The Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind Tuesday supported a decree against the
national song "Vande Mataram" on the grounds that some of its lines
were "against the religious principles of Islam". The move drew
fierce criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which termed
the move "anti-national".
asking Muslims not to sing the national song was passed at the
national convention of the Jamiat, one of the largest groups of
Muslim clerics in India, held at Darul Uloom Deoband, one the
largest Muslim seminaries in South Asia, about 150 km from the
Home Minister P.
Chidambaram was present at the convention, which was also attended
by some Hindu priests.
Muslim clerics had
issued the fatwa, or decree, against the song in 2006. They
contended that "Vande Mataram" means "Mother (India), I bow to
Terming the decree
against the singing of the national song as "anti-national", the BJP
said Islamic organisations should desist from issuing such fatwas
that are against the nation's interest.
"We oppose the
fatwa and will not tolerate such religious decrees at any cost. They
are against our national values," BJP national general secretary
Kalraj Mishra told reporters at a press conference in Lucknow.
"As such fatwas
stand against national integrity, we all should stand united against
them," he added.
The BJP also
strongly criticised the Congress ministers for participating in such
a convention where the fatwa against the national song was issued.
Congress ministers like Home Minister P. Chidambaram is unfortunate.
It clearly reflects approach of the Congress party that it doesn't
mind compromising with anti-national organisations just to appease
the minority community," said the BJP's state unit president
Ramapati Ram Tripathi.
the Congress leaders are singing the national song since 1896 and
had even organised a programme in 2006 on its 100th anniversary, but
now it's truly shocking and surprising as they themselves are
supporting anti-national organisations that are against Vande Matram,"
clerics were firm on their stand.
"Some of its lines
are of course against the religious principles of Islam. We cannot
bow before anybody other than the Allah. It is un-Islamic," Moulana
Muizuddin of the Jamiat said.
"Islam teaches us
to worship only one god, Allah. We are Indians and there are other
ways to express our feelings for the nation rather than bowing
before it. Loving your country doesn't only mean worshipping it,"
Muizuddin told IANS.
"We love our
mothers. Islam doesn't even permit bowing before mother. We love the
Prophet but we cannot even bow before him."
Salman, who teaches at the Deoband seminary, said: "We are true
Muslims and true Indians. There is no doubt about that. But we no
longer remain Muslims when we offer our prayers to anybody else than
the Allah. Patriotism is not only about singing songs. We are and
will remain Indians without singing Vande Mataram."