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The National song controversyViews: 1149
Aug 29, 2006 12:05 pmThe National song controversy#

Basab Ghosh
Why are the leaders of the Muslim community against singing the National song, or having it sung in Madrasas? By the same token they would shy away from singing the National anthem also!

Every Indian citizen should sing the National anthem and the National song with pride. Religious considerations MUST become secondary.

Why is it that only BJP is protesting? All self respecting citizens of India must protest against the UPA Govt. capitulating against this shameful demand from the Muslim leaders. Political parties of all hues must protest. Else they do not deserve our vote.


Private Reply to Basab Ghosh

Aug 29, 2006 12:56 pmre: The National song controversy#

Hasmukh Gandhi
BJP is protesting becoz it is "COMMUNAL"

Congress and communist r not protesting becoz they r "SECULAR"

Secularism is turning out to be most dangerous, dirty word in contemporary politics...

What is shocking is majority of liberated muslims r silent with the pretext that BJP is contesting on "Communal" ground...

The stoic silence by the intelligentia is defeaning...

Private Reply to Hasmukh Gandhi

Aug 29, 2006 7:56 pmre: re: The National song controversy#

FuFaji Lalit Vashishta

I read this news today in the paper, and whioe started reading out loud to my daughter - she asked me what a "Madarssa" was?

Soeb will be the right person to comment on this post.

Lage raho

Private Reply to FuFaji Lalit Vashishta

Aug 29, 2006 8:09 pmre: re: re: The National song controversy#

Sandip Kundu
This topic has been beaten to death in the Bindaas Bol network. Guess the reason was "the words Vande Mataram are against the teachings of Islam where Allah is supreme and no one else, not even the Motherland." (ref http://www.ibnlive.com/news/fatwa-against-vande-mataram/12644-3.html)

But would be good to hear Soeb's viewpoint, if he is comfortable discussing this topic again..

As for Madrasah - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madrassa

Private Reply to Sandip Kundu

Aug 30, 2006 1:02 amre: re: re: re: The National song controversy#

FuFaji Lalit Vashishta
This is the first time we will be discussing a sensitive topic on Fufa -

Why am I allowing it? Because it is a controversy about our National Song. A Nations Pride.

This board has seen an issue of the National Flag just two days ago, and that was initiated by Soeb.
That has been taken care because of a lot of intervention from one of our Fufa member (wants to stay anonymous). As you have already see that the respective pages on the Rediff site were corrected.

Now we have to address this sensitive topic. And moment I notice that it is losing its purpose of a matured discussion here, I will be taking it off the board

Lage Raho

Private Reply to FuFaji Lalit Vashishta

Aug 30, 2006 3:04 amre: re: re: re: re: The National song controversy#

Sumanth Cidambi
A small request - before we get impassioned about this and start putting forth our right(eous) and left(ist) points of view, let us ask ourselves a question...

Is this a battle on an issue that is big enough to matter AND small enough to win?


PS: A quote I read not so long ago:

"It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his belief to things he does not (truly) believe he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime." - Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

Private Reply to Sumanth Cidambi

Aug 31, 2006 9:03 amThe National song controversy#

Basab Ghosh
I see a lot of ground rules around the issue being set, but nobody seems to care (dare?) to put in writing their opinions!

Sumanth, this issue is one of many in a planned move to impose the will of one religeous doctrine on our religeously neutral social fabric (Now we have a fatwa against life insurance!). We just can not tolerate such impositions by the followers of any particular religion claiming their right to be treated differently from everyone else because of their religion. If we want to be secular, then everyone, without exceptions, must put the country before their religion and accept modifications required to lead a secular existence under a unified code of conduct.

The Govt. also must take stern steps to curb such separatisms and ban all religious fatwas legally.

Private Reply to Basab Ghosh

Sep 01, 2006 3:21 pmre: The National song controversy#

Hasmukh Gandhi

First of all I still don't understand why we needed to make ground rules for discussing this subject?

Why we need to be so apologetic about such a provocative issue?

Basab, ur point is so crystal clear that it does not really require any rejoinder...

This issue is of enormous garvity as we r discounting our collective future for short term politial gains...

Some psuedo-intellectuals wud try to highjack the issue by confusing with non-issues as they want to prject themselves as "borad-minded, intellectuals, secular and citizen of the world" blah blah....

I cud write an essay but....

But u must be very naive Basab when u suggested that govt should ban all relegious fatwas...

Private Reply to Hasmukh Gandhi

Sep 02, 2006 7:48 pmre: re: The National song controversy#

Basab Ghosh
Naive? May be. But let me carry on and clarify....

May be the word 'fatwah' is associated with the Islamic faith, but most faiths come out with their version of the same, like the ban on women in Sabrimala temple, the practice of social ostracisation among Hindus at the behest of the village priest, the practice of declaring someone 'tankhaiya' by the Sikhs, the recent hullabooloo over the 'Da vinci code' movie by the Christians and the dictum from the vatican to shun that movie.... these are all 'fatwahs' in different guises. These have no place in a secular country. These can only be stopped by legislation, as the 'suttee' has been done in British Raj time. Unfortunately, our so called secular Governments that came into power after independence, have never shown the courage to put what they preach in practice.


