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Current Affairs ( 5 Nov 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Controversy over ‘Vande Mataram’ Irrelevant: Issue Settled 50 Yrs Ago

By Subhash K. Jha

November 4th, 2009


MUMBAI - Veteran Bollywood scriptwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar believes the controversy over the national song “Vande mataram” is obsolete and those who have any objection to it should simply not sing it.

He was referring to the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind Tuesday asking Muslims not to sing the song on the grounds that some of its lines were “against the religious principles of Islam”.

“It’s a non-issue and unnecessarily provocative. I’ve written songs with ‘Vande mataram’ in them. I used the term ‘Vande mataram’ in Priyadarshan’s ‘Saza-e-Kala Pani’,” Akhtar told IANS.

“Then I used the term for a song in ‘Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani’ and finally for a song that’s used at the military academy at Dehradun. Please don’t make an issue out of a non-issue.”

He believes the “controversy is old and obsolete. ‘Vande mataram’ is part of Bankimchandra Chatterjee’s novel ‘Anand Math’. All the villains in this novel are Muslims. Ultimately the Muslims lose and the novelist feels happy that the British have come to save us from these so-called ‘barbaric’ Muslims.

“This is the song of militant sadhus in the novel. There were two stanzas of strong religiosity in this song. When talk arose of making ‘Vande mataram’ the national anthem it was pointed out by rational elements that the novel was anti-Muslim.

“The Congress decided to take out the two rabidly religious stanzas and the rest of the song was retained. The controversy ended there.

“What is this new resistance? The objection is redundant. You don’t want to sing ‘Vande mataram’, don’t! Who is forcing you? I sing it. I don’t see it as objectionable. If you do, don’t sing it. Why do you insist on bringing such irrelevant matters centre-stage?”

While the Jamiat passed a resolution supporting an earlier decree against the song, it drew fierce criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which called the move ‘anti-national’.



‘Vande issue settled 50 yrs ago’

Khursheed Says Singing the National Song Is Not Objectionable

6 Nov 2009

New Delhi: As Congress fights shy of Vande Mataram debate, citing sensitivity of the matter, minority affairs minister Salman Khursheed on Thursday waded into the issue saying there was no need to reopen the chapter which was settled 50 years ago. He said singing the song was not objectionable.

    Khursheed’s comment came after a fatwa issued by Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, saying the national song was idolatrous and could not be sung by Muslims. A recurring theme in national political scene, the fresh ban called by Deoband triggered a controversy with opposition guns even targeted at Congress as home minister P Chidambaram had visited the campus for the same function.

    Congress has chosen to keep quiet on the issue, with a party spokesman saying it was better not to touch the “sensitive issue”. However, Khursheed threw away the caution as he felt a fresh reference to old objections to Vande Mataram was unnecessary. He said, “Fifty years ago, it was settled before great national leaders and we should not reopen the question. We have been using Vande Mataram as national song as some stanzas of Vande Mataram were decided to be treated as national song.” He said Hindus and Muslims settled the issue during independence and JuH was a party to the resolution. “There is no reason given by anyone for reviewing it, which is a settled question.”

    Khursheed’s comments are significant as they come not just from a Muslim leader but also someone chosen to head the minority affairs ministry, the government arm carved out in 2004 to woo minorities, especially Muslims. While Vande Mataram has been a nogo area for mainstream parties, given the incendiary nature of controversies which erupt from it and the political implications involved, the opposition has reacted to it as it did this time around.

    Khursheed defended the home minister, saying while he visited Deoband, he was not present when the JuH passed a resolution asking Muslims not to sing Vande Mataram. It was a clear attempt to dissociate the party leader from the controversial decision, again pointing to his opposition to the fatwa by JuH.



Muslim Clergies Dictum on Vande Mataram Evokes Protest

November 6th, 2009

Lucknow, Nov 6 (ANI): Activists of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) staged a mass protest here against the Muslims clergy for issuing fatwa, asking the Muslims not to sing India’s national song Vande Mataram.

The Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind passed the fatwa on Vande Mataram during its 30th general session held at the Islamic seminary in Deoband on Tuesday by contending that some of the verses of the song are against the tenets of their religion.

