‘Vande Mataram’ controversy needless: Mohsina Kidwai

November 17th, 2009 - 5:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) Congress general secretary Mohsina Kidwai Tuesday said the controversy over “Vande Mataram” was needless and added that it was up to the people whether they wanted to sing the national song or not.
“Those who say that if you sing the song, you are not Muslims and those who say that you have to sing the song to prove your patriotism are both wrong,” Kidwai told IANS.

The Congress leader said “Vande Mataram” was not a religious song and added that it was recited at sessions of the All India Congress Committee (AICC).

“It is also not a religious song. The controversy has long been settled with the removal of controversial paragraphs and even the judiciary has ruled that singing the song is not mandatory,” she said, adding that the choice in the matter should be left to the people.

The Congress leader, who is the party’s in-charge of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala apart from the Mahila Congress, said debates should focus on issues of education and employment and not on “non-issues”.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, a cleric body, at its national convention at Deoband earlier this month had 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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