Private Reply to Basab Ghosh

Sep 03, 2006 2:21 pmre: re: re: The National song controversy#

Hasmukh Gandhi

There is nothing to cheer about Basaab...

We r sitting on Volcano and r trying to find some excuses to ignore the obvious...

I repeat, by adopting the ostrich-like approach...we r collectivley discounting the future of this country....

Private Reply to Hasmukh Gandhi

Sep 03, 2006 5:05 pmThe National song controversy#

Basab Ghosh
87 views, 9 responses and 5 responders..... that tells a tale! Is it lack of courage, lack of interest, or what?

Private Reply to Basab Ghosh

Sep 03, 2006 6:52 pmre: The National song controversy#

Here is the exact quote I have received from a very cloce Muslim friend of mine:-

"The controversy over the singing of Vande Mataram has once again threatened to divide the country on communal lines.

The refusal of the Muslims to sing this song seems to have angered the Hindutva ideologues, who, without giving them an opportunity to explain their position, have accused them of being anti-national.

Hence, it becomes imperative to analyse the objections raised by the Muslim community against the recital of Vande Mataram .

The Muslim viewpoint is that Islam, being a monotheist religion, forbids the apotheosis of any deity, animate or inanimate, except God, the supreme creator.

In fact, ascribing divinity to even Prophet Mohammad is considered an act of blasphemy negating the very purpose of Islam, that is, to promote the concept of unity of mankind through the worship of a common creator.

In this context, those opposed to the Muslim point of view should know that Vande Mataram contains verses that are in direct conflict with the beliefs of Islam.

For instance, the fourth stanza of the song addresses motherland India as, "Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen, with her hands that strike and her swords of sheen, Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned…."

When a Muslim sings these words he is forced to equate his country with the Hindu goddesses Durga and Lakshmi, thereby deifying the land of India. This goes against the concept of tawheed (oneness of God) according to which a Muslim cannot supplicate to anyone except God.

Therefore, just as one cannot force non-Muslims to recite the Quran in their gatherings, it would be most unfair to force the Muslims to violate their scriptural injunctions in the name of patriotism.

The religious predicament of the Muslims was understood in the right spirit by Jawaharlal Nehru. In October 1937, when the Congress Working Committee met in Kolkata under his presidentship, it adopted a resolution which said: The committee recognise the validity of the objection raised by Muslim friends to certain parts of the song.

While the committee has taken note of such objection insofar as it has intrinsic value, the committee wishes to point out that the modern evolution of the use of the song as part of national life is of infinitely greater importance than its setting in a historical novel before the national movement had taken shape.

Taking all things into consideration, therefore, the committee recommended that, wherever Vande Mataram is sung at national gatherings, only the first two stanzas should be sung, with perfect freedom to the organisers to sing any other song of an unobjectionable character, in addition to, or in the place of, the Vande Mataram song." (Quoted by AG Noorani in the Frontline, Jan 2-15, 1999).

Based on this resolution, it is argued that Muslims should sing the first two stanzas because there is nothing wrong in bowing before one's motherland.

But the first two stanzas cannot be seen in isolation by detaching them from the main song, particularly when the "motherland" referred to in those stanzas has been clearly identified as Durga and Lakshmi in the fourth stanza.

In other words, the salutations offered to Mother India by singing the first two stanzas would in fact amount to paying obeisance to Hindu goddesses. This is what the Muslims are objecting to.

It must be understood that Muslims respect the right of the Hindus to worship any deity of their choice but at the same time they should not be forced to deviate from their monotheist beliefs by making them sing the Vande Mataram.

That the author of the Vande Mataram imagined Bharat Mata or Mother India as part of the Hindu pantheon can be clearly seen from the traditional depiction of India as a goddess dressed in a sari holding a red flag.

Some even describe her as the goddess of fertility. In 1936, a Bharat Mata temple was built in Varanasi by Shiv Prashad Gupt and was inaugurated by none other than Mahatma Gandhi. Then in May 1983, Swami Satyamitranand Giri founded a Bharat Mata temple in Haridwar which has a statue of Bharat Mata holding a milk urn in one hand and grains in the other.

According to the temple guidebook 'the temple serves to promote the devotional attitude towards Bharat Mata , something that historians and mythological story tellers may have missed.'

Also, the largest Hindu website dedicated to the freedom movement, www.freeindia.org, has posted under the subject Bharat bhakti an ancient Sanskrit Hindu verse glorifying Mother India as a goddess.

