Sachiniti

August 24, 2006

Vande Mataram-Freedom To Refuse

Filed under: India n Me,Most Read,opinions — Kaveeta Oberoi Kaul @ 12:45 pm
Tags: ,

The recent uproar over the singing of Vande Mataram by Muslim clerisy had its origins in a Fatwa issued against it as far back as 12th June. While it had not created headlines then, it caught my eye and had written a post, re produced here. The ripple effect was bound to turn into a storm sooner or later..

Vande mataram..India accords its citizens the right to voice protest even against singing of a song denoting nationalistic fervour, intrinsic to the intention.

Does enforcement through political will constitute pontification? As much as refusal to sing it does!

Does the matter merit attention? If secularism needs to be re-defined-yes.

********************

12th June’06
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!!!

Incredulous!!

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

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20 Comments »

  1. And what about the declarations against valentines day and “fire’ and “fanaa” and all the other hindu fanaticism??

    Comment by Anonymous — June 13, 2006 @ 2:30 pm | Reply

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

    Comment by Neha — June 13, 2006 @ 3:01 pm | Reply

  3. 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.

    Comment by puja — June 13, 2006 @ 5:04 pm | Reply

  4. 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-

    Comment by Dim Poetry — June 13, 2006 @ 11:28 pm | Reply

  5. 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.

    Comment by Dim Poetry — June 13, 2006 @ 11:38 pm | Reply

  6. 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!!

    Comment by Chameleon's Karma — June 13, 2006 @ 11:55 pm | Reply

  7. 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!!

    Comment by Chameleon's Karma — June 14, 2006 @ 12:01 am | Reply

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

    Comment by Velu — June 14, 2006 @ 12:13 am | Reply

  9. Kaveetaa,

    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?

    Comment by Nitin — June 14, 2006 @ 9:27 am | Reply

  10. 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.

    Comment by Chameleon's Karma — June 14, 2006 @ 10:09 am | Reply

  11. See the later comments here for a muslim perspective :
    http://cynical-nerd.nationalinterest.in/?p=53#comments

    Comment by Anonymous — June 14, 2006 @ 11:04 am | Reply

  12. From a news item at Indianpad:
    http://www.indianpad.com/view.php?id=5184
    The only Hindu temple at Lahore demolished.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — June 14, 2006 @ 11:15 am | Reply

  13. Puja,

    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.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — June 14, 2006 @ 4:30 pm | Reply

  14. Well said, Kaveetaa.

    Comment by Swapna — June 15, 2006 @ 2:16 am | Reply

  15. 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.

    Ck,

    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.

    Nitin,

    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.

    Ck,

    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!!

    Swapna,
    🙂 Thanks a ton.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — June 15, 2006 @ 10:19 am | Reply

  16. 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.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — June 15, 2006 @ 10:45 am | Reply

  17. 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?

    Comment by sanjay — June 15, 2006 @ 3:37 pm | Reply

  18. Sanjay,

    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.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — June 15, 2006 @ 4:09 pm | Reply

  19. KAVEETAA, WELL WRITTEN KAVEETAA. DEFINITELY AGREE TO YOUR UNDERSTANDING. I BELIEVE THAT THE TIME MUSLIMS COME OUT OF THEIR RELIGIOUS FANATICISM, ERR- RELIGIOUS TEXTS,AND SEEK RATIONAL KNOWLEDGE, EDUCATION, THEY’LL HAVE A PEACEFUL LIVING FOR US AND THEMSELVES. DELIBERATE DETACHMENT FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD WILL ONLY GET THE MOHAMEDIANS INTO DISREGARD FROM VARIOUS COMMUNITIES. E.G. THE LATEST SPEECH FROM THE POPE.

    Comment by KARISHMA — September 19, 2006 @ 12:37 pm | Reply

  20. MUSLIMS MUST FIRST LOOK INTO THEIR REGULAR LIVES-HOW MANY KIDS THEY PROCREATE, HOW MANY CAN THEY FEED, EDUCATE AND HOW MANY ARE ORPHANED. ALSO THEY MUST PREACH THEIR MUSLIM FELLOWS ABOUT ALL THESE AND THEN TALK ABOUT RELIGIOUS FANATICISM. THE MUSLIM CULT MUST DISCUSS AMONGST THEMSELVES, ABOUT THEIR MAJORITY IN CRIMINAL AREAS-RAPES, MURDERS, BOMBINGS, ESP IN RELIGIOUS AREAS, DRUGS TO NAME A FEW. SADLY, EVIDENCE SHOW THAT EVEN THE EDUCATED CLASS AMONG MUSLIMS PREACH THEIR KIDS ABOUT RELIGION FANTICISM AND IGNORANCE TOWARDS SECTS OTHER THAN ISLAM. ISLAMIC IN GENERAL, APPARENTLY DO NOT ANALYZE THEIR TRADITIONS AND THEIR IMAGE IN WORLD AFFAIRS. THEY R PROUD BOUT THEIR SUM.
    HATRED FROM VARIOUS COMMUNITIES TOWARDS ISLAM IS WHAT WE CAN SPECULATE. WHAT WOULD HATRED LEAD TO, ANYWAY? AN UNFORTUNATE WORLD WAR, PROBABLY?

    Comment by KARISHMA — September 19, 2006 @ 12:48 pm | Reply


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