Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Chidambaram giving legitimacy to Deoband's demand?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

National Song Vande Matatarm has been the centre of controversy for many years with some Muslim fundamentalists terming it as Anti-Muslim. But it might soon snowball into a major controversy with members of Jamiat-e-Ulem issuing a fatwa against India's national song Vande Mataram. The fatwa discourages Muslims from singing the national song as some of the verses of the song. The Muslim Law Board justified this decision saying that the Muslims cannot worship anyone other than God.

What has angered many Indians and is that Home Minister P Chidambaram attending the Deoband function where this resolution to oppose the National Song was adopted. It was quite a shock when the Home Minister clarified that he was not aware of the fact that such a controversial fatwa was going to be issued. What will sadden many Indians is that fact that the Government hasn't even criticized the issuing of such a fatwa.

Isn't this a slap on the face of our nation that a resolution against the National Song is passed at a function where the Home Minister makes a speech and the Government doesn't even condemn such an act. Is this the definition of secularism to the Congress party which has always termed its biggest opposition the BJP as communal? Does the Congress and the Government also feel that the call for banning of National Song and National Anthem doesn't deserve any criticism? Are these people any different from the Hindu right wing activists upon whom the Congress wants a ban to be clamped?

Our neighbour Pakistan had fuelled these fundamentalists and they are facing the music now. Their entire country is in danger of being run over by Taliban who would take back the society by a few hundred years with their interpretation of Islam. Do we want replica of such fundamentalism in India as well? The Government would encourage a counter fundamentalists group to rise with its policy of appeasement. Do they want a civil war like situation between the fundamentalist of different religion?

There have been demands for the British Queen to wear a Burkha. If the Government tries to remain silent and ignorant about the a day might come when Sonia Gandhi might be asked to wear a Burkha and Rahul Gandhi to sport a beard. The problem doesn't lie in the religious beliefs of the people but the fundamentalists who want to hijack the religion. The definition of Secularism should not mean that we compromise with the definition of Democracy.


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