It reads, "Ratnakaradhautapadam Himalyakirtitinim (I) Brahmarajarsiratnamdhyam vande Bharatamataram (II)" . When translated it means: I pay my obeisance to Mother Bharata, whose feet are being a washed by the ocean, who wears the mighty Himalaya as her crown, and who is exuberantly adorned with the gems of traditions set by Brahmarsis and Rajarsis."

Another reason for the Muslims' reluctance to sing the Vande Mataram is fact that the novel Anandamath by Bankimchandra Chaterjee, in which it was first published, glorified the ethnic cleansing of the Muslims.

The following passage may be quoted as an example. "The rural people ran out to kill the Muslims while coming across them. In the night, people were organised in groups to go to the Muslim locality, torch their houses and loot everything.

Many Muslims were killed, many shaved their beards, smeared their bodies with soil and started singing the name of Hari. When asked, they said they were Hindus.

The frightened Muslims rushed towards the town group after group. The Muslims said, "Allah, Allah! Is the Koran Sareef proved entirely wrong after so many days? We pray five times but couldn't finish the sandal-pasted Hindus. All the universe is false." (pages 161-162 of Abbey of Delight, the English translation of Anandamath by Arabinda Das) .

In any case, the Vande Mataram is a national song and not the national anthem of India, hence refusal to sing it cannot be construed as showing disrespect to the country. Given the fact that the Muslims have been singing the Jana Gana Mana ever since India attained independence, and the fact that they have laid down their lives for the country during and after the freedom struggle, their nationalist spirit cannot be doubted even for a minute.

It must be understood that India being a secular democracy, every community has the right to profess and practice its faith so long as it did not challenge the unity and integrity of the nation, and therefore, the coercive imposition of the beliefs of one religion over another would only result in communal disharmony."

A Faizur Rahman is a peace activist and executive committee member, Harmony India in Chennai.


Private Reply to RAJAN ADVANI

Sep 03, 2006 7:04 pmre: The National song controversy#

Manpreet Singh Kalsey
Sometimes one forsakes courage to save the blushes of good friends.It might be more about not having a very clear mind or thoughts about the issue. It could also be a matter of not wanting to show ones biases. I have once earlier written that we are racist and biased and ......... Some of our communities are more biased and rigid and tend to look inward raather than outwards for their emancipation. Maybe Muslins are more so.

Very few of us have the guts to call a spade a spade. I happen to know at least one man very close to Soeb who inside his iwn family laid down a major rule against family/religious dogmas - he has now overcome his own pain and ensured that no one in his family suffers again. That man is Soeb's own brother. I mention this because we do not need to point Soeb out due to his religion. WE know him sufficiently well to know that his opinion will be unbiased.

Lack of open communication by religious and community leaders is a major reason for the antipathy towards singing the song. even a lot of christians do not sing this song - now what? Hey - A lot of christians do not eat prasad - because they do not eat the offerings to idols. Pretty stupid right? They also believe that I will never go to heaven bcos I do not believe in Jesus Christ. well so be it....


Private Reply to Manpreet Singh Kalsey

Sep 03, 2006 8:45 pmre: re: The National song controversy#

Thank You Manpreet.

My faith does not permit to deify my brother.
He is worthy of emulation in more ways than
what you mentioned.

Thank you again.

Private Reply to SOEB FATEHI

Sep 04, 2006 4:07 amre: re: re: The National song controversy#

Hasmukh Gandhi

Since I happen to be one of the contributors to the thread, I need to respond.

We are not playing blame games here....

Yes, we all know that we r living in largest secular democracy. We r also proud of it...

The point that me and Bassab were raising and still raising is simply because of the fact that we cherish our secular credentials. And consequently, our responsiblities and duties have increased manifold to keep that soical fibre intact. We can't sit back and relax on our historic heritage. We need to nurture it collectively and continuously.

We need to be on iternal guard in ever changing geo-political realities around us.

Democracy is driven by political system. Politicians all around the world are notorious for their short-sightedness.

In order to remain in power, they wud not mind to put at stake the basic secular treasure by pandering to some black sheeps in the muslim commnunity by capitalizing on their vulnerabilty. The same thing happens, when BJP comes to power and try to appease the communal elements rising in Hindu community.

U must appreciate that this thread is NOT against the muslim community. NOT AT ALL. It is against the political wretechedness. And of course, the ostrich-like approach my so-called intellectuals.

When Hindu hardliners make some stupid statement or make some communal move, virtually everybody is out to condemn them, as they SHOULD.

But when we need to point out some definciency on the part of the muslim community, there is a defeaning silence.

That's what bothers us....and that is what Bassab was talking about...

Private Reply to Hasmukh Gandhi

Sep 04, 2006 6:19 amre: re: re: re: The National song controversy#

Manpreet Singh Kalsey
Agreed. No one needs to be set aside, let off, etc .
Similarly, no one can and will be able to correct others. Forget others, can we correct ourselves?
Remember, I was and am most vehement aginst the terror acts of 11/7 - whether the pepetrators were muslim/sikhs/hindus/christians - whoever...

