VHP issues call on `Vande Mataram’

via The Hindu published on September 6, 2006

AHMEDABAD: The controversy over the recitation of `Vande Mataram’ further deepened on Tuesday with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad international president, Ashok Singhal, asking the opponents of the national song to “leave this country.”

Mr. Singhal, who was on a day’s visit to Ahmedabad, said all Indians should worship “Bharatmata” as our homeland is like our mother. “She is Bharatmata for Muslims also and they should not have any objections to recite Vande Mataram which is sung in praise of mother India,” he said. “If anyone has any objections against Bharatmata and cannot recite the song, they should leave this country,” Mr Singhal said.

In contrast, the Jammat-e-Ulema Hind president, Moulana Sayed Mohammad Madni, a member of the Rajya Sabha, asked the Muslims not to participate in the mass singing of Vande Mataram. Mr. Madni said Muslims regard Allah as the only God. He said Indian Muslims regard India as their own country and believe the homeland to be their mother but Islam forbade worshiping anybody else other than Allah and since Vande Mataram called for worshipping the motherland, it was not acceptable to the Muslims. He also cautioned that all those who were insisting on everyone to sing Vande Mataram forcibly were only “strengthening the hands of the terrorists.”

Anonymous posters have come up in various parts of Vadodara and other centres in Gujarat condemning compulsory singing of the national song. Hundreds of such posters were found pasted on the walls of the Maharaja Sayajirao University campus in Vadodara, which enraged a section of the students who launched a cleaning operation of the college walls.

Moulana Mufti Akmal of Vadodara supported Deoband Darul Uloom’s appeal to the Muslim students to stay away from singing the national song.

The former director of the Oriental Institute of the M. S. University, Vadodara, Rajendra Nanavati, has questioned the centenary celebrations of the Vande Mataram this year claiming that the song was composed by Bankim Chandra Chottopadhyay in 1875 and not in 1905.

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