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I Love VandeMatram, but...

This is in response to the controversy over singing of VandeMatram by Muslims. As a Muslim, I have no hesitation in saying, I love the song VandeMatram. It moves me more than our national anthem, Jana Gana Mana. It is very poetic and a literary masterpiece. The imagery is beautiful and inspiring. 

I have had fights (yes, boxing and free-style kushti ) with many Muslims over this song. When they call it unIslamic, I say : “So is Iqbal’s poem NayaShivala in which he urges us to create a lovely moorti (idol) and inscribe the word ‘Hindostaan’ on its forehead, instal it in the Haridwaar of our hearts, take water from the Ganga of our eyes and let it flow before this idol, our Motherland and let us forget all other religions.” 

I quote from NayaShivala, Soonipari hui haimuddat se dilkibasti (For a long time my heart has been lying barren) Aa iknayaShivala is desh main banadein (Let’s build a new Shivala in our country) Duniyaketirath se ooncha ho tirathapna (Higher than the world’s temples be our temple) Daamane-aasma se iska kalash miladein ( So that its kalash may touch the skies) Har subah uthkejaayen(Every morning we wake up and go) Mantar ho meethemeethe (Chanting mantras so sweet) Saarepujarion ko maipreetki pila dein (Make all the priests drink the wine of love) Shakti bhi shanti bhibhaktokegeet main hai (In the songs of the bhaktas one finds peace and strength) Dhartikevasionkimuktipreet main hai.(Love alone can liberate the people of this earth.) Hindostanlikh de maathe pe is sanamke (Inscribe the word ‘Hindostan’ on the forehead of my beloved) Bhoolehuyetaraneduniya ko phirsunadein.( Let the world hear forgotten melodies again)

Aankhon ki hai jo Ganga le leke us se paani, Is devta ke aage ik naher si bahadein.(Let the Ganga of our tears fIow in front of this Deity). And he concludes, “let us burn once and for all, the conflicts and quarrels between religions.” ( dharmonke yeh bakhede, aag main jalaadein) Why don’t the Muslims ask for the ban of Iqbal’s poem? Why do we teach it to our children as a masterpiece of Urdu poetry? Also, why did Shakeel Badayooni write the famous bhajan, ‘Man tarapat Hari darshan ko aaaj ?’( My heart today yearns for the darshan of Hari) Why did Naushaad set it to tune? Why did Mohammad Rafi sing it? Why did Nazeer Akbarabadi write the poem :Kyaakyaakahoon main Krishna Kanhahaiyya ka baalpan? (How do I describe the beauties of Krishna’s childhood?) Why did Meer Taqi Meer write :Meer kedeen-o-mazhab ko ab poochhokyaa ho unne toe, Qashqakhaincha, dair main baithaa, kabkaatark Islam kiyaa. (Why ask about Meer’s religion now, when he has renounced Islam long ago, put on a tilak on his forehead and sat in a temple?).

Are they all kaafirs? I also tell fellow Muslims, which Muslim does not take interest on his savings account in the bank or on his Provident Fund account, despite the fact that taking interest has been listed in Islam as a bigger sin than eating pork ? Which Muslim does not see films in which naa-mehram women not only expose their faces but a lot else? Which Muslim does not violate Islam ten times a day? Will heaven fall on our heads if we just sing VandeMatram? However, I wish to put on record that while VandeMatram is a lovely song, the novel Anand Math in which it appears was quite communal. At times, it is so anti-Muslim that it virtually tends to support the British against the Muslims. This aspect should also not be ignored if the correct and complete picture is to be presented before the public. The communal, fascist Hindus (who are a blot on the fair name of Hindus ) have the least right to order any Muslim to sing VandeMatram. Many Muslims, who consider it a sin to sing VandeMatram are much more patriotic than the big-guns of Hindutva who worship Hitler more than they worship the Bharat Mata (Mother India). VandeMatram is a national song. It is not the National Anthem. If we attack only Muslim communalism, we defeat our very purpose because we tend to give strength to Hindu communalism and if Hindu communalism gets strength, it is bound to strengthen Muslim communalism on the rebound. Similarly if we attack only Hindu communalism, we tend to boost to Muslim communalism and thus we help to strengthen Hindu communalism on the rebound.

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