How does one impose ones views and beliefs on others? How does one get someone else to understand the very dispassionate nature of our national song - passionate for Indians, but not for the fragments that make up our secular fabric. Frankly I have not understood the National Anthem nor the Song in its entirety as the Poets had visualised them. What we have been getting are the biased - very biased versions of the LEADERS and intelligentsia - as per their vested interests at any particular point of time.

Let me put it this way - any community which does not respect its women is a very backward community- to that extent Muslims are a very backward community. In our own way all communities inIndia have their drawbacks - are we able to police or correct ourselves that we can correct others - that too a community which is perceived to be very rigid in its beliefs.

As far as the politicians are concerned the less said the better. They have only one view - the politics of skin saving and personal advancement. Condemning the hardliners is and will always be on top priority, not that it matters to them. Teir rhetoric will never cease. Simply because that is what keeps them going and what makes them maney and gives them the hold on peoples minds. It is entirey immaterial that a few thousand people die here or there. It is called COLLATERAL DAMAGE. Brother - you and I are the Collateral.

I completely agree with what you and Basab say, only I mentioned that individuals need not be dragged ino the fray without their voluntary involvement.

Private Reply to Manpreet Singh Kalsey

Sep 04, 2006 8:39 amre: re: re: re: re: The National song controversy#

Ashish Gorde
This is an interesting debate, and I like to add my own little two-bits to it.

Scratch the surface of this argument and all we get is a struggle to define 'loyalty to one's country'. On one hand we have these "vande-mataram-supporters" who feel that singing this song is a test of loyalty while the other camp disagrees. Now my question is, should a mere song be a litmus test if some of the words of the song go against the core beliefs of a certain community? Are we missing the big picture here, or are we nitpicking the woods for the trees or some such?

Let's look at the facts first. Vande Mataram is NOT the national anthem, and hence, does not and must not, carry the same level of respect that "Jana Gana Mana" does... the song may inspire patriotic feelings and emotions in the hearts and minds of some Indians, and that's good, but so does the other song "Sa Re Jahan Se Achha Hindustan Hamara".

But am I going to stand in attention when I hear these two songs? No, I am not, because these songs are not the National Anthem.

What is needed right now is for both communities to sit down adn discuss what it is that they are upset about, to find out what it is that is really upsetting them, and find common ground somewhere. Come to think of it, a common ground was found in 1936 when Nehru deleted the 'offending' stanzas and came up with a filtered Vande Mataram... and if some people still find something offensive, then, it's best to once again sit down and talk.

The trouble is, no one wants to talk and have a dialogue and agree to disagree... people jsut want to fight and argue and prove how right they are. Why can't we accept the fact that some people do find the song offensive... why should that 'offence' be linked to their loyalty? It's not like they are acting treacherously or something... it's just a national song and not the National Anthem.

And talking about a secular India... would we like it if we go the Turkish route?

Private Reply to Ashish Gorde

Sep 04, 2006 8:44 amThe National song controversy#

Basab Ghosh
I am surprised that this topic raised by me seemed to you that I am trying to get at Soeb for his faith. For your record, I consider Soeb to be a friend and I do not care what his faith is. All I know is that he is not tethered by religious dogma.

The issue I raised is about our national pride and unity. Unless everyone can put their religious beliefs and dogmas behind them, we are sure to disintegrate soon as a nation. This can not be achieved by appeasement. The emancipated among the muslims must preach among their brethren that the country must come first and the religion needs to be secondary.

In this context, the lengthy reasoning for muslim objections to singing the national song given by the muslim 'peace activist' looks pathetic. He should have instead urged his fellow muslims to be a good citizen and sing the national song with zeal.

If hindus can pray in Dargahs and Gurdwaras without fear of losing their religious identity, why can't the muslims pray to Durga & Lakshmi? Is Islam so fragile that they will lose their religious identity for doing so?

Private Reply to Basab Ghosh

Sep 04, 2006 1:00 pmre: The National song controversy#

Manpreet Singh Kalsey
Basab, I dont think I said you are getting or trying to get at Soeb for his faith or other reasons. Your friendship is sacrosanct and let it remain so.

Ashish has raised valid points too, although Nehru's theories I do not subscribe to completely. Nowr do I believe in appeasement at the cost of freedom, esteem or false egos for that matter.

I dont think we need to accuse each other of anything. I definitely have no intention of doing so and would like it to remain across all respondents.

Will we disintegrate as nation due to lack of pride, unity or due to the fragmentation caused by our esteemed leaders - Muslim,Hindu, Sikh, -anyone, remains to be seen. To my mind it looks as if the only Nationalist party we have is the one hell bent on disintegrating the nation. I might be wrong and fervently hope I am.

So once again Basab, I am not pointing fingers at you or anyone else. In fact I had clearly said that Soeb is absolutely unbiased and we need not drag him into this.


Vande Mataram.