Reacting to this dictum, the agitated VHP activists burnt an effigy of the Muslim organisation for raking up an issue that could hurt sentiments of the Hindu community.

The VHP activists demanded that the central government should take measures to check instances of insulting the national song.

“Again and again commenting on Vande Mataram and creating an issue of it is not acceptable. We condemn this because this has provoked sentiments of Hindus and the people of the country. If they have to stay in the country then they have to recite Vande Mataram, as it is a national song,” said Dharmendra, a VHP leader, Lucknow.

VHP activists also criticised the presence of Home Minister P Chidambaram at the Deoband convention.

Meanwhile, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the ‘Art of Living’ and a spiritual guru said that Vande Mataram was respecting the land of the country and should not viewed as a song that could divide two communities in the country.

Addressing a function at Dehradun, Shankar also mentioned that he would be talking to Islamic scholars to help ease the issue over singing of Vande Mataram.

“It is surprising to note that after 62 years why this issue has sprung up. Such issues shouldn’t be taken up as it divides two communities. We should be working on uniting people. I will be meeting Islamic scholars. Vande just doesn’t mean Puja it has different other meanings. Vandarpan, meaning thanks giving and thanking the land and doesn’t just mean worship the land. We need to look at it from different angles,” he said. (ANI)



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Lyrics of Vande Mataram

Translation by Shree Aurobindo 
Mother, I bow to thee! 
Rich with thy hurrying streams, 
bright with orchard gleams, 
Cool with thy winds of delight, 
Dark fields waving Mother of might, 
Mother free.

Glory of moonlight dreams, 
Over thy branches and lordly streams, 
Clad in thy blossoming trees, 
Mother, giver of ease 
Laughing low and sweet! 
Mother I kiss thy feet, 
Speaker sweet and low! 
Mother, to thee I bow.

Who hath said thou art weak in thy lands 
When the sword flesh out in the seventy million hands 
And seventy million voices roar 
Thy dreadful name from shore to shore? 
With many strengths who art mighty and stored, 
To thee I call Mother and Lord! 
Though who savest, arise and save! 
To her I cry who ever her foeman drove 
Back from plain and Sea 
And shook herself free.

Thou art wisdom, thou art law, 
Thou art heart, our soul, our breath 
Though art love divine, the awe 
In our hearts that conquers death. 
Thine the strength that nervs the arm, 
Thine the beauty, thine the charm. 
Every image made divine 
In our temples is but thine.

Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen, 
With her hands that strike and her 
swords of sheen, 
Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned, 
And the Muse a hundred-toned, 
Pure and perfect without peer, 
Mother lend thine ear, 
Rich with thy hurrying streams, 
Bright with thy orchard gleems, 
Dark of hue O candid-fair

In thy soul, with jewelled hair 
And thy glorious smile divine, 
Lovilest of all earthly lands, 
Showering wealth from well-stored hands! 
Mother, mother mine! 
Mother sweet, I bow to thee, 
Mother great and free!


वन्दे मातरम् 
सुजलां सुफलां मलयजशीतलाम्
शस्यशामलां मातरम्  
सुहासिनीं सुमधुर भाषिणीं
सुखदां वरदां मातरम् ।। ।। वन्दे मातरम्
अबला केन मा एत बले
बहुबलधारिणीं नमामि तारिणीं 
रिपुदलवारिणीं मातरम् ।। ।। वन्दे मातरम्
तुमि विद्या, तुमि धर्म 
तुमि हृदि, तुमि मर्म
त्वं हि प्राणा: शरीरे 
बाहुते तुमि मा शक्ति, 
हृदये तुमि मा भक्ति, 
तोमारई प्रतिमा गडि 
मन्दिरे-मन्दिरे मातरम् ।। ।। वन्दे मातरम्
त्वं हि दुर्गा दशप्रहरणधारिणी 
कमला कमलदलविहारिणी
वाणी विद्यादायिनी, नमामि त्वाम् 
नमामि कमलां अमलां अतुलां 
सुजलां सुफलां मातरम् ।। ।। वन्दे मातरम्
श्यामलां सरलां सुस्मितां भूषितां 
धरणीं भरणीं मातरम् ।। ।। वन्दे मातरम् ।।

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