Debating India

’Vande Mataram’ is anti-Muslim: IUML

Sunday 3 September 2006

"Any attempt to force the singing of the song will be uncivilised"

MUMBAI: The Indian Union Muslim League on Saturday said `Vande Mataram’ was "anti-Muslim."

"Any attempt to force the singing of Vande Mataram will be uncivilised and an affront to the secular character of our polity and will also not be tolerated by Muslims," IUML president G.M. Banatwala said in a press release here. "`Vande Mataram’ has been consistently and conscientiously held as idolatrous by Muslims. It also has an anti-Muslim and objectionable background. Muslims cannot sing it."

Mr. Banatwala called on Muslim students not to attend classes on September 7 in case there was "any fear of insistence on singing Vande Mataram."

The Centre has issued a directive, asking schools to get their students to recite `Vande Mataram’ on September 7 to mark the centenary of the national song.

"It is most unfortunate that instead of appreciating the Muslim position, the Sangh Parivar is out to vitiate the communal atmosphere," he said. "Muslims should not, as usual, accept any provocations and maintain calm and patience. They may stand up silently as a mark of respect to the right of the gathering singing Vande Mataram."

"Singing not mandatory"

A day after the Assam Government issued a notification for singing of `Vande Mataram’ on September 7 in all educational institutions, Education Minister Ripun Bora on Saturday clarified that the rendering of the national song was not mandatory.

In a press release, he said the Government had asked the heads of institutions to arrange for singing the first two stanzas at 11 a.m. as a sequel to orders received from Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh. However, the notification had not made the singing "compulsory" as had been reported in a section of the media.

Earlier, the Assam United Democratic Front, an amalgamation of over a dozen minority organisations, vowed to oppose the bid to impose `Vande Mataram’ in educational institutions in the State, saying it might hurt the feelings of minority communities.


See online : The Hindu

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