Private Reply to Manpreet Singh Kalsey

Sep 04, 2006 2:25 pmre: re: The National song controversy#

Simanta Talukdar
I was watching CNN IBN yday night. the reporters were asking some BJP leaders to sing or explain a few texts from the song Vande Mataram. It was funny and embarassing that none of them actually knew the song. BJP's spokesperson avoided the question 3 to 4 times when he was asked the meaning of a particular stanza of the song. And finally he asked the reporter that he will answer the question only when the reporter answers his question as to "When Did Colour TV came to India?" It was such a sorry sight. These r the same leaders who want to make the song mandatory in BJP ruling states.

It is sad to see that a song which made such a hige impact during our Freedom's Struggle is insulated and misused by our politicians for political gains. none of them r saints. All politicial parties r using this issue to score some points over each other.

Thats the sad part of this whole episode.

Private Reply to Simanta Talukdar

Sep 04, 2006 3:13 pmre: re: re: The National song controversy#

Lavanya Karalkar

Is the controversy about the song Vandematram or about Soeb Fatehi's faith?

Private Reply to Lavanya Karalkar

Sep 04, 2006 4:45 pmre: re: re: re: The National song controversy#

Hasmukh Gandhi


LK(g)'s question raised frightening alarm signal.

By any chance r v going in the wrong direction?

How can we have controversy about Soeb Fatehi's faith?

How can we even remotely think of that?

To put the entire issue in the right perspective, to the best of my abilities, is that Fufaji, in his infinite wisdom, has refered to Soebji in his post on 29the August. quote...

"Soeb will be the right person to comment on this post."

He possibly thought that Soebji, with his vast treasure of knowledge, and intellectual attitude wud be the right person to make an obejctive analysis of the topic.

That's all that was there about Soebji...

Essentially we talked about the wretched political system and its pathetically ugly dimensions...

Soebji is under no obligation whatsoever to clarify or submit his views.

However, if still even an iota of doubt lingers, I wud request Fufaji to cancel the thread....

Private Reply to Hasmukh Gandhi

Sep 04, 2006 5:42 pmThe National song controversy#

Basab Ghosh
Hasmukh, yeh cancelling thread jaisa gandhi baatein mat karna! :(

Since I started the thread, I should clarify LK(g)'s doubts, though I doubt if she has any doubts, she is just trying to do some leg pulling I believe.

The thread was about objections raised by some muslim 'dwajadharis' in muslims singing 'Vande Mataram'. It was never about Soeb's 'faith'. Soeb may be a follower of Islam, but I am sure his 'faith' is much broader than these narrow focussed 'dhwajadharis' can ever graduate to.

And any more such queries from you LK(g) and Sushi will pull your ears! :)

Private Reply to Basab Ghosh

Sep 04, 2006 6:23 pmre: The National song controversy#

Ashish Gorde
There's one thing I don't understand... why are we dragging religious practices, belief systems and religious codes into this debate? If some faiths do not encourage worshipping other gods or following other belief systems, why is THAT considered 'wrong'? Why can't people live within their belief systems as long as they don't go around killing anyone or some such? Why can't we just separate 'religion' from all discussions on patriotism? If some people find Vande Mataram offensive to their religious sensibilities, why is there such a need to raise a hullabaloo... can't we recognise that there may be a problem here that needs to be addressed? Come to think of it, should patriotism and nationalistic feelings be attached to the singing of 'one' song? Is patriotism so weak that not singing of this song ends up in loud demonstrations?

In my opinion, patriotism must not be linked with the singing of Vande Mataram but loyalty to all that the country stands for, keeping the law, being civil to one's neighbour, to work faithfully and to the best of one's ability, to be a productive member of society, to be charitable to the have-nots, to respect those around us, and to recognise that the country is made of 'different' people whose 'differences' form the general tapestry, which is "India".

Private Reply to Ashish Gorde

Sep 04, 2006 7:51 pmre: re: The National song controversy#

Sumanth Cidambi
Another 'pseudo intellectual' remarked a few days ago, " If some persons do not wish to sing let them sulk in silence whilst others joyfully raise their voices and thrill to the stanzas of our Vande Mataram. . . "

I second and third the right of any person who does not wish to sing Vande Mataram or Sare Jahan se Accha or even Jana Gana Mana if they are not suitably inclined... Just so long as they do not impinge on the liberties and rights of the others who want to and are proud to... Nationalism is after all a created product...

I abide by the rational of a test that I apply here - "He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."

Ashish, I just read your post above and was coincidentally speaking to Lalit earlier today to start a thread on the separation of church and state... I am sure that will result in a meaningful discussion as well...


PS: Recommended reading: Supreme Court of India judgment in re: The Jehovah's Witness case

Private Reply to Sumanth Cidambi

Sep 05, 2006 9:35 amre: re: re: The National song controversy#

Lavanya Karalkar
Aashish Gorde and Sumanth Citambi..Indians whatever faith they belong should have faith in National Song, National Anthem, National flag and refusing to sing or accept the same amounts to disrespect to the Nation and if they want to live in India let them first accept that they are Indians first more than their relious faith. No religion is higher than the Nation that should be the firm belief and we should not give way to such freedom. This is not my humble view..it is my firm view.

Private Reply to Lavanya Karalkar

Sep 05, 2006 10:26 amre: re: re: re: The National song controversy#

Sumanth Cidambi
Lavanya, whatever works for you...

I believe that our constitution enshrines tolerance... As an Indian, especially one who accords our constitution its deserved respect, my belief therefore is allow every other Indian, regardless of their faith, first their space...

Also, I personally believe that religion is higher than the state... The principle of "Kings always answer to a higher authority. . ." and all that... But as I have learnt over the years, and as you have painstakingly pointed out, I would likely be considered part of the heretic minority for that belief... Thankfully, the rest of the proletariat are still collecting the firewood for the stakes ;-)


PS: Recommended reading - John Donne Meditation XVII

Private Reply to Sumanth Cidambi

Sep 05, 2006 1:31 pmre: re: re: re: re: The National song controversy#

Sandip Kundu
Just as democracy means you cannot be forced to do anything, it also means you cannot do just anything you want to....

Private Reply to Sandip Kundu

Sep 05, 2006 2:14 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: The National song controversy#

Sumanth Cidambi
I do not entirely agree with that view...

In respect of the specific question at the start of this thread (Should everyone be made to sing the Vande Mataram?) or any similar sounding variant of that question, my answer is no. Please refer to the established principle laid down in Bijoe Emmanuel vs State of Kerala (AIR 1987 SC 748). Our Supreme Court held that the expulsion of three children from a school in Kerala merely because they did not join the singing of the National Anthem in the morning assembly is a violation of their fundamental right to freedom of conscience and to freely profess, practice and propogate religion. The plaintiff's fundamental rights were infringed and they were entitled to be protected. I will also mention that the children stood up respectfully when the national anthem was being sung.

In respect of the wider question which is imposition of the will of a majority (not by religion but by sheer force of number) either overtly or covertly or by applying any form of pressure, I disagree again... That is an infringement on my fundamental right to freedom of expression.

I will agree with what Sandeep has written inasmuch as I am acting within the boundaries of our constitution, to the extent that it grants me certain rights and imposes on me certain reciprocal obligations (fundamental duties under Article 51A) for the enjoyment of those rights. I do not believe I am doing "just anything I want to".


PS: Recommended reading - The Constitution of India

PPS: Although Dr. Rajendra Prasad declared in 1950 that the National Song be given equal status alongside the National Anthem, Article 51A still does not include a reference thereto. Any constitutional lawyers on this board who can educate me on the applicability of Ejusdem Generis principles or the General Clauses Act or any other inclusive principles here to interpret Article 51A, I am more than willing to be educated.

Private Reply to Sumanth Cidambi

Sep 05, 2006 2:56 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: The National song controversy#

Lavanya Karalkar
So Si (Thambi) you are comparing small children with educated biased fanatics who think their religion is more important than the nation in which they live and eat?

Private Reply to Lavanya Karalkar

Sep 05, 2006 3:15 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: The National song controversy#

Sandip Kundu
"..religion is higher than the state... "

And if everyone starts believing like that and practising those beliefs, the notion of statehood would be at peril. We just need a few more of the likes of SIMI which says Quran is their constitution....

Private Reply to Sandip Kundu

Sep 05, 2006 4:28 pmThe National song controversy#

Basab Ghosh
Sumanth, you say "I believe that our constitution enshrines tolerance... ", yes, but not to the extent of intolerance among a group of people who put their religious belief above everything else. Everyone claiming to be a citizen of INdian MUST put nbationalism before any other consideration, be it religion or right to fart in public.

Private Reply to Basab Ghosh

Sep 05, 2006 7:38 pmre: The National song controversy#

Sumanth Cidambi
I am not unhappy to be in the minority on this post as I still stand by what I said...

Arindhavanukku sol yaen, ariyaadhavanukku sol yedharkku?

I respond to the rest of your comments as follows - Read our constitution carefully. Our lawmakers provided enough safeguards... We lack the spine to enforce those safeguards as a collective...

I am not well read in law but common sense tells me that we decided 50-odd years ago to split into an Islamic state and a secular state... The meaning of secular state means " a state without a religion"... So far as the beliefs of a group are not opposed to public policy or the secular fabric of India, i could not care less... Which is why I would not support any anti-Indian organisation, regardless of their political, religious or any other affiliation...

Nationalism is merely an acquired force of habit... I am proud to be an Indian but I will never ever ENFORCE that privilege upon my fellow country person, whatever the cost... The day I believe he is no more acting in the interest of my country, I will willingly purge him for treason...

Like I said earlier in this post, whatever (belief) works for you that keeps your engines humming, go for it but leave me with the intent and ability to choose my own lawn mower...


Private Reply to Sumanth Cidambi

Sep 06, 2006 4:24 amre: re: The National song controversy#

Hasmukh Gandhi

Is the thread being highjacked as I had feared somewhere in the begining of the thread?

Nevertheless, the only point I wanted to add is that we shud not be just perturbed by singing or not singing the national song...I am visualizing the larger sinister design...(some leanred people can laugh at my phobia), but this cud just be the begining....Few of them (SIMI particualry) do not beleive in the geographic boundaries, simply meaning that they do not recognsize India as their country....Possibly, even billions of muslims do not know what exactly is happening behind their backs...Or how they r being used as pawns in the game. Thier religous vulnerabilty is being exploited to serve the larger geo-political objecitves of the enemies of the nation.

And my common sense suggests that being secular nation simply means that state shall not follow any specific religion, the state shall not favour any special releigion, there shall not be any descrimination on the basis of religion but yes, it amply makes it clear that all religions are subordinated to the state...A religion cannot be larger then the state anywhere more particularly in secular state...

I need not amplify the obvious...

Private Reply to Hasmukh Gandhi

Sep 06, 2006 5:41 amre: re: re: The National song controversy#

Sumanth Cidambi
Hey Hasmukh

Welcome back, long time no hear... how are you keeping?

For what its worth, no religion or faith is subject to any state... The more mature democracies decided to separate religion and state to avoid that debate... We merely profess to have that separation in India but do not abide by it at all...

The "secular (Indian) state" as you quaintly put it rests its foundation on the Manusmriti and Yagnavalkya Smriti (a.k.a ordained scriptures) as well as the Vedas... That is the source of a lot of our civil and personal law in India today... Just as western law (probably) evolved from the ten commandments and biblical canons, so did our constitution and law and our Indian state evolve from our religious scriptures... Which by the way did not preach but taught tolerance towards all creatures through the innumerable parables and legends

Sorry to have segued there a bit...

But probably you may now want to reexamine the very basis of Indian civil liberties as we know it to accomodate the concept of supremacy of state over religion... A neo modernist version of the Vedas perhaps... I happen to know a couple of good 21st century copy writers in the style of of Manu and Vyasa that I can recommend ;-)


PS: I have learnt in life that most times we must be careful what we wish for... I have also mentioned on some other posts as well that ultra right wing thinking and gradual restrictions imposed on personal liberties only brings us closer to the Orwellian state from 1984...

Private Reply to Sumanth Cidambi

Sep 08, 2006 4:35 pmThe National song controversy#

Basab Ghosh
When people from other nationalities apply for and are considered eligible for citizenship in countries where citizenship is granted to Aliens (e.g. western countries), one of the things every applicant, irrespective of his / her religious belief has to do, is to remember by heart and recite / sing the national anthem of that country and pledge allegience to the country, it's flag, it's anthem and whatever it stands for. No one complains. No one cites their religion (even muslims) as their inability to do the same. So why should there be a different standard for India?

Private Reply to Basab Ghosh

Sep 09, 2006 8:56 amre: The National song controversy#

Bharat P
Well, Yeah, God bless america (or) the star spangled banner are quite ok to sing, because you are being paid in dollars. I guess money can make beliefs flexible.

Interesting thread otherwise. There seem to be only two points of view - religion takes precedence over country (or) country takes precedence over religion. Ok, Sumanth seems to have a third view... ;-)

Religion is based on faith while the nation derives from rational principles (derived from religion as Sumanth pointed out). Faith is what it is - it doesnt need rational explanations - nor can it be debated.

Faith is also open to interpretation - popular views of the time and place. There can be no "right" or "Wrong" with regards to faith. So for followers of Islam, the only "right" is to follow their religion to the word, and that means Vande mataram cant be sung - simple as that.

I dont think this topic is something which can be argued rationally. Perhaps a topic like "democracy vs republic" is worth a rational debate.


Private Reply to Bharat P

Sep 09, 2006 7:12 pmre: re: The National song controversy#

Basab Ghosh
So you think a country wanting all it's citizens to sing the national song is irrational?

Private Reply to Basab Ghosh

Sep 27, 2006 8:30 pmre: The National song controversy#

Kshitij Wagh - Keep it Simple Stupid :)
It should not be a compulsion to do anything in life. If you as an individual/indian understand and respect the lyrics of our national song and the spirit with which it was written, then sing it.

If someone does not want to do something, he is right in his own context,his own belief system.

A conflict(in somebody's head..somewhere..some point of time) becomes a controversy when you pay too much attention to it...

The root creator of all the controversies is media and the people who are too interested in know controveries....

The composition of Bankim chandra was marvellous, though I also like what hridaynath mangeshkar composed, Rehman's is not bad either, I have my own version as well.
Its just about loving your country and loving music.
Vande mataram!!

Private Reply to Kshitij Wagh - Keep it Simple Stupid :)

Sep 30, 2006 6:57 amthe National song controversy#

Kennethanjelo Dias
Well well well........................!

After reading everyone’s comments...........! i'm staring at my monitor and then turned to my 2 close friends Oscar and Dana, and asked them " Why did all those men and women fight for us , to hear all this after 50 years of independence" and you know what Oscar and Dana said "Woof woof woof " Long Live Free Independent India.............Cheers

Kennethanjelo Dias

Private Reply to Kennethanjelo Dias

Sep 30, 2006 9:52 amre: the National song controversy#

Basab Ghosh
All these men and women fought for their (and their offsprings') right to be free citizens of a free nation and 'Vande Mataram' is what inspired them and kept their moral high. Little did they know that their sacrifice would be forgotten so soon. I suspect even knowing that wouldn't have lessened their fervour or their dedication to their cause, for 'Vande Mataram' wasn't only a slogan for them. That is what they lived for and that is what they died for. They had dedicted their lives for the country.

I sometimes wonder how people with that mindset suddenly vanished from the country after independence!

Private Reply to Basab Ghosh

Sep 30, 2006 10:07 amre: re: the National song controversy#

Kennethanjelo Dias
well i wonder it everytime i get up in the morning and ask myself WHY............WHy..........Why...........why.....!
this country will never change ........................
what ever they may do or say. You just got to live with it
and hope for a change every (Read improvement) every 5 years

Private Reply to Kennethanjelo Dias

Sep 30, 2006 7:34 pmre: re: re: the National song controversy#

Sumanth Cidambi
"The aim of those who try to control thought is always the same. They find one single explanation of the world, one system of thought and action that will (they believe) cover everything; and then they try to impose that on all thinking people" - Gilbert Highet

Those who fought for our freedom believed in secularism and pluraility unlike the right wing lot amongst the present day Indians who are the subject of aforementioned quote...


PS: We are the change we want to be...

Private Reply to Sumanth Cidambi

Oct 01, 2006 5:14 amthe National song controversy#

Basab Ghosh
There is nothing 'right' about the right wing thought, be it Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian or Communist; is there?

Oh! the last one is 'left wing'! Well, there is nothing right over that either. You can't navigate either on full right rudder or full left rudder, can you? I wish people realised that.

This reminded me of the poem 'Kandari' by Kazi Nazrul Islam. Bengalis will know it by heart. I wish the others read a translation of the poem to know what mindset played in our freedom fighters.


Private Reply to Basab Ghosh

Oct 01, 2006 7:23 amre: the National song controversy#

Sumanth Cidambi
Hey Basab

Happy Dasami... to you and yours...


PS: http://skeeedamnbee.blogspot.com/2006/09/diary-entry-sunday-24-september-2006.html

Private Reply to Sumanth Cidambi

Oct 02, 2006 5:16 pmre: re: the National song controversy#

Basab Ghosh
Thank you Sumanth, and Shubho Bijoya to you and yours too!

Private Reply to Basab Ghosh

Oct 03, 2006 3:33 amre: re: re: the National song controversy#

Vijay Nair
Dear Basabda and all,

I have read some of your opinions above and glided through others. I was part of a debate on two networks on the same issue. Ordinarily very few things debated on a public thread makes me dive into it, but, like Lalit states the reason for him permitting this thread tobe here in the first place, I joined the debate for the same reason.

I have extensively dealt with the issue and my take on it and have published it on my blog. Just to save this thread from becoming "heavy", I request you all to check out my take on this issue here:





Private Reply to Vijay Nair

Oct 03, 2006 5:52 pmre: re: re: re: the National song controversy#

"little coorg" was in a turmoil.some slumdwellers came back from a dada kondke movie n were singing double meaning songs.some people were offended n chastised the singers.the singers responded that in a free country anything was acceptable as long as govt didnt censor or label it offensive.after much tu tu main main they came to blows.within moments a riot erupted n a number of jhopdas were burnt.after tempers cooled down both sides had learnt a lesson.the singers learnt that some songs werent acceptable to everyone n the offended people learnt that peace is more important than people singing songs.more from "little coorg" later....

Private Reply to Jacksquat

Oct 03, 2006 5:57 pmre: re: re: re: re: the National song controversy#

les ombres de bleu
that special malt certainly is working on you...little coorg is not in this thread! gosh



Private Reply to les ombres de bleu

Oct 03, 2006 6:07 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: the National song controversy#

i said rots the liver not rots the brain

Private Reply to Jacksquat

Oct 04, 2006 5:56 amthe National song controversy#

Basab Ghosh
Vijay, without going into details of why and what for, I can say that your reasoning is faulty. Just consider this, the National song as adopted by the country, are only the first two stanzas of the song Vande Mataram, and your highlighting does not start before the third stanza.


Private Reply to Basab Ghosh

Oct 04, 2006 6:05 amre: the National song controversy#

casting pearls before swine.when will people learn the lesson of "little coorg"

Private Reply to Jacksquat

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