‘Vande Mataram controversy uncalled for’

November 18th, 2009 - 11:22 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 18 (IANS) Stating that the controversy over ‘Vande Mataram’ was uncalled for, several prominent Muslim personalities Wednesday said the issue if Muslims can recite the national song had been resolved with the consent of clerics some 80 years ago.
“We are shocked at the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind’s unprovoked move to revive the Vande Mataram controversy. It is a well-known fact that the debate on Vande Mataram was settled way back in 1930s with the consent of then leadership of the Jamiat. It was then agreed upon that the controversial parts of the Vande Mataram would not be recited. The practice continues,” a statement said.

The statement was released by scholars and social activists like Zafar Agha, Shabnam Hashmi, Gauhar Raza and Sohail Hashmi. It was also signed by prominent actor Nasiruddin Shah, lyricist Javed Akhtar, actor Shabana Azmi and writer Saeed Akhtar Mirza and over 100 other prominent persons.

“We neither believe that the Vande Mataram is a test case of some one’s patriotism nor do we agree with the Jamiat interpretation that reciting the song would endanger one’s faith. Therefore, we strongly condemn the Jamiat move to unnecessarily provoke a controversy around Vande Mataram at this juncture,” it added.

It said the Jamait’s move had strengthened Hindutva forces, and condemned the Hindu right wing’s attempt to impose its recitation on citizens to prove one’s patriotism.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, an organisation of Muslim clerics, at its national convention at Deoband recently endorsed an earlier fatwa (decree) of the Deoband seminary against Vande Mataram on the grounds that some of its lines were “against the religious principles of Islam”.

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