of you being present now but untraceable for generations down the line. Just because you are unprovable does not mean you are absent now.

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