BSP MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq continues with his anti-national rants. Barq says he will abstain from Parliament each time Vande Mataram is being played citing the reason that his religion doesn’t permit him to sing the song. Earlier in May, the Muslim MP walked of the House when Vande Mataram was being sung.
Ahead of centenary celebration of the song Vande Mataram in 2006, Islamic seminary Darul Uloom had issued a fatwa describing the recitation of Vande Mataram as “anti-Islamic”. The ground it cited was that the verses of the national song are against the tenets of Islam. In the same year Islamic body Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind at its 30th General Session in Deoband had upheld Darul Uloom’s edict on Vande Mataram.
Because, the song is an ode to Mother India and envisions all citizens as its children, the Muslim fanatics argue that, “This is against the fundamental ethos of Islam.” Every time the Muslim extremists float the argument, the secular fundamentalists second them with their illogical rationales saying the singing of the national song should be made optional.
But nationalist Muslims sharply differ with what anti-national Islamists profess and what secular jholawalas say about the national song. Music maestro AR Rahman, in his tribute to Mother India in the form of the music album Ma Tujhe Salam gave Vande Mataram a new dimension. Arif Mohammed Khan, who was a long-time Member of Parliament, even wrote an Urdu translation of Vande Mataram.
The bogus debate over Vande Mataram dates back to a time a century ago. It was this very same debate which had clouded the debate over the national song during the pre-independence era. The Muslim League’s separatist agenda had also strongly objected to Vande Mataram.
The evocative anthem — penned by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, first appeared in his book Anandmath, published in the year 1882 — years after it was actually written. The song emerged as a hymn for India’s freedom movement. Mahatma Gandhi associated the song with the purest national spirit. Aurobindo Ghosh said it was a mantra of the new religion of patriotism. Rabindranath Tagore wrote in his book Glorious Thoughts, “Vande Mataram! These are the magic words which will open the door of his iron safe, break through the walls of his strong room, and confound the hearts of those who are disloyal to its call to say Vande Mataram.”
On the first such political occasion, it was Tagore who sang Vande Mataram in the Calcutta Congress Session of 1896. Dakhina Charan Sen sang it five years later in another session of Congress at Calcutta. Lala Lajpat Rai started Vande Mataram journal from Lahore. Later, Aurobindo Ghosh helped popularising the song through another journal Vande Mataram which he edited. An editorial in the journal exhorted, “In every village, every town Anandamath must be established. Then the Mother’s name will be uttered by crores of throats and every side will resound Vande Mataram.”
Hiralal Sen made India’s first political film in 1905 which concluded with the chant Vande Mataram. Matangini Hazra’s last words as she was shot to death by the Crown police were Vande Mataram. In 1907, Bhikaiji Cama unfurled the first version of India’s national flag in Stuttgart, Germany with Vande Mataram written on its middle band.
From Mahatma Gandhi to Shubhash Chandra Bose, Vande Mataram was a mantra of India’s independent struggle. Pre-independence Indian society left no stones unturned in their endeavours to make this very song into a national slogan, reaching as far as England. It was the Congress which adopted Vande Mataram as the National Song at its Varanasi session on September 7, 1905.
It was Vande Mataram which was voted as one of the 10 most favourite songs of the world of all times by BBC World Service radio poll in 2003. Mornings in India begin with All India Radio playing the tune of Vande Mataram, believed to be composed by Pandit Ravi Shankar.
Vande Mataram is dedicated to Mother India. Naturally therefore, it is the song of the Indian heart. It is a symbol of nation and nationhood. The tune of Vande Mataram has inspired lives and times. The chanting of Vande Mataram brings a sense of pride to every Indian nationalist.
The likes of Shafiqur Rahman Barq and his secularist ilk, by insulting Vande Mataram, assault the very idea of India. They are insulting the norms of Indian Constitution. Be aware. They are blowing a bugle of a war against